From 1964 to 2000, a natural gas processing plant  was located at the Ketzin site. Imported natural gas was stored temporarily at 280 m depth, for energy consumption purposes. Therefore, the site is well studied: numerous seismic profiles and boreholes from previous investigations provide information about the geological situation and the physical properties of the geological formations.

From April 2004 to December 2017, research on secure CO2 storage has been carried out at the Ketzin pilot site west of Berlin. All aspects of geological storage were covered here:
Exploration - Installation - Operation - Abandonment.

A main focus at the Ketzin pilot site was  reservoir monitoring.
An overview about all Ketzin related research projects can be found here.

Research project - CO2SINK (04.2004 till 03.2010)

Funding: 6th European Research Framework Programme

With the EU project CO2SINK as a nucleus, the field lab at Ketzin has developed into the first geological CO2 storage project on the European continent. CO2SINK stands for CO2 Storage by Injection into a Natural Saline Aquifer at Ketzin. In total 18 national and international project partners (universities, research institutes and industry representatives) from nine European countries took part in the research.

Objectives of CO2SINK:

  • to be the first European onshore CO2 storage project investigating the ongoing processes during underground CO2 storage;
  • thorough observation of the injected CO2, using geophysical and geochemical techniques;
  • developing and applying numerical models and simulations for CO2 migration;
  • expanding the geological model for the research site.

Since 2005, CO2 surface-flow measurements have been carried out at twenty measurement points within a 3 km x 3 km radius of the wells (see also figure below).
Because of previous knowledge and later exploratory investigations, three new wells were drilled in 2007 and new infrastructure was built for the CO2 storage. Subsequently, geophyiscal reference measurements, similar to those in 2005, took place in order to characterise the storage reservoir prior to CO2 injection.

CO2 injection started on June 30, 2008. More than 32,000 tons of CO2 were already safely injected by the end of the CO2SINK project. During this time numerous geophysical repeat measurements and geochemical tests were carried out, and the status of the boreholes was checked. 

Research project - CO2MAN (09.2010 till 12.2013)

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF

CO2MAN stands for CO2-Reservoirmanagement and this project continues the research at the Ketzin pilot site since September 2010.

Objectives for the CO2MAN research project:

  • Monitoring the migration behavior of the injected CO2,
    • Determining the sensitivity of individual monitoring methods and
    • Developing geophysical monitoring concepts for CO2 storage
  • Characterizing and quantifying the CO2-induced interactions between fluids, rock and the microbial community in the storage system

  • Validating the tools for statistic modeling and dynamic simulation at the real-life storage site in Ketzin

  • Transferring knowledge to the public and to interest groups, policy-makers and approval agencies

In August 2011 the 446 meters deep well P300 was drilled, that ends above the cap rock and is primarily used for the monitoring of the integrity of this formation. As a further deep observation well the Ktzi 203 was drilled in 2012. These drilling activities aimed at cores, which have been in contact with the injected CO2 for four years. About 90 m rock cores were gained in good quality for furhter investigations.

Within the CO2MAN project a yearly Open House Day was established, too. This event is warmly received by local residents and used to get an idea of the ongoing research on CO2 storage.

Until the end of injection on August 29, 2013 after more than five years of operation in total approx. 67,000 tons were injected into the reservoir (more).

The abandonment of one observation well (Ktzi 202) started at the Ketzin pilot site in September, 2013 by the order of GFZ and will be complemented by well logging (more).

In December 2013 the two tanks, in which the delivered CO2 was temporarily stored, as well as the above-ground facility with ambient air heaters and pumps were dismantled (more).