Strategy for ranking potential CO2 storage reservoirs: A case study for Belgium

Kris Welkenhuysen*, Andrea Ramírez, Rudy Swennen, Kris Piessens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is likely to become a necessary option in mitigating global climate change. However, lack of detailed knowledge on potential deep geological reservoirs can hamper the development of CCS. In this paper a new methodology is presented to assess and create exploration priority lists for poorly known reservoirs. Geological expert judgements are used as a basis in a two-stage geo-techno-economic approach, where first an estimate of the practical reservoir capacity is calculated, and secondly source-sink matching is used for calculating an estimate of the matched capacity and the reservoir development probability. This approach is applied to Belgium, demonstrating how a priority ranking for reservoirs can be obtained based on limited available data and large uncertainties. The results show the Neeroeteren Formation as the most prospective reservoir, followed by the Buntsandstein Formation and the Dinantian reservoirs. The findings indicate that CO2 export to reservoirs in neighbouring countries seems inevitable; still, there is a 70% chance storage will happen in Belgian reservoirs, with an average matched capacity estimate of 110Mt CO2. These quantitative results confirm the qualitative resource pyramid classification of potential reservoirs. For Belgium, a high economic risk is attached to reservoir exploration and development. Exploration remains however a necessity if CCS is to be deployed. Furthermore, it is shown that the presented methodology is indeed capable of producing realistic results, and that using expert judgements for reservoir assessments is valid and beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-449
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • CO capture and storage
  • Geological uncertainty
  • Reservoir capacity assessment
  • Techno-economic simulation


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