A pilot CO2 storage site at Otway (Australia): extraction well and facilities for treatment and compression of the CO2 prior to injection (2009). © BRGM - Olivier Bouc

What does geological storage of CO2 mean?

Geological storage of CO2 is a technique designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the context of climate change.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) released by intensive use of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution is the main cause of climate warming.  Underground CO2 storage technology is developing rapidly as a way of reducing emissions into the atmosphere.

Industrial CO2 emissions are captured at source, then stored in deep geological layers that are sealed off from the atmosphere.

In this way, part of the carbon extracted as hydrocarbons or coal is returned to the subsoil.

3 types of geological storage

The BRGM’s work is essentially geared to 3 storage concepts:

  • in depleted hydrocarbon deposits,
  • in deep (saline) aquifers,
  • in deep, unused coal seams.

Stockage géologique

CO2 capture, transport and geological storage. The CO2 released by industrial plants is captured by separating it from other gases, then compressed and transported by pipeline or by ship to the geological storage site. This may be a deep aquifer, a depleted petroleum or gas deposit or an unexploited coal seam. © BRGM - BLCom

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