Application of noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for offshore CO2 storage – ICO2P

The ICO2P-project is a study appointed by CLIMIT and researches whether noble gases are suitable monitoring tracers for long-term, safe storage of CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf. It is a continuation of a feasibility study and runs for 3.5 years (2018-2021).

The logo for ICO2P.


ICO2P will contribute to the development of climate change mitigation by Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in Norway. Reliable monitoring fundamentally increases confidence in CCS and could lead to the needed upscaling of CCS, which may be crucial in reaching the goal of 40% national emission cuts within 2030.

In the ICO2P we aims to design source-specific leakage detection and monitoring schemes for Norwegian CO2 storage sites and provide a background data set of natural occurrences of noble gases in the environment.


The research objective is tackled by sampling CO2 rich gases, mainly in Norway and analyze them on noble gas content. Sampling campaigns are e.g. conducted at the capture research institution Technology Center Mongstad (TCM) and Equinor’s CCS plant at Melkøya, where CO2 is already successfully captured and stored in significant amounts.

Facts Noble Gases

Group 18 in the periodic table: He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe ...

Common features:

 – Highly chemically unreactive.
 – Inherent in oil and gas.
 – No environmental hazard.
 – Their specific signature allows fluid identification.

Experiments are tailored to the application of the miniRUEDI-instrument, a portable mass spectrometer developed by our project partners at ETH/Eawag [1]. It is unique in its ability to measure low concentrations of noble gases (He, Ne, Kr, Xe, Ar), as well as CH4, CO2 and N2 on-site and semi-continuously. With the sampling campaigns, we cover temporal variation in the noble gas concentrations, potentially being a significant step forward compared to analysing noble gas isotopes in single samples [2].

Even though, successfully used for leakage detection at small-scale CO2 storage facilities, at field analogues and in connection with Enhanced Oil Recovery-projects [3], single samples are costly and time-consuming to analyse. Nevertheless, due to their accuracy and precision, single samples play a significant role in our research.

Further, we take part in injection experiments at field laboratories such as the Svelvik CO2 field lab. Here, we apply monitoring tools and investigate the behaviour of CO2 and noble gases in the underground.


The full name of the project is 'Application of noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for offshore CO2 storage', in short ICO2P.

The ICO2P-project is building on experiences achieved in a feasibility study (funded under CLIMIT grant number 616220) and receives funding from CLIMIT, the national Norwegian research programme on CO2 handling, with NFR-project number: 280551.

The project started in June 2018 and proceeds for three years with an PhD, and with an final end in 2022.


We closely cooperate with researchers at ETH/Eawag, the main Swiss aquatic research institute (Rolf Kipfer, Matthias Brennwald). Industry partners, Equinor and Shell, contribute significantly with their scientific knowledge (Philip Ringrose, Niko Kampman), financially and facilitate access to operating plants and samples.

ICO2P is a part of the CO2 Storage research group at Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo (UiO).

See the YouTube film below from a seminar at The Science Library, UiO in March 2019, about the research in CO2 storage we do here at UiO (only in Norwegian).


[1] Brennwald et al. (2016), Environ. Sci. Technol. 50, 13455-13463

[2] Sundal et al. [2019], GHGT-14

[3] Gilfillan et al. [2017] Int. Jour. of Greenhouse Gas Control, 63, 215-225.


View all works in Cristin

  • Sundal, Anja; Meneguolo, Renata & Hellevang, Helge (2021). CO2 storage – dynamic trapping mechanisms due to mineralization. .
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang (2021). Noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for offshore CO2 storage.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang (2021). Noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for offshore CO2 storage.
  • Sundal, Anja & Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang (2021). Applicability of noble gas tracers in Norwegian CO2 capture and storage schemes.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang (2021). CCS (law) in Germany.
  • Sundal, Anja; Meneguolo, Renata; Kruber, Claudia; Olsen, Elin & Hellevang, Helge (2021). Geological site assessment: geochemical review of the Aurora Storage Complex, Northern Lights project, North Sea.
  • Sundal, Anja (2021). Design of a mobile, cost-effective monitoring tool for CO2 storage sites on the Norwegian shelf.
  • Sundal, Anja & Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang (2021). Applicability of noble gas tracers in Norwegian CO2 capture and storage schemes. The ICO2P project. .
  • Sundal, Anja; Aage, Stangeland & Bru, Tina (2021). Fra lab til langskip. [Internet].
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Rinaldi, Antonio Pio; Roques, Clement; Zappone, Alba Simona; Bernasconi, Stefano & Jaggi, Madalina [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2021). Geochemical monitoring of a CO2 injection into a caprock analogue.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Kampman, Niko; Mikoviny, Tomas; Thomassen, Jorgen & Sundal, Anja (2021). Noble Gases as Monitoring Tracers in CCS: A Case study with CO2 from the Waste-To-Energy Plant Klemetsrud, Norway.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Raphaug, Martin Hagen; Revheim, Maiken & Sundal, Anja (2020). Gas Composition of the Svelvik Ridge Aquifers Used to Design Noble Gas Tracers for a CO2 Injection Experiment.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Sundal, Anja; Hellevang, Helge & Kipfer, Rolf (2020). Experiences from the ICO2P Project applied to Migration Monitoring of Injected CO2.
  • Sundal, Anja (2020). Prospectivity of noble gas tracers in CCS monitoring schemes.
  • Sundal, Anja; Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Kürschner, Wolfgang; Grimstad, Alv Arne; Ruden, Fridtjof & Aagaard, Per [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2020). Hydrogeological characterization of Holocene deposits in the Svelvik aquifer – implications for reservoir properties.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Heeschen, Katja; Zimmer, Martin; Raphaug, Martin Hagen; Hagby, Klaus Falk & Ringstad, Cathrine [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2020). Tracer Design and Gas Monitoring of a CO2 Injection Experiment at the ECCSEL CO2 Field Lab, Svelvik, Norway.
  • Sundal, Anja (2020). Geologisk CO2-lagring – trygg og effektiv utslippsreduksjon.
  • Sundal, Anja (2020). Hvordan karbon kan lagres trygt i stein.
  • Revheim, Maiken Kristiansen; Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Hagby, Klaus Falk; Ringstad, Cathrine & Sundal, Anja (2020). Tidal effect on pressure in upper and lower aquifer of the Svelvik Ridge.
  • Sundal, Anja (2020). Geologisk lagring av CO2 .
  • Sundal, Anja (2019). Application of noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for CO2 storage offshore Norway.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Sundal, Anja; Brennwald, M.S. & Kipfer, Rolf (2019). Temporal Variation in Noble Gas Signatures of Captured CO2.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang & Sundal, Anja (2019). Application of noble gas signatures in monitoring schemes for offshore CO2 storage (ICO2P).
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Brennwald, M.S. & Kipfer, Rolf (2019). Quantification of Air-Water Gas Exchange with the miniRUEDI.
  • Sundal, Anja (2019). Safe storage of CO2.
  • Sundal, Anja & Ruden, Fridtjof (2019). CO2-lagring i grunnen – hydrogeologisk feltlaboratorium på Svelvik.
  • Sundal, Anja (2019). Geologisk CO2-lagring – trygt og godt for alltid?
  • Sundal, Anja (2019). Geologisk lagring av CO2 på norsk sokkel.
  • Anell, Ingrid Margareta; Backer, Dag; Sundal, Anja; Torvanger, Asbjørn; Meisingset, Egil & Rørvik, Kari-Lise [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2019). Feasibility of CO2 storage as a climate mitigation measure in Norway.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Roques, Clement; Kipfer, Rolf; Dutler, Nathan; Krietsch, Hannes & Jalali, Reza [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2019). Noble Gas Release during Reservoir Stimulation.
  • Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Sundal, Anja; Brennwald, M.S.; Ringrose, Philip; Aagaard, P. & Kipfer, Rolf (2018). CO2 Capture Processes Monitored with Noble Gas Measurements.
  • Sundal, Anja; Weber, Ulrich Wolfgang; Brennwald, Matthias S.; Ringrose, Philip; enaasen flø, nina & Johnsen, Kim [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2018). Monitoring real time, in-line variations of noble gas concentrations during CO2 capture operations by means of a portable mass spectrometer .

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Published Feb. 24, 2017 11:13 AM - Last modified May 2, 2022 10:24 PM


Anja Sundal, Researcher and Project leader