Faster Reactions for Injected Fluids Underground – Research

This entry was posted by Monday, 1 March, 2010
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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.


5 Responses to “Faster Reactions for Injected Fluids Underground – Research”

  1. Nicolle

    Stephanie Houston currently works for BP as a Petroleum Systems Analyst.

    As a Petroleum Systems Analyst her role is to study oil geochemistry (isotopes, chemical composition and biomarkers) in order to establish the provenance, migration pathway and timing of the hydrocarbon entry into the reservoir. In addition, she uses basin modelling packages to model the evolution of a petroleum basin through time and provide predictions of the pressure and temperature regime at a particular well location. She is involved in research and development relating to software comparison and provide advice on the subjects of carbon dioxide sequestration and inorganic geochemical modelling using the Geochemist’s Workbench and PHREEQ-C.

  2. Krupali

    Maybe this is one of the better ideas!

    Scientists and geologists have studied it to term it SAFE.

    But history has shown that whatever is hidden shows up eventually.

  3. Patter


    Today, more than 750 billion gallons of hazardous and non-hazardous fluids are disposed of safely through underground injection. EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program ensures that these fluids are disposed of safely and cost effectively while fulfilling its mission to protect ground water resources. However, because geologic and oceanic sequestration are emerging climate mitigation options key issues still need to be addressed, including the costs, energy requirements, long-term effectiveness, and ecological consequences, especially for oceanic storage.

  4. Prescot Toni

    The Leeds study suggests the technique has long-term potential for safely storing this major by-product of our power stations, rather than allowing it to escape and further contribute to global warming.

  5. Alette Peters

    If CO2 is injected underground we hope that it will react with the water and minerals there in order to be stabilized. That way it spreads into its local environment rather than remaining as a giant gas bubble which might ultimately seep to the surface.

    “It had been thought that reaction might take place over hundreds or thousands of years, but there’s a clear implication in this study that if we inject carbon dioxide into rocks, these reactions will happen quite quickly making it far less likely to escape.” by Bruce Yardley, Professor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds.

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