CO2 injection at the Ketzin pilot site successfully finalized after five years

Schema des GFZ-Forschungsstandorts Ketzin (Foto: GFZ)

New project phase in the context of the geological CO2 storage starts

Potsdam/Ketzin 29.08.2013| As from today, August 29, 2013, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences terminates the injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) near the town Ketzin/Havel in the State of Brandenburg after about five years of operation. At this pilot site for the scientific investigation of the geological storage of the greenhouse gas CO2, in total 67,271 tons were injected into a salt-water bearing sandstone in a depth of 630 to 650 meters since June 2008. Mainly high-purity CO2 was stored, which is normally used in food industry. Additionally, 1,515 tons of CO2 from the Schwarze Pumpe pilot plant were injected during a six-week experiment in 2011.

On the authority of the State office for Mining, Geology and Resources of Brandenburg (LBGR) and under the leadership of the GFZ the research and development programs as well as the monitoring methods of the Ketzin pilot project are among the most comprehensive ones worldwide.
The investigations carried out so far were successful and provided fundamental knowledge for the pilot site, but also for the geological CO2 storage in deep, saline aquifers in general. The Ketzin pilot site is recognized as a reference project for the investigation and realization of the geological CO2 storage, nationally and internationally.

The head of the Centre for Geological Storage at GFZ, Axel Liebscher, concludes the following main results: “We demonstrated that at the Ketzin pilot site the geological CO2 storage is safe and reliable, without any risk to people and environment. A combination of geochemical and geophysical monitoring methods, when reasonably applied, is capable of detecting very small quantities of CO2 and can be used to produce an image of the spatial distribution of CO2 in the underground.” The interactions between fluid and rocks, induced by the injected CO2, have no essential consequences at the Ketzin pilot site and have no impact on the integrity of the storage reservoir and cap rocks. Moreover, computational simulations can describe the temporal and spatial behavior of the stored CO2.

However, the overall research program is not finished yet. “With the stop of injection a new project phase will start at the Ketzin pilot site”, Axel Liebscher said. “Target of the next period is to complete the entire life cycle of this storage site with the abandonment phase.” Therefore, a continued monitoring of the pilot site and the CO2 distribution is planned for the next five years. Furthermore, the deconstruction of the injection facility and the step wise closure of the wells will start in autumn 2013.

Liebscher, A., Martens, S., Möller, F., Lüth, S., Schmidt-Hattenberger, C., Kempka, T., Szizybalski, A., Kühn, M. (2012): „Überwachung und Modellierung der geologischen CO2-Speicherung - Erfahrungen vom Pilotstandort Ketzin, Brandenburg (Deutschland)“, Geotechnik, 35, 3, 177 - 186, doi: 10.1002/gete.201200005.

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