PERBAS - Permanent sequestration of gigatons of CO2 in continental margin basalt deposits

The EU Climate Action aims at Europe’s economy becoming climate neutral by 2050. Even the most ambitious transformation scenarios lead to a situation in which some CO2 has to be captured and stored in the subsurface (CCS) as some branches of the economy will continue to produce some CO2. Current storage capacities of 40 Mt/year likely need to be upscaled to 20 Gt/year.  CO2 injected into the subsurface must be stored without potential leakage for several thousand years to make economic and climatologic sense and to comply with regulations. In conventional CCS (producing or relinquished gas and oil fields or saline aquifers) the injected CO2 remains mobile for decades and is therefore susceptible to tectonic or manmade violation of the retaining geological formation potentially leading to leakage. CO2 storage in basalt complexes offers an alternative solution. Test sites like Carbfix (Iceland) and Wallula (USA) have confirmed that the injected CO2 will react with water and the volcanic host rock almost immediately. This mineralization results in permanent storage of CO2 within the reservoir rock’s pore space. Carbfix tests have shown that more than 90% of injected CO2 was converted to minerals within two years. Conventional CCS, especially next to settlements and freshwater reservoirs face public acceptance issues and usage conflicts and there are no large onshore basalt provinces close to the main CO2 sources. Offshore basalt complexes on the other hand are estimated to provide 40 Tt of volume for carbon storage worldwide. Offshore CCS in basalt complexes provide a compelling alternative for permanent CO2 storage.


The technology readiness level (TRL) for some of the technologies necessary for offshore basalt storage is presently too low to enable industrial scale development. PERBAS aims at providing detailed solutions for reservoir selection, CO2 transport, injection and monitoring in order to pave the way towards commercialization of CO2 storage in offshore basalt complexes. PERBAS will investigate the feasibility of supercritical CO2 injection, using water in the pore space, in order to avoid the requirement to inject 20 t of water for 1 t of CO2. This would have the additional advantage that supercritical CO2 would be associated with a free gas which allows the application of geophysical remote sensing for monitoring thereby reducing the number of monitoring wells required. Selection, description and operation of basalt reservoirs capable of storing large amounts of CO2 requires the adaptation of modelling and processing software to handle corresponding data sets economically. PERBAS will develop new 3D modelling approaches to describe volcanic facies with all (physical, chemical, structural) parameters. Rock physics models will be used to perform experiments to investigate mineral dissolution, precipitation and flow rates to deduce digital formulation for property dependencies. This will inform model building and inversion codes on the characteristics of potential volcanic facies. Synthetic data computation will be based on these relations and direct the interpretation and automated identification of potential volcanic facies in exemplary data bases from the NW European and Indian margin. Geophysical remote sensing will reduce the number of monitoring wells and bring down costs for CO2 storage in basalts. Joined seismic and electromagnetic surveys provide independent physical parameters, which will be jointly inverted (JI) to resolve the internal structure of the basalt reservoirs. Synthetic data from the improved volcanic earth model and parameter relationship from rock physics will be evaluated in target oriented FWI and JI. Reconstruction of synthetic models and analyses of dedicated HR field data from mid-Norway and India will inform on resolution limits of geophysical remote sensing during operation of a supercritical CO2 storage site.

Examples for the classification of volcanic facies will provide guidance for selecting the best offshore CO2 storage sites in basalt provinces. Recommendations based on a summary of the investigations will result in a best practice guide for site appraisal through to injection and monitoring strategies. PERBAS will raise the TRL for the crucial technological gaps that presently prevent the adaptation of CCS in basalt formations.

Project Partners

- Volcanic Basin Energy Research AS, NO -

- TEEC GmbH, DE -

- Institute for Energy Technology, NO -

- UiT The Arctic University of Norway -

- Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory, US -

- Colorado School of Mines, US -

- National Geophysical Research Institute, IN -

- Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, IN -

- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, IN -


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