WASHINGTON, D.C.–Two California based projects have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop technologies aimed at safely and economically storing carbon dioxide in geologic formations.
In an announcement made by Energy Secretary Steven Chu DOE is awarding a total of 15 projects up to $21.3 million over three years to help develop the technology and infrastructure to implement large-scale CO2 storage in different geologic formations across the Nation. The projects selected today will support the goals of helping reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, developing and deploying near-zero-emission coal technologies and making the U.S. a leader in mitigating climate change.
“The projects announced today will demonstrate our leadership and expertise in carbon capture and storage technology,” said Secretary Chu. “These projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop clean energy innovation and help produce jobs for Americans across the Nation.”
The California based projects selected for award today include:
- Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford, Calif.) —Researchers will investigate the feasibility of geologic CO2 sequestration in depleted shale gas reservoirs. Four main focus areas will be studied: physical and chemical aspects of CO2/shale interactions at pore scale; transport processes of critical-state CO2 in hydrofracs, natural fractures, and pores; chemical interactions with groundwater; and trap and seal mechanisms of CO2 in shale gas reservoirs. (DOE share: $1,147,612; Duration: 36 months)
- Paulsson, Inc. (Brea, Calif.) — The objective of this study is to develop a reservoir-assessment tool based on novel and robust borehole seismic technology that can generate ultra high resolution P and S wave images for detailed characterization and precise monitoring of CO2 storage sites. Paulsson investigators will build and test a prototype of a downhole seismic system capable of deploying a thousand 3C downhole receivers using fiber optic geophone technology deployed on drill pipe. The system will be tested at a CO2 storage site. (DOE share: $1,995,682; Duration: 24 months)
Geologic storage is currently focused on five types of formations: (1) depleted oil and gas reservoirs, (2) deep saline formations, (3) unmineable coal seams, (4) oil- and gas-rich organic shales, and (5) basalts. Carbon storage in depleted oil and gas reservoirs can also increase oil or gas production, while storage of CO2 in deep saline formations holds the promise of enormous worldwide capacity, with estimates of thousands of gigatonnes of storage.
Efforts are underway to demonstrate safety and permanence of geologic sequestration through initiatives such as the Department of Energy’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships. The 15 selected projects will complement ongoing efforts by developing and testing technologies that address critical challenges for geologic storage including injectivity of CO2 into the reservoir, storage capacity, plume migration, and containment by caprock and other trapping mechanisms.