Uncertainty Analysis of Capacity Estimates and Leakage Potential for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide in Saline Aquifers
Managing Environmental and Human Safety Risks Associated with Geologic Storage of CO2
Project: Managing Environmental and Human Safety Risks Associated with Geologic Storage of CO2
Research Team: Jason Heinrich and Howard Herzog
Sponsor: Clean Air Task Force
With less attention than other mitigation strategies, geologic storage of CO2 has become an important approach to managing the problems associated with climate change. By analyzing analogs in the oil and gas industry, this thesis demonstrates that CO2 transportation, injection and storage has been operational and scaling up in size and geographical distribution for over 30 years. As a result, a great deal of expertise has been acquired and lessons learned for managing the risks associated with geologic storage of CO2.
Risks are categorized in two subsystems -- operational and in situ. The operational subsystem is composed of the more familiar components of CO2 capture, transportation and injection, which have been successfully deployed in existing applications. Once CO2 is injected in the reservoir it enters an in situ subsystem in which the control of CO2 is transferred to the forces of nature. Years of technological innovation and experience have given us the tools and expertise to handle and control CO2 in the operational subsystem with adequate certainty and safety; however, that same level of understanding is largely absent once the CO2 enters the storage reservoir. As geologic storage moves forward, it will be important for proponents to manage and communicate the risks particularly associated with the in situ subsystem. Finally, this thesis attempts to highlight potential obstacles and needed approaches that could affect the willingness, opportunity and capacity for the key stakeholders to change in ways that will stimulate the wider adoption of geologic storage of CO2.
Heinrich, J.J, H.J.Herzog and D.M. Reiner, "Environmental Assessment of Geologic Storage of CO2," MIT LFEE 2003-002 RP, revised March (2004). <PDF>
Heinrich, J.J, H.J.Herzog and D.M. Reiner, "Environmental Assessment of Geologic Storage of CO2," presented at the Second National Conference on Carbon Sequestration, Washington, DC, May 5-8 (2003). <PDF>
Heinrich, J.J., "Managing Environmental and Human Safety Risks Associated with Geologic Storage of CO2," M.I.T. Masters Thesis, February (2003). <PDF>