CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Storage - Geologic Storage Technologies and Simulation and Risk Assessment

Developing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment Framework for Geological Storage of CO2

Performer: University of Texas at Austin

Project No: FE0001563


  • The research team reviewed existing conceptual approaches to risk modeling for geologic CO2 storage and previous risk assessments of geologic storage in saline-bearing formations. The Finite Element Model (FEM) ABAQAS was used to start development of models for modeling the risk of increased reservoir pressures from CO2 injection resulting in leakage through seals. The team also began to develop methodologies to evaluate the costs of possible water contamination caused by CO2 leakage. A model will be developed to place a value on various types of groundwater contamination based on understanding treatment costs.

  • The research team has continued to analyze several programmatic risks involving CCUS operations, including:

    • The risks for existing utilities and independent power producers of a new business model based on unfamiliar technology.

    • Uncertainty as to which of several technologies to adopt, with the risk that choosing the wrong one could leave a firm locked into a large unprofitable investment.

    • Uncertainty over the capital and operating costs of new technologies.

    • Operating and legal risks arising from either acute or chronic escape of CO2 such as fatalities or injuries and the attendant legal liability and/or legal liability for damage to freshwater aquifers by the CO2 plume or displaced brine.

    • Regulatory action potentially leading to closure of activities.

    • Geological problems such as deterioration of injectivity over time.

  • Researched the impact of CO2 leakage as related to human health in order to better assess the possible consequences of a pipeline rupture or other major CO2 leak.

Project Details