C02 Storage is an intriguing idea but there are many questions that need to be resolved before it can be realistically implemented.

CO2GeoNet, the European Network of Excellence on geological storage of carbon dioxide, is organizing an international training and dialogue workshop aimed at providing information and generating discussion about the technical aspects of geological CO2 storage on Wednesday October 3rd at Salons Hoche, Paris, France.

The key six issues are:

I.Where and how much CO2 can we store underground?
II.How can we inject large quantities of CO2?
III.What is the fate of CO2 in the storage reservoir and are there any related physical and chemical changes?
IV.Could CO2 leak from the storage reservoir and what would be the effects on humans and ecosystems?
V.How can we monitor the storage site at depth and at the surface, and why is this necessary?
VI.What safety criteria i.e. conditions for safe storage, need to be imposed and respected?

Dr. Nick Riley MBE, Head of Science for Energy at BGS and co-ordinator of CO2GeoNet said, “The vision is to store CO2, captured from large single point emission sources such as coal-fired power plants, within old oil and gas fields or geological formations beneath the seabed. In January 2007, the European Commission stated that by 2020 all new coal-fired plants should include CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology and existing plants should also follow. In the Energy White Paper 2007, the UK Government announced its intention to hold a competition to develop the UK’s first commercial-scale demonstration of CCS. A key step for CO2GeoNet is to ensure that key stakeholders understand what is involved. This workshop will provide a very useful opportunity to gain greater understanding and for any questions to be answered”.

The workshop entitled ‘What does CO2 geological storage really mean?’ is chaired by Isabelle Czernichowski-Lauriol, CO2GeoNet network manager from BRGM - French Geological Survey. “Many potential stakeholders have expressed a wish to understand how this technique works. This workshop is designed to meet this need, raising awareness and promoting discussion about this technology. Policy makers, industrial operators, investors, economists, regulators, NGO’s, scientists and students will hear presentations based on experience gained over more than a decade of research and demonstration projects worldwide”.

Capturing CO2 at large industrial units, particularly fossil fuel based power plants, and storing it underground is a top priority in the race to significantly reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases and thus help mitigate climate change and ocean acidification. The technology has now reached a transition stage between research and worldwide deployment. By storing CO2 underground, the carbon released from burning coal, oil and gas is returned to where it was extracted from, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.

- British Geological Survey