CO2 Large-scale EGR in the Altmark natural gas field

CLEAN / Public Acceptance

The goals of the collaborative research and development project CLEAN (CO2 Large-Scale Enhanced Gas Recovery in the Altmark Natural Gas Field) are to research opportunities for the mobilization of natural gas volumes that are not conventionally extractable and to increase knowledge about the geological storage of CO2 in nearly exhausted natural gas fields.

CO2 accounts for the largest share of anthropogenic greenhouse gases emitted worldwide. This means that CLEAN is also making a significant contribution to the goal of reducing anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition, the increased yield of the environmentally friendly raw material natural gases from the Altmark gas fields also makes an important strategic contribution to supply security for the region. Within the course of this pilot project, nearly 100,000 tons of CO2 will be injected at a depth of more than 3,000 meters into the hydraulically and structurally isolated subfield Altensalzwedel. 

Location of the Altmark Gas Fields. The areas marked are gas fields (red), oil fields (green) and salt structures in the subsoil (light blue). Altmark is the second largest onshore natural gas field in Europe. Source: The State Authority for Mining, Energy and Geology of Lower Saxony


The CLEAN Project is being implemented by 16 scientific institutions and commercial enterprises of Germany and has been financed and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Programme since July 2008. Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ is the project manager and coordinator. The owner of the Altmark gas field, GDF SUEZ E&P Deutschland GmbH, provides the Altensalzwedel section. The project will run over a period of three years.

The Research Priorities of the Collaborative Project CLEAN

The research priorities of CLEAN rest in the examination, description and evaluation of all processes associated with the CO2 injection. Amongst others, the following scientific, economic and ecological questions should be answered:

  • What are the economic and technical chances for the success of an EGR measure in the Altmark gas field?
  • What technology can be used to inject CO2 into the subsoil inexpensively, effectively and safely for the long term?
  • How can the integrity of previous extraction boreholes be technically monitored and ensured during and after a CO2 injection?
  • What hydraulic, geomechanical and geochemical processes will be influenced by the injection of CO2 and how can these be determined, presented and predicted using models?
  • How will the injection and distribution of the CO2 be technically monitored?

Thematic networks

Five thematic networks form the frame for the collaborative project and will be represented by the respective theme spokesperson on the project steering committee.

The following thematic networks will be dealt with and/or researched:

  • Technical System for the Injection of CO2
  • Wellbore Integrity
  • Geoscientific Process Description
  • Environmental and Process Monitoring
  • Public Acceptance

The majority of thematic networks are subdivided into additional projects, each of which is overseen by a project manager. Up to five projects are combined into a single network. There is no additional subdivision within the thematic networks “Technical System” and “Public Acceptance”.

Public Acceptance

Public Relations within the CLEAN project will provide transparent and matter-of-fact information on the project background and state of research.

Tasks of the Thematic Network

  • Establishment and operation of an information centre in the city of Salzwedel
  • Information supply to press and media
  • Implementation of a project website
  • Organisation of public information events
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