Faster Reactions for Injected Fluids Underground – Research
A study looked at data from the Miller oilfield in the North Sea, where BP had been pumping seawater into the reservoir for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
As oil was extracted, the water that was pumped out with it was analysed and this showed that minerals had grown and dissolved as the water travelled through the field. Significantly, PhD student Stephanie Houston found that water pumped out with the oil was especially rich in silica. This showed that silicates, usually thought of as very slow to react, had dissolved in the newly-injected seawater over less than a year.
This is the type of reaction that would be needed to make carbon dioxide stable in the pore waters. The study gives a clear indication that carbon dioxide sequestered underground could also react quickly with ordinary rocks to become assimilated into the deep formation water.