CO2CRC Otway Project

Otway Project: Monitoring CO2

The CO2CRC has put in place a series of monitoring and verification (M&V) procedures for the Otway Project to:

  • confirm the effectiveness and safety of the site for CO2 storage (Assurance Monitoring)
  • understand the behaviour of the injected CO2 with the Waarre C depleted gas field (Integrity Monitoring)

The M&V procedures will:

  • develop existing and new M&V technologies that can be deployed for future CCS projects in Australia and worldwide;
  • help Australian regulators and government officials develop appropriate regulatory frameworks for CO2 storage; and
  • inform and re-assure the local community that CO2 storage is a safe technology to reduce CO2 emissions.

Geosequestration experts from the International Energy Agency's Greenhouse Gas Research and Development Programme reviewed the Otway monitoring program in November, 2006, and found it was one of the most comprehensive in the world.

Monitoring Domains

The monitoring procedures can be broken into three main categories:

The project utilises a large range of technologies in:

  • the subsurface domain - monitor and verify deep migration and behaviour of the stored CO2. Monitoring includes downhole geochemical and geophysical measurements at Naylor-1 observation well;
  • the near-surface and surface domains - ensure that there is no effect on groundwater, soils, plant and animal life. Methods used include hydrological monitoring of water levels, analysing groundwater chemistry from shallow aquifers and sampling soil gas; and
  • the atmospheric domain - detect unlikely leakages to the atmosphere.

Monitoring Domains

Monitoring-based regulation for CO2 injection & storage

The CO2 storage conditions were approved by the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) under a provision for Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D).

The monitoring and verification M&V plan also defines trigger points and contingency actions, should the storage site not function as anticipated.

The Otway Project has gained insights into the important specific approval and regulatory issues associated with CO2 storage.

Conditions of approval agreed with the EPA are underpinned by a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Five phases (pre-, during, post- injection, post-closure and long-term) were determined with each phase having a set of KPIs based on expected monitoring outcomes.

Detailed site characterisation was essential to establish a robust risk assessment and the M&V plan, both of which are being regularly updated and peer-reviewed throughout the project in the light of new data.

Early 2005 to injection*

KPI: Establish injection; migration models and uncertainties


Main M&V activities: All

(~March 2008 to ~June 2009)*
KPI: Assess environmental impacts; evaluate injection/migration & prediction
  Main M&V activities: All
(~June 2009 to ~June 2010)*
KPI: Verify stable plume within model prediction; decommission site
  Main M&V activities: All
  Responsibility: CO2CRC
(~June 2010 to June 2012)*
KPI: Demonstrate that there is no evidence of injected CO2 at the surface over 2 years
  Main M&V activities: air & soil sampling
(~June 2012 to June 2014)*
KPI: Demonstrate that there is no evidence of injected CO2 at the surface over 2 years

Time is indicative

Main M&V activities: air & soil sampling


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