Introduction to the STEMM-CCS special issue

Sands, C; Connelly, DP; Blackford, JC. 2021 Introduction to the STEMM-CCS special issue. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 113. 103553.

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This special issue brings together a selection of papers resulting from the STEMM-CCS (Strategies for Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage) project. STEMM-CCS was an ambitious, four-year, project on offshore geologic carbon dioxide storage funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 654,462). The aim was to deliver new insights, guidelines, and tools for the monitoring of CO2 storage at putative offshore Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) sites. CCS is an important potential mitigation strategy to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Although CO2 leakage from geological reservoirs is considered unlikely, there is a regulatory need and societal expectation to undertake appropriate monitoring to provide assurance that leakage is not occurring. Should leakage be suspected, the capacity to detect, attribute, monitor, and quantify potential CO2 leaks from sub-seafloor CCS reservoirs will be critical. In addition, it is important to predict and understand potential environmental impact from a range of leak scenarios, such that mitigation can be enacted if necessary. Regulatory and legislative bodies need assurance that potential storage leaks can be rapidly detected and quantified. Operators need to be able to detect and quantify, but also must have the ability to attribute leaks to a specific reservoir, potentially within a field of different storage systems and operators. Additionally, quantification techniques will be vital for storage operators if a carbon tax credit system were to be implemented. STEMM-CCS has successfully demonstrated solutions to these issues, though further development will be required to increase regulator and operator confidence. Further, these solutions will also underpin efforts to gain social licence to sequester CO2 in sub-seafloor geologic storage. Prior to any CO2 storage at a site, an environmental assessment needs to be carried out in order to identify any site-specific risks and characterise natural environmental variation sufficiently to allow the efficient detection of environmental anomalies and impacts throughout the lifetime of the storage site. One of the challenges for regulators is to understand what information is required to sufficiently characterise an environment, while for operators, it is obtaining that baseline environmental data cost effectively. STEMM-CCS has not only shown how to establish and interpret baseline data using traditional surveying and sampling but has shown that modelling and other numerical analysis can be used that negate the need for intensive surveying and/or enable targeted surveying, thus balancing the needs of regulators, the public and industry. These approaches can also be utilised for continued monitoring once storage commences.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Modelling
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > NMOD-NC modelling
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecosystem Models and Predictions
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 23 Dec 2021 10:51
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 11:50

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