North Sea

The Value of Seismic Data for Carbon Storage Site Characterization

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The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has released a Carbon Storage Permit guidance document and recognizes the value of seismic data for the location and characterization of carbon storage sites.

The guidance contains important reminders of the role high-quality seismic data plays in the development of subsurface carbon storage resources. It states “Seismic data is essential to characterize the geological site and storage complex”. The NSTA also notes that it expects Licensees to use high-quality seismic data to determine the level of uncertainty associated with a site and storage complex. Should that data not be of sufficient quality, the Licensee will have to outline what further data will be required and how they plan to acquire it. 

Nick Lee, PGS New Energy Subsurface Manager says “PGS’ experience is that leading CCS operators know the value of high-quality seismic data for the development and monitoring of their sites. In 2022 PGS secured the dominant position in the market with acquisition of new high-resolution 3D data over the key saline aquifer CO2 stores currently under development in the North Sea – Endurance, Northern Lights and Smeaheia. 

PGS supports clients with the screening, identification, and early characterization of new sites on MultiClient library data and is completing proprietary processing for CCS projects too. This ensures that we are meeting our clients' needs to efficiently and cost-effectively evaluate future potential storage locations and meet the tight time-frames of license block application processes. 

Alongside proprietary acquisition and processing projects, we continue to develop our own library data to support the identification and characterization of future carbon storage sites. In 2023 we will deliver the MultiClient SNS Vision rejuvenation project, an optimized reprocessing project designed to enable the dual-purpose evaluation of both CCS and hydrocarbon targets in a mature basin. 

The NSTA continues to support the development of the sector with the delivery of high-quality regulatory guidance to aid the delivery of these projects. The latest information arrives in the form of the Guidance on Applications for a Carbon Storage Permit, and focuses on the Appraisal Term of a prospective license. This permit application paves the way for the injection and storage of CO2 into a suitable geological formation in the UKCS. 

The PGS MultiClient data library supports customers to screen, identify and characterize new carbon storage sites. Current licenses and blocks open to carbon storage bidding in the UK, Norway and Denmark are shown in yellow along with three of the carbon storage acquisition jobs PGS conducted in 2022 (orange). SNS Vision shown in purple will enable dual-purpose evaluation of both CCS and hydrocarbon targets in a mature basin.

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