Development and Test of a 1,000 Level 3C Fiber Optic Borehole Seismic Receiver Array Applied to Carbon Sequestration Email Page
Print This Page
Performer: Paulsson Inc.
Award Number: FE0004522
Project Duration: 10/01/2010 – 02/28/2015
Total Award Value: $4,485,198.00
DOE Share: $2,300,270.00
Performer Share: $2,184,928.00
Technology Area: Geologic Storage
Key Technology: Geochemical Impacts

Project Description

Paulsson investigators are building and testing a prototype downhole seismic system capable of deploying one thousand 3C (3 component) downhole receivers using Fiber Optic Seismic Sensor (FOSS)™ technology deployed on drill pipe. The drill pipe provides structural strength and can act as the conduit for the hydraulics that will provide the power needed to clamp the sensors to the borehole wall. The all-metal clamping system using drill pipe hydraulics, and fiber optic receivers made with high temperature fibers, permit the design and manufacturing of receiver arrays that are capable of operating at temperatures and pressures of up to 300ºC (572ºF) and 30,000 psi in corrosive CO2 environments. These receiver arrays will have the capability to be viable and operational for long periods given that no electronics or electric power will be used in either the hydraulic clamping system or in the FOSS™. Positive attributes of the FOSS™ technology include low noise, high sensitivity, and extreme robustness and reliability. Active and passive source P and S wave data will be recorded using an ultra-long borehole seismic system equipped with sensitive seismic sensors to provide the data necessary to generate quantitative, three dimensional (3-D) maps of the architecture and properties of reservoir and confining zone formations. This technology will also assist in tracking fluid flow in the rock formation by using active or passive sources. The system will be tested and evaluated at a CO2 storage site once the prototype has been completed.

Project Benefits

The overall goal of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Program is to develop and advance technologies that will significantly improve the effectiveness of geologic carbon storage, reduce the cost of implementation, and prepare for widespread commercial deployment between 2020 and 2030. Research conducted to develop these technologies will ensure safe and permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth.

Geologic carbon storage involves the injection of CO2 into underground formations that have the ability to securely contain the CO2 permanently. Technologies being developed for geologic carbon storage are focused on five storage types: oil and gas reservoirs, saline formations, unmineable coal seams, basalts, and organic-rich shales. Technologies being developed will work towards meeting carbon storage programmatic goals of (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity +/- 30 percent in geologic formations; (2) ensuring 99 percent storage permanence; (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals. These technologies will lead to future CO2 management for coal-based electric power generating facilities and other industrial CO2 emitters by enabling the storage and utilization of CO2 in all storage types.

The DOE Carbon Storage Program encompasses five Technology Areas: (1) Geologic Storage and Simulation and Risk Assessment (GSRA), (2) Monitoring, Verification, Accounting (MVA) and Assessment, (3) CO2 Use and Re-Use, (4) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP), and (5) Focus Area for Sequestration Science. The first three Technology Areas comprise the Core Research and Development (R&D) that includes studies ranging from applied laboratory to pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for GHG mitigation through carbon storage. This project is part of the Core R&D GSRA Technology Area and works to develop technologies and simulation tools to ensure secure geologic storage of CO2. It is critical that these technologies are available to aid in characterizing geologic formations before CO2-injection takes place in order to predict the CO2 storage resource and develop CO2 injection techniques that achieve optimal use of the pore space in the reservoir and avoid fracturing the  confining zone (caprock). The program’s R&D strategy includes adapting and applying existing technologies that can be utilized in the next five years, while concurrently developing innovative and advanced technologies that will be deployed in the decade beyond. This research will develop a geologic reservoir assessment tool based on borehole seismic technology that can generate ultra high-resolution P (primary) and S (secondary) wave images for detailed characterization and precise monitoring of CO2 storage sites.

The successful storage of CO2 in geologic media is critically dependent on a precise understanding of the complexity of the geologic repositories and dynamics of the CO2 injection process. Carbon storage and monitoring will be better understood and managed with the high-resolution reservoir imaging technology developed under this project. This technology will benefit carbon storage in geologic reservoirs by developing an imaging tool that can acquire geologic data at the quality needed to create highly accurate 3-D maps of the architecture and physical properties of geologic reservoir and confining zones. The seismic array will also assist in tracking fluid flow (including CO2) within the rock formation to help assure the Carbon Storage Programmatic goal of 99 percent storage permanence. High-resolution seismic imaging and monitoring technology developed for the carbon capture and storage (CCS) process is also directly applicable to the development of economically feasible enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes for the oil and gas industry.


The scope of work is to design, build, and test the next generation downhole seismic system using the most advanced sensor and deployment technology available, and assess the applicability of the system to carbon geologic storage. The specific objectives are to:

  • Develop technology to allow deployment of a 1,000 level drill pipe deployed 3C FOSS™ receiver array for deep boreholes.

  • Design and fabricate a 5 level 3C prototype system, then conduct a field test in a borehole to determine functionality.

  • Build a 30 level 3C FOSS™ array system and perform bench scale functionality testing.

  • Conduct a borehole seismic survey at a CO2 storage site with the 30 level 3C FOSS™ prototype system to verify functionality and performance.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Karen Kluger:
Technology Manager Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator :


Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications