Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 507–517 | Cite as

Carbonate cements in Miller field of the UK North Sea: a natural analog for mineral trapping in CO2 geological storage

  • Jiemin Lu
  • Mark Wilkinson
  • R. Stuart Haszeldine
  • Adrian J. Boyce
Original Article


Miller field of the North Sea has had high concentrations of natural CO2 for ~70 Ma. It is an ideal analog for the long-term fate of CO2 during engineered storage, particularly for formation of carbonate minerals that permanently lock up CO2 in solid form. The Brae Formation reservoir sandstone contains an unusually high quantity of calcite concretions; however, C and O stable isotopic signatures suggest that these are not related to the present-day CO2 charge. Margins of the concretions are corroded, probably because of reduced pH due to CO2 influx. Dispersed calcite cements are also present, some of which postdate the CO2 charge and, therefore, are the products of mineral trapping. It is calculated that only a minority of the reservoired CO2 in Miller (6–24%) has been sequestrated in carbonates, even after 70 Ma of CO2 emplacement. Most of the CO2 accumulation is dissolved in pore fluids. Therefore, in a reservoir similar to the Brae Formation, engineered CO2 storage must rely on physical retention mechanisms because mineral trapping is both incomplete and slow.


Carbon dioxide capture and storage Mineral sequestration Carbonate cements Stable isotopes Mineral dissolution Miller field 



Rock samples were supplied by the British Geological Survey Core Store in Edinburgh. JL is funded by a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (NERC); MW is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre; RSH is funded by the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage; SUERC is funded by NERC and Scottish Universities Consortium. Publication authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiemin Lu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark Wilkinson
    • 1
  • R. Stuart Haszeldine
    • 1
  • Adrian J. Boyce
    • 2
  1. 1.School of GeoSciencesThe University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland, UK
  2. 2.Scottish Universities Environmental Research CentreEast KilbrideScotland, UK
  3. 3.Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of GeosciencesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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