Using legacy core material to assess subsurface carbon storage reservoir potentiality

Ryan L. Payton, Domenico Chiarella, Andrew Kingdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growing importance of subsurface carbon storage for tackling carbon emissions requires an accurate characterisation of potential reservoirs to understand their capabilities. In this context, the use of legacy data originally acquired in the last fifty years for scientific projects and petroleum exploration and production activities would represent a suitable cost-effective solution and help to maximise the value of this extended national asset. Core material represents the only direct observation of subsurface deposits and must be preserved from the current disposal process related to the decommissioning of hydrocarbon fields. In this contribution, a suite of samples from core material stored at national (i.e., British Geological Survey) and local (i.e., Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London) core repositories, previously characterised at the micro scale using X-ray micro-computed tomographic (μCT) imaging are discussed. Using this technique it has been possible to investigate how pore and grain geometries control crucial features of a suitable reservoir such as porosity and permeability. The aim of this contribution is to describe the methodology behind digital image analysis (DIA) following μCT imaging applied to core material. We show how DIA can be used to provide significant measures of reservoir suitability when making initial assessments of storage reservoirs, without the need for expensive and time-consuming analyses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2022

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