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First steps in coupling continuous carbon isotopic measurements with already proven subsurface gas monitoring methods above underground carbon dioxide storage sites

Abstract : The main role of INERIS (French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks) is to assess and avert accidental and chronic risks to both people and the environment linked to industrial installations, chemical substances and underground operations. INERIS is thus involved in research consortiums for underground storages of wastes, hydrocarbons or carbon dioxide. Concerning carbon dioxide storage, INERIS works for many years on defining and testing monitoring methods. As a French expert, the institute also performs integrated risk assessment studies. This paper focuses on the last improvements concerning the monitoring methods developed or patented by INERIS. Because the institute was created from the research centre of the former French national coal mining company, it has a well-established know-how in monitoring gas atmospheres. Having developed monitoring methods for mining contexts, INERIS has tools to constrain gas migrations in subsurface: 1. to determine gas flux between soil and atmosphere with dynamic accumulation chambers; 2. to determine gas concentrations in unsaturated zones through integrated gas sensor systems linked to subsurface boreholes (from 0 to about 300 meters depth). Initially designed for mining context, these two methods have been tested and proven for the monitoring of CO2 geological storage contexts. For example between 2005 and 2007, INERIS was one of the five partners involved in the 'GeoCarbone MONITORING' research project. This project was funded by the French Research Agency and aims at defining methods to monitor CO2 storage sites. Today the institute is involved in other projects studying pilot sites. In this paper we present results collected in analog contexts to CO2 storage sites. We will discuss in which conditions the carbon isotopic signature can help to determine the possible origins of the gas analyzed in our devices and to better understand the physical and chemical processes which can have led to the studied gas compositions. We will also highlight the fact that in some cases, there is a real need of using isotopic tracing methods otherwise the identification of these different processes cannot be done easily.
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Stéphane Lafortune, Zbigniew Pokryszka, Gaëtan Bentivegna, Carine Chaduteau, Pierre Agrinier. First steps in coupling continuous carbon isotopic measurements with already proven subsurface gas monitoring methods above underground carbon dioxide storage sites. Energy Procedia, Elsevier, 2011, 4, pp.3526-3533. ⟨10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.280⟩. ⟨ineris-00961760⟩

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