Introduction

The IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme Weyburn-Midale Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitoring and Storage Project was a world-leading research program designed to examine the effects of injecting and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) into oil reservoirs in southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada.

The project was completed in two stages between 2000 and 2012, and studied the large-scale injection, monitoring and modeling of CO2 stored in deep geological formations. The results from the first phase of this research project were published in 20051 and second phase results were included in a 2012 book called Best Practices for Validating CO2 Geological Storage: Observations and Guidance from the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project.2 This latter publication marked the completion of the investgation into storage of CO2 at the oilfields.

The much smaller booklet you are now reading presents common questions often raised by the general public about carbon capture and storage (CCS) and gives answers based on the extensive data and results from the 12 years of research at the oilfields. The intent of this booklet is to offer fact-based answers to some common questions about CO2 storage.

The first question, "What is the Weyburn-Midale Project?" provides context around the scope of the Weyburn-Midale study. The remaining questions move from general ("What is carbon dioxide (CO2)?") to more detailed ("If I own the mineral rights beneath my land, will I be paid for CO2 storage?"). The questions have been split into three categories:

  1. The Basics
  2. a. Carbon dioxide (CO2)

    b. Carbon capture and storage (CCS)

  3. What happens to CO2 underground?
  4. What ifs? The most common questions about CCS

More extensive technical details are presented in the Best Practices book noted above. Information about the availability of this larger book is provided at the end of this booklet.

For the sake of brevity, reference to the IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme Weyburn-Midale Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitoring and Storage Project throughout this document will be condensed to the term "WMP."

1 Wilson, M. and M. Monea. Eds. IEAGHG Weyburn CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project Summary Report, 2000-2004. From the Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, September 5-9. 2004. Volume III. Vancouver, Canada.

2 Hitchon, B. Ed. Best Practices for Validating CO2 Geological Storage: Observations and Guidance from the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project. Geoscience Publishing. Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.