CCS and Tertiary Recovery

Instructor(s): Don Lawton
Date: Nov. Oct. 28 - 29, 2021
Duration: 2 half days
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm each day

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Course Description

Climate change is now recognized as a global threat and rising global temperatures are attributed by climate scientists to increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.  In particular, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion of fossil fuels as well from other industrial sources are considered to be major contributor to climate change.  Canada, along with many countries, has established emissions reductions targets of 40 to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and ultimately towards a ‘Net Zero Carbon’ goal by 2050.  Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) includes a range of technologies that can significantly reduce emissions of CO2 during the energy transition to low or zero-emitting energy sources. Carbon capture consists of the separation of CO2 from flue gases at large stationary emitters such as power stations, petroleum upgraders, steel and fertilizer plants, or even captured directly from the air.  The captured CO2 can be converted to useful products, such as fuels and carbon fibre, as additives to other products such as cement, or utilized for enhanced oil recovery with reduced carbon intensity of the produced oil.  However, the greatest reduction in emissions that can be achieved in the short to intermediate timeframe is geological storage of CO2.  In this process, CO2  is injected into deep saline formations, depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and even mine tailings that can securely store the CO2 permanently. Canada is very well positioned for CO2 storage at a large scale due to its geology and technical expertise.   Key technical requirements for CO2 storage projects are injectivity, secure containment and conformance of the CO2, and the storage capacity of the injection reservoir, all of which include geophysical surveys for either baseline or time-lapse monitoring.  This course will include an overview of CCUS projects already operating in Canada, and then focus on the opportunities, potential barriers, and the important role that geophysics has during scaling up CCUS in Canada.

Target Audience

This course will be appropriate for Geoscientists and Engineers who would like to learn the fundamentals of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) and the role that geophysics has for the verification of secure, long-term storage of CO2 in the subsurface.

Special Information

Calculator and some additional note paper would be useful


Dr. Don Lawton is the Director of the Containment and Monitoring Institute (CaMI) at Carbon Management Canada and is Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Calgary.  His research activities include acquisition, processing and interpretation of seismic data, advancing monitoring methods for geological storage of CO2 and integrated geophysical and geological studies in complex geological settings.  He currently leads a research and commercialization program related to verifying the secure storage of CO2 in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.  He was a co-recipient of an NSERC and the Conference Board of Canada University/Industry Synergy Award in 2000, was awarded the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) Medal in 2000 and received Honorary Membership in the Society in 2014.