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Tariq Siddiqui's picture
COO Upstream EP Advisors LLC

Oil & Energy | Business Development | Capital Projects | Offshore Wind -  Proven leader in offshore development and operations, with 25+ years’ expertise in managing business through cycles...

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  • Oct 22, 2021
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CO2 storage project in Saline aquifer is a serious undertaking, very similar to development of oil & gas. It's an integrated multidisciplinary efforts it takes significant time and efforts to screen several 'Potential Regions' for storage before identifying a 'Qualified Sites' that is ready for permitting. 

Key Take Aways
  1. To make key business decisions, significant modeling effort is required for permitting, operational parameter and cost-closure decision.
  2. The preliminary modeling effort starts early in 'Site Selection' phase to detailed in 'Site Characterization' phase.
  3. Significant existing data must be collected and used to keep the cost at reasonable level, especially in early phase.
  4. Unlike CO2-EOR in depleted oil reservoir, where volumes of data is available, the saline aquifers have very sparse data and significant amount of new data needs to acquired for detailed site characterization with cost implications.
  5. Integration and coordinated effort is need in the project to design data collection for Monitoring, Verification & Accounting (MVA) and what is outputted from the models
Additional Insights (Not covered in the article)
  1. CO2 injection in saline aquifer represent the greatest storage opportunity as they are large and close to capture sources, however there are no revenue associated with it, without subsidies few operators are willing to risk
  2. CO2 injection for EOR is well established and profitable business. Its potential is, however limited only to selected oil & gas fields suitable for EOR, that may not be close to the source, incurring large pipeline costs.
  3. A UIC (Underground Injection Classification) Class-V1 (new) well is needed for CO2 injection in saline aquifers, this requires significant efforts in time and modeling.
  4. A significant learning curves will be needed in modeling CO2 injection in saline aquifer to reach the level of modeling routinely done in oil gas reservoirs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Roger Arnold's picture
    Roger Arnold on Oct 22, 2021

    There is at least one type of deep saline aquifer for which there is substantial potential for revenue beyond whatever might be paid for CO2 sequestration. That's a very deep "geopressured" aquifer rich in dissolved methane. An enormous aquifer of that type is known to underly the entire gulf coast region of Louisiana and Texas. It resides at depths at which rock temperatures exceed 150 degrees Celsius. Closed loop systems of paired injection and extraction wells into this formation could produce both gas and geothermal energy while permanently sequestering CO2 dissolved in the re-injected brine stream.

     

    Perhaps the most attractive feature of this type of system is that, once established, the system should be able to continue in operation for decades, with very little depletion. From what I understand, the formation is primarily sandstone, not shale, and vast. Its relatively good permeability should allow a single extraction well to tap hot methane-laden brine from a volume of tens of cubic miles. Balanced extraction and injection would avoid both land subsidence and induced earthquake risk. 

    Bob Meinetz's picture
    Bob Meinetz on Nov 22, 2021

    Roger, there's only one half of your balanced extraction and injection scenario that's profitable: the extraction half. What would be the incentive for a private company to invest in CO2 injection? It would produce nothing of value other than the appearance of environmental responsibility, and there are plenty of less expensive methods to create that illusion.

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