Pre-site Characterization Risk Analysis for Commercial-Scale Carbon Sequestration

TitlePre-site Characterization Risk Analysis for Commercial-Scale Carbon Sequestration
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDai Z., et. al.
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Start Page3908

This study develops a probability framework to evaluate subsurface risks associated with commercial-scale carbon sequestration in the Kevin Dome, Montana. Limited knowledge of the spatial distribution of physical attributes of the storage reservoir and the confining rocks in the area requires using regional data to estimate project risks during the pre-site characterization analysis. A set of integrated Monte Carlo simulations are used to assess four risk proxies: the CO2 injectivity, area of review (AoR), migration rate into confining rocks, and a monitoring strategy prior to detailed site characterization. Results show a reasonable likelihood of reaching the project goal of injecting 1 Mt in 4 years with a single injection well (>58%), increasing to >70% if the project is allowed to run for 5 years. The mean radius of the AoR, based on a 0.1 MPa pressure change, is around 4.8 km. No leakage of CO2 through the confining units is seen in any simulations. The computed CO2 detection probability suggests that the monitoring wells should be located at less than 1.2 km away from the injection well so that CO2 is likely to be detected within the time frame of the project. The scientific results of this study will be used to inform the detailed site characterization process and to provide more insight for understanding operational and technical risks before injecting CO2.