Supported by the transfer of mature methodologies and technologies from the oil exploration and production industry to energy transition sectors, and, in particular, its expertise in the field of geosciences, IFPEN is working on two approaches:
- the monitoring of surface gases or gas exchanges,
- the monitoring of deep underground fluids, including:
- the modeling of underground storage facility behavior,
- the monitoring of storage facilities and their impact on the environment. In this area, IFPEN proposes environmental monitoring, methodologies and technologies for industrial applications.
Geochemical monitoring for CCS
Between 2008 and 2012, IFPEN participated in two collaborative projects with Total at its Lacq site, including the ANR Sentinelle project. The objective was to put in place an integrated geochemical monitoring process in order to ensure the safety of CO2 storage.
«The methodology we used consisted of a series of samples taken on the ground, followed by post-sampling analysis in the lab.
The results of these tests led to patents being filed and a number of papers being published; they also revealed the limitations of a post-laboratory analysis time judged to be too long and sometimes even random, for several reasons:
- the representativity of samples taken on the ground, whether:
- in the reservoir via wellhead sampling,
- in a control aquifer via sampling from a dedicated open well,
- or at the surface, at various locations around the storage site,
- the “shelf-life” of the sample if it is not analyzed within a few weeks following the operation. A risk of contamination by air is deemed to be possible after storage for 12 weeks.
- The transport of samples, which can prove challenging in the event of pressurized samples, for example, with safety requirements and standards to be met.
- Potential customs problems.
This feedback has led us to focus our activities on the development of a strategy of measures:
- rolled out directly on-site,
- enabling real-time data acquisition,
- with a minima interpretation.
This methodology enables more efficient process management, with updating of models if necessary: we are now capable of proposing a geochemical monitoring process that meets three types of needs:
- an integrated offer for monitoring deep reservoirs and aquifers,
- on-site environmental monitoring thanks to the development of a fixed station,
- an innovative approach via the development of a mobile monitoring station.»
Guillaume Berthe, Monitoring project manager, IFPEN
«The integrated offer that we have developed with the SME SEMM Logging makes it possible to calculate the geochemical composition of a fluid at different locations in aquifers or reservoirs, without needing to take a large number of samples.
We propose a three-step process:
- a depth sampler, operating at depths ranging from 200 meters to up to 3,500 meters,
- a fluid transfer cell, which we have developed to preserve the fluid in reservoir conditions and analyze it directly on-site:
- saturation pressure,
- GWR (Gas Water Ratio): This is the ratio between the amount of gas present in a fluid and the amount of liquid fluid,
- geochemical dissolved gas composition,
- data analysis and interpretation:
- composed of a thermodynamic model developed from our own thermodynamic database; which enables us to anticipate the evolution of the composition analyzed,
- readily accessible on a Labview ergonomic interface.
Pascal Ricroch, CO2 monitoring study manager, IFPEN
«To address the specific challenges of shallow aquifers, potable and potentially potable groundwater and the soil (UZ or Unsaturated Zone), we have enhanced the functionalities of our fixed station, developed to monitor CO2 emissions in the ground. The tool initially had a dual function:
- to measure the baseline of a site before the start of any industrial or agricultural activities,
- and to monitor the evolution of CO2 emissions.
The improved version of this continuous monitoring equipment offers a multi-parameter, multi-tracer approach: it was tested and validated in one of the gallery cavities of the Saint-Émilion natural site as part of the ADEME Demo-CO2 project, in partnership with Bordeaux INP. Our equipment will also be used to monitor an unclassified aquifer in the context of the Aquifer-CO2Leak project.»
Sonia Noirez, CO2 monitoring study manager, IFPEN
Surface and atmosphere monitoring
Monitoring of methane emissions in the air and on the soil surface is an issue that has been taken into account since 2015. It is essential to several activities, in order to guarantee their integrity:
- natural gas storage,
- natural gas transport and the associated distribution networks,
- monitoring of gas seeps around industrial waste sites, particularly in peri-urban zones.
«We have developed an integrated offer, Gasmap, with:
- a mobile station: this is an electric vehicle equipped with multi-parameter, multi-tracer sensors,
- visualization and data processing software.
Real-time aspiration and data analysis make it possible to generate a dynamic map. We plan to pair our GasMap system with the sensor we developed for after-treatment applications, in order to propose an innovative air quality monitoring offer.»
Guillaume Berthe, Monitoring project manager, IFPEN