CCS and Power Systems
Carbon Storage - Monitoring, Verification, Accounting, and Assessment
Monitoring of Geological CO2 Sequestration Using Isotopes and PF Tracers
Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Project No: FWP-FEAA045
Program Background and Project Benefits
The purpose of this project is to develop monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) tools to ensure the safety and viability of long-term geologic storage of CO2. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will expand the lessons learned at the Frio Brine Pilot (as part of the GEO-SEQ project) to prepare a strategic plan for deployment of tracer and isotope MVA methods that will consider gas-brine-rock interactions associated with larger volume CO2 injection systems such as at Cranfield, MS.
GEO-SEQ is a public-private research and development partnership that delivers the technology and information needed to facilitate the application of safe and cost-effective methods for geologic sequestration of CO2 by 2015. The GEO-SEQ project utilizes scientific understanding and technology development from three ongoing, world-class, recognized, geologic CO2 storage projects through leadership and collaboration in the scientific and engineering objectives. The three projects are the Frio Brine Pilot (United States), Otway Basin Project (Australia), and the In Salah Industrial Scale CO2 Project (Algeria).
ORNL is focusing on developing and using geochemistry-based techniques in this study to monitor and assess CO2 injection operations. The resulting data can be used to calibrate and validate the predictive models used for (a) estimating CO2 residence time, reservoir storage capacity, and storage mechanisms, (b) testing injection scenarios for process optimization, and (c) assessing the potential leakage of CO2 from the reservoir. This effort will provide a means for calibrating the transport model and aid interpreting the time-series geophysical data.
This work benefits DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Program by directly addressing a key geologic sequestration objective to increase confidence in and the safety of geologic sequestration by identifying and demonstrating cost effective and innovative monitoring technologies to track migration of CO2 and its reaction products in geologic formations. This technology is relatively inexpensive compared to other monitoring methods. For these reasons, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also interested in supporting the use of this technology.
The goal of this study is to develop and field test geochemistry-based techniques to monitor and assess CO2 injection operations and provide methods to interrogate the subsurface that will allow direct improvement of CO2 sequestration during enhanced oil recovery (EOR), enhanced coalbed methane recovery (ECBM), enhanced gas recovery (EGR) operations, or use of saline formations. Natural (isotopic) and introduced tracers will be used to determine the fate and transport of CO2 injected into the subsurface as well as those of other relevant processes. These methods have the potential to provide near-real-time information on process optimization. Resulting data will be used also to calibrate and validate the predictive models used for (a) estimating CO2 residence time, reservoir storage capacity, and storage mechanisms, (b) testing injection scenarios for process optimization, and (c) investigating the potential leakage of CO2 from the reservoir. The core project objectives are to investigate innovative monitoring of CO2 underground and develop a comprehensive strategy for technology transfer and application to larger volume CO2 injections.