Long-term performance of a mudrock seal in natural CO2 storage

Jiemin Lu, Mark Wilkinson, Stuart Haszeldine, Anthony E. Fallick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of mudrock seals to prevent CO2 leakage is a major concern for geological storage of anthropogenic CO2. The long-term performance of a mudrock seal, which provides a natural analogue, in the North Sea Miller oil field has been evaluated. This mudrock seal is immediately above a natural CO2-rich reservoir. The paper reports the stable isotopes of carbon from carbonate minerals in the mudrock that have precipitated in contact with CO2 during 4 km of burial. A well-defined linear trend of upward-decreasing δ13C traces the progressive penetration of free-phase CO2 causing dissolution and reprecipitation of carbonate minerals. The CO2 was emplaced ca. 70–80 Ma, and has only penetrated 12 m vertically in this case. The infiltration rate is estimated as ~9.8 × 10−7g cm−2 yr−1. Engineered CO2 storage under this type of mudrock seal will have a considerable safety margin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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