Microseismic User Group (MUG)

Quest CCS: Microseismic Observations after 2.5M Tonnes of CO2 Injected

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Simon O’Brien

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 – 12:00 PM MST
Nexen Plus 15 Conference Centre located in the Nexen Annex Building

Unless the capacity is exceeded, we will not respond to your email. Attendance is free, just bring along your lunch.

RSVP NOW for the next Microseismic User Group (MUG) event.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Paige Mamer, Paige.Mamer@tgs.com,
Johnny Wentzel, Johnny.Wentzel@esgsolutions.com


Shell Canada, in partnership with Canadian Natural Resources and Chevron Canada, is currently operating the Quest CCS site, which is a fully integrated facility that involves CO2 capture at the Scotford Upgrader, transportation along a 65 km pipeline, and CO2 storage in a deep saline aquifer (the Basal Cambrian Sands).  It is the world’s first large-scale commercial application of CCS at an oil sands operation and has a target of capturing and storing more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year, which represents about one third of the upgrader’s CO2 emissions.  Operationally, Quest has now been running smoothly for more than two and a half years, with more than 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 injected without any significant issues.

As part of Quest’s Measure, Monitor and Verify (MMV) Plan, a downhole microseismic monitoring array was installed at one of the Quest well sites prior to the start of injection in 2015 in order to address the possible containment risks related to cap rock integrity and re-activation of possible pre-existing faults within the Storage Complex.  However, the reservoir performance has been better than expected, and the injection operation has caused only very small pressure increases thus far.  As a result, the injection operation has not resulted in any detectable microseismic activity in the injection reservoir or the overlying seals.  However, there has been minor microseismic activity in the underlying granitic basement which provides insight into the current stress state of the basement and provides some assurance that microseismic activity should not pose a future risk to the project.


Simon O’Brien graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geophysics from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1987. He then attended the University of British Columbia, where he worked on refraction data from the Mackenzie Delta, completing an M.Sc. in 1990, and later returned to Memorial, developing a multiple attenuation approach for marine seismic processing, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1997.

Simon joined Shell Canada in 1997 and has worked in seismic processing, new technology development, depth imaging and quantitative interpretation for more than 18 years. His work has included a wide variety of projects; structural and stratigraphic, conventional and unconventional, onshore and offshore from across Canada and the United States. He is now in the role of Quest Storage Manager, overseeing the subsurface aspects of the Quest CCS project.