Energy Resources

Geologic Carbon Sequestration

Geological Carbon Sequestration
Barry Freifeld (left) with Program Manager from Australia, Sandeep Sharma preparing equipment for geologic carbon sequestration project.

The Geological Carbon Sequestration Program uses theory along with lab, field, and simulation approaches to investigate processes needed to inform and guide the safe and effective implementation of geologic carbon sequestration.

Highlights

nrap_image2
Project

National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP)

The National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) — an initiative within DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory—applies DOE’s core competency in science-based prediction for engineered–natural systems to the long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Program Overview

The Geological Carbon Sequestration (GCS) Program uses theory along with lab, field, and simulation approaches to investigate processes needed to inform and guide the safe and effective implementation of geologic carbon sequestration. Through numerous collaborations with organizations leading field projects, the program takes advantage of the unparalleled expertise within EESA.

Key topics of investigation include:

  • Capacity, trapping mechanisms, and permanence;
  • Monitoring and verification using remote geophysical (e.g., seismic) and direct surface detection methods;
  • Enhanced hydrocarbon recovery options;
  • Leakage and seepage;
  • Impacts on the environment, including groundwater, induced seismicity, and the near-surface;
  • Risk-based assessment and certification;
  • Injection field studies, including fluid sampling at in situ conditions and seismic monitoring; and
  • Performance prediction (TOUGH suite of codes as a tool).

Support for GCS research comes primarily from DOE-Fossil Energy, with additional support from the Carbon Capture Project (an industry consortium), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, and various other governmental and industrial sources. The largest research projects in the Geological Sequestration Program include: GEO-SEQ (part of our Consolidated Sequestration Research Project) for research in support of international demonstration projects occurring in the Otway Basin, Australia, and Ketzin, Germany; and NRAP (National Risk Assessment Partnership); as well as support to collaborators in Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, including SECARB, BigSky, MGSC, and WESTCARB.

Featured Projects

Project

GEO-SEQ Project

The GEO-SEQ Project has two primary goals: to develop ways to improve predictions of injectivity and capacity of saline formations and depleted gas reservoirs, and to develop and test innovative high-resolution methods for monitoring CO2 in the subsurface.

CO2 Storage image
Project

Large-Scale Hydrological Impacts of Geological CO2 Storage

If carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technologies are implemented on a large scale, the amounts of CO2 injected and sequestered underground will be extremely large. The figure above shows schematically the large-scale subsurface impacts that will be experienced during and after industrial-scale injection of CO2. While the CO2 plume at depth may be safely…

nrap_image2
Project

National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP)

The National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) — an initiative within DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory—applies DOE’s core competency in science-based prediction for engineered–natural systems to the long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).

CO2 Task A
Project

Potential Impacts of CO2 Leakage on Groundwater Quality

LBNL is one of the main international research organizations addressing concerns about potential impact of deployment of CO2 geological storage on the nation’s groundwater resources. A significant body of our work has targeted the possible groundwater quality changes in response to leakage of CO2 from deep sequestration reservoirs if it were to occur. To better…

Project

The Sim-SEQ Project—Understanding Model Uncertainties in Geological Carbon Sequestration

Sim-SEQ was a multi-year U.S. Department of Energy initiative started in 2009 focused on comparing numerical models for GCS—with the objective of understanding and quantifying those uncertainties arising from conceptual model choices. It was a response to past GCS code verification and benchmarking efforts, in that it engaged in model comparison in a broader and comprehensive sense, allowing modelers the choice of interpretation of site characterization data, boundary conditions, rock and fluid properties, among other options.