The objective of the Carbon Storage Program (CSP) is to create a portfolio of carbon management options to manage emission levels and develop and advance carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies for widespread commercial deployment by the 2025-2035 timeframe. In order to meet this objective, the Carbon Storage Advanced Research and Development (R&D) Field Work Proposal (FWP) portfolio of projects focuses on developing and producing programmatically relevant tools and technologies that leverage advanced computational approaches collected with experimental data. The projects within the portfolio will determine the geochemical and geomechanical impacts on storage potential, injectivity, wellbore security, and storage permanence and track the CO2 plume and pressure front in the deep subsurface and evaluate the impacts to groundwater aquifers and the atmosphere.
This FWP works to address the fundamental challenge of predicting the response of geologic systems to the external stimuli associated with injecting carbon into the subsurface. Four research themes outline the research strategy for the Carbon Storage Advanced R&D FWP: (1) plume detection and storage efficiency, (2) secure storage- migration outside the reservoir, (3) subsurface stress, and (4) wellbore integrity. Multiple R&D projects are conducted under each research theme, spanning both the laboratory and field-scale.
The Carbon Storage Advanced R&D FWP portfolio of projects aim to:
- Reduce uncertainty and risk associated with carbon storage which provides regulators and operators a field-validated commercial toolbox and a technical foundation for producing science-based regulations in order to meet regulatory requirements.
- Develop, field test, and facilitate the integration of carbon storage technologies to demonstrate secure containment and enable safe and cost-effective management of the subsurface storage resource.
- Facilitate public, industry, and international community awareness and understanding of R&D results.
- Develop Best Practice Manuals (BPMs) for the construction, operation, and monitoring phases of a carbon storage project, including: Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA); site screening, selection, and initial characterization; public outreach; well management activities; and risk analysis and simulation.
Plume Detection and Storage Efficiency– The projects under this research theme aim to investigate the CO2/Brine relative permeability in fractures and the interactions between CO2 and shale as a seal or storage reservoir, define the controls on CO2 trapping within the subsurface, enhance CO2 storage and injectivity, acquire and characterize CO2 core samples, and evaluate the impact of microbial growth on reservoirs exposed to CO2.
Secure Storage– The projects under this theme work to better understand and prevent CO2 migration outside of the reservoir. The projects support DOE’s large-scale field activities by developing and demonstrating non-borehole-based methods for detecting the plume and pressure front in a CO2 storage formation. The projects look to develop novel geochemical signal methodologies, design distributed fiber optic-based CO2 sensors for carbon storage applications, and conduct geophysical monitoring of seals and CO2 plumes.
Subsurface Stress– The projects under this theme look to better understand the impacts of subsurface stress to a carbon storage operation through the utilization of geophysical monitoring of carbon storage reservoirs.
Wellbore Integrity– This research theme focuses on evaluating the risks associated with wellbore security in offshore and onshore storage environments while exploring the risk associated with uncertainty and failure of wellbore materials. Researchers are developing a database to quantify the geochemical and geomechanical interactions and impact of using foamed cement in CO2 storage wells. The work performed under this research theme involves field-based assessments and the conduction of a wellbore workshop.