STAVANGER, Norway --Carbon dioxide pumped into the Utsira formation in the Norwegian North Sea is spreading through the structure as expected.
StatoilHydro has been storing CO2 produced from the Sleipner gas field in the sandstone formation since fall 1996. So far more than 10 million metric tons (11.023 million tons) have been injected. The company and its partners ExxonMobil and Total opted to capture and store the CO2 rather than pay an emission fee introduced by the Norwegian government in the 1990s.
Extensive monitoring has been performed and 4D seismic data acquired to study the behavior of the C02 within the formation. Seven geophysical measurements to date reveal a stable trend, with the carbon dioxide spreading upwards from the injection site and slowly through the rock.
Dispersion speed is the same as in 2006, StatoilHydro adds, and the gas has remained in the formation with no leakage to the surface. Currently the injected C02 covers around 3 sq km (1.1 sq mi) of the 26,000 sq km (10,039 sq mi) available in the formation.