News Release

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Geologic Carbon Storage Risk Assessment Tools Recognized

Rendering of geologic carbon storage. Not to scale.

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), an international, ministerial-level organization focused on the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, has selected the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP), as a CSLF-recognized project. The CSLF chooses projects that contribute sufficiently to the advancement of CCS technology deployment. The organization has only recognized about 50 projects worldwide over the past decade.

NRAP, led by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is a multi-lab partnership developing a defensible, science-based methodology and platform for quantifying risk at carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites to guide decision-making and risk management. One of the drivers behind the nomination and selection of NRAP as a CSLF-recognized project is the internationally used NRAP toolset.

Released for download last fall, the NRAP toolset comprises simulation tools designed to help evaluate the performance of geologic carbon storage sites related to two major types of potential risks: CO2 or brine leakage and induced seismicity.

The flagship product of the toolset is the NRAP Integrated Assessment Model–Carbon Storage (NRAP-IAM-CS), which enables prediction of long-term risk-related behavior of a storage site from the reservoir to the atmosphere, assists in uncertainty quantification, and supports identification and ranking of factors that contribute to leakage risk. The NRAP research team also produced tools that enable stakeholders to rapidly explore the behavior of different system components, including reservoir performance, well and seal leakage, groundwater impacts, and induced seismicity behavior.

Prior to release of the NRAP toolset, beta testing was conducted by volunteers from industry, regulatory agencies, universities, and other domestic and international research organizations, including several affiliated with the NETL-managed Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships and the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Programme. The NRAP project team implemented improvements based on the beta-testers’ feedback before releasing the tools for download.

In addition to NRAP-IAM-CS, other tools in the toolset are these:

  • Reservoir Evaluation and Visualization (REV)—Generates CO2 plume size and pressure differential (an important indicator for potential unwanted fluid migration from the storage reservoir) over time and visualizes probable reservoir behavior.
  • Reservoir Reduced-Order Model Generator (RROM-GEN)—Converts reservoir simulation results into a reduced-order model that can be incorporated into the NRAP-IAM-CS.
  • Wellbore Leakage Analysis Tool (WLAT)—Evaluates existing wells for leakage potential and explores potential leakage response based on the characteristics of the well.
  • NRAP Seal Barrier Reduced-Order Model (NSealR)—Evaluates the impact of potential breaches in seals on migration of fluids (CO2 or brine) outside of the primary target zone.
  • Aquifer Impact Model (AIM)—Estimates volumes of an aquifer impacted if a CO2 or brine leak occurs. 
  • Designs for Risk Evaluation and Management (DREAM)—Evaluates and selects optimal monitoring designs for long-term CO2 storage.
  • Short Term Seismic Forecasting (STSF)—Forecasts the likelihood and frequency of near-term seismic events in response to active CO2 injection.
  • Ground Motion Prediction Applications to Potential Induced Seismicity (GMPIS)—Predicts ground motion response caused by a nearby earthquake.
  • Multiple Source Leakage Reduced-Order Model (MSLR)—Characterizes atmospheric dispersion of leaked CO2 from one or more sources.

NRAP is an NETL-led consortium that involves five national labs: NETL (Office of Fossil Energy), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (National Nuclear Security Administration), Los Alamos National Laboratory (National Nuclear Security Administration), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Office of Science), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Office of Science).
To learn more about NRAP and the tool set, visit the NRAP website.