Longyearbyen CO2 Lab - Project Development



In December 2006 the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) took the initiative to use the natural advantages of Svalbard with the ambition of turning Longyearbyen into a show case, demonstrating the full Carbon value chain; from the production to successful storage of CO2 emissions. In 2012 the UNIS CO2 lab was registered at Brønnøysundregisteret as an independent company under the wing of UNIS.

The aim of the company was to run externally financed research and development (R&D) projects, within the science of CO2 storage.

The Longyearbyen CO2 lab has drilled seven deep wells and one shallow well (61m) of which 6 wells are in the Adventdalen valley situated 5 km outside of Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The aim has been to evaluate the feasibility of safe carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in an Artic environment. A swallow well was drilled to understand the permafrost and its reaction/uses within the subject area.

During recent years the project has undertaken an extensive scientific research and operation program, collecting valuable data and insight and strengthened the understanding of Artic drilling technology. Early research involved; geological analysis of drill core, seismic data evaluation, and water injection and pressure testing of the reservoir. Subsequent work has target more conclusive knowledge; subsurface control on geological injectivity  parameters, micro-seismic and seismic imaging, reservoir and caprock mechanical strength, flow paths in unconventional reservoir, reservoir and flow model predictability, and leakage and permafrost.  

The collected data have provided the necessary information to perform reservoir simulations, by that contributing internationally to bridging a knowledge gap in tight reservoir performance.

In the later phase of the project, focus turned to national and international networking and integrating projects and project data. Throughout the project a comprehensive public outreach program was in operation both informing and educating.

In collaboration with SUCCESS UNIS CO2 Lab and the staff at UNIS contributes to high level Master/PhD-level courses along the CO2 value chain.

The CO2 well park in Svalbard has been singled out as a potential area for underground CO2 storage. The UNIS CO2 Lab project has contributed and continues to contribute to high level educational courses along the CO2 value chain. Through international conferences and journal publications the project group have shared their findings, by that contributing to global knowledge sharing in and around carbon storage.

In 2014-15 the project summarized its findings through a number of contributions in Norwegian Journal of Geology and other journals. These articles explore vital parts of the research results, thereby contributing to the total knowledge base. New knowledge is uncovered that will both further the scientific knowledge and enable CCS to become an effective tool in combatting global warming.

From the start of the CO2 project in 2006 the vision of a CO2 neutral society has inspired many visitors and scientists. They have come to hear about the reservoir that has been found, and that overlying cap rocks are sealing. On the political agenda, the vision has been closely linked to the future of the power station, awaiting renovation. With a decision to not modernise the power station, the vision for Longyearbyen and CCS moves farther away from its goal than it was some years ago. However, the scientific achievements will live on.
Partners in UNIS CO2 Lab are; ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Store Norske, Lundin Norway, Leonhard Nilsen, Statkraft, and Baker Hughes.
Research and operational partners are; Univ. of Gent, Univ. of Oslo, Univ. of Bergen, UNI Cipr, NTNU, SINTEF,NORSAR, IFE, NGI, and NGU
UNIS CO2 Lab is part of the SUCCESS Centre for environmental friendly technologies, co- funded by industry and the (Demo/CLIMIT SSF) -Norwegian Research Council. Other Sponsors: Svalbard Enviromental Fund.
©UNIS - post@unis.no
............ ....Tel: +47 79 02 33 00
Project manager:
Principal Investigator:

Kim Senger

HSE leader:

Fred Skancke Hansen