WDA Consultants Inc. - Carbon Sequestration


... and how should one apply Hydrogeological Methods and Hubbert’s Force Potential to Carbon Storage?

To date, only the methods of reservoir engineering and geophysics have been applied to carbon storage. Reservoir engineering is based upon Continuum Mechanics and does therefore not take into account some of the basic physical principles, such as Hubbert's Force Potential. Hubbert's (1940) "rigorous treatise consolidated the scientific basis of groundwater hydrology within the general theory of hydrodynamics" (J.J. de Vries, 2007). Hubbert's Force Potential also applies to the migration of CO2 stored in the subsurface. Hence, the methods of advanced hydrogeology (role of fresh water force fields, deep-penetrating regional groundwater flow systems and monitoring) are essential in predicting the migration behaviour of sequestered CO2. In general, the methods of reservoir engineering, while successful economically in producing hydrocarbons, are confined to the immediate area of petroleum reservoirs, while hydrogeological methods deal with the fluid flow in all of the subsurface.

The primer "Applying Hydrogeological Methods and Hubbert’s Force Potential to Carbon Storage" works out the different approaches used by reservoir engineering on the one hand, and advanced hydrogeology (using Hubbert's Force Potential) on the other, and shows why and how these hydrogeological methods are essential in predicting the migration behaviour of CO2 in the subsurface. To avoid a lengthy download and to ease, for the undecided, the assessment of the significance of the primer for anybody interested in geologic storage of CO2, we provide the Introduction and Explanations portion of the primer as an independent download.

To emphasize the central role 'buoyancy' and so-called 'buoyancy forces' play in carbon sequestration, we have also provided a copy of a paper entitled "Physical Processes in Geological Carbon Storage". It presents physical causality to explain and apply buoyancy in subsurface flow and introduces potential applications within carbon sequestration, boundary conditions for long-range groundwater flow systems at the Weyburn, Zama, and Wadamun CO2 sequestrations sites, and establishes that the Sleipner site in the North Sea has hydrostatic conditions and cannot be taken as an example for CO2 migration at on-shore sites.

The December 21st, 2009 version of the aforementioned paper "Physical Processes in Geological Carbon Storage" was reviewed in an unsolicited fashion by E. O. Frind of the University of Waterloo and J. W. Molson of Laval University. The review also contained a series of mathematical flow models which confirmed the existence of Buoyancy Reversal, which had been previously derived theoretically by Weyer, 1978, and confirmed by field data referred to in the "Physical Processes in Geological Carbon Storage" paper.


  • Part 1: Introduction and Explanations
  • A 23-page PDF file containing introduction and explanations on the application including 12 Key Points (in colour) listing changes necessary to improve current methods of selecting sites for carbon storage and of monitoring. Part 1 also points to the relevant sections in the Slideshow (Part 2).

  • Complete Primer (Parts 1 + 2)
  • Combined file containing both the introduction and more comprehensive 135 slide presentation (2 slides per page, in colour) in PDF format.

  • Physical Processes in Geological Carbon Storage
  • An introduction to the application of Hubbert's Force Potential and Groundwater Flow Systems to the long-term migration of sequestered CO2.

  • Review of "Physical Processes in Geological Carbon Storage" by Udo Weyer
  • Jan. 11, 2010 review of the above paper (Dec. 21st, 2009 version) by E. O. Frind of the University of Waterloo and J. W. Molson of Laval University. Distributed with permission of the authors.

  • "Differing physical processes in off-shore and on-shore CO2 storage"
  • Text version of poster presented at the GHGT-10 conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2010. 8 pages.

  • "Buoyancy, Pressure Potential and Buoyancy Reversal"
  • Extended abstract for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) 2009 Summer Research Workshop, CO2 Sequestration Geophysics, 23-27 August 2009, Banff, AB.

  • "Applying Gravitational Forces to the Weyburn CO2 Sequestration: Expanding Hydraulic Research and Applications for the Benefit of Future Generations"
  • Expanded text version of poster presented at the IEA GHG Joint Network Meeting, Santa Fe, NM, June 19-21, 2012