The capacity of saline aquifers in the Norwegian North Sea for large quantities of injected CO2 has been well established. However, our ability to unlock this theoretical capacity in a safe and economically feasible manner remains hampered by significant uncertainties during the operational phase, specifically low injectivity, excess pressurization and leakage risk. The ability to effectively assess and manage these risks is related to our understanding of physical and chemical properties of the storage complex, which includes the storage reservoir and surrounding formations.

The project is divided into 5 work packages. A summary of activities and recent results are provided in the links below:

The primary objective of the PROTECT project is to understand the impact of geomechanics, flow and chemistry on caprock integrity in order to ensure injectivity, maximize storage capacity and protect against CO2 leakage from large-scale injection operations.

Several secondary objectives detail specific aspects that will be addressed in the project:

  1. To determine and constrain the relevant parameters from field and laboratory data;
  2. To identify mechanisms for poro-elasto-plastic deformation and initiation/propagation of fractures within the caprock due to hydromechanical coupling;
  3. To investigate the impact of chemical reactions on fracture self-enhancement or self-healing and on overall rock strength;
  4. To develop coupled models for understanding individual fracture development and the effect of flow, temperature, geomechanics and chemistry;
  5. To develop upscaled models to simulate large-scale coupled flow-geomechanical-chemical interaction between the storage formation and caprock;
  6. To establish an integrated framework for designing safe and effective large-scale CO2 injection strategies.