NRAP leverages DOE’s capabilities to help quantify uncertainties and risks necessary to remove barriers to full-scale CO2 storage deployment.
NETL is leading a multi-laboratory effort that leverages broad technical capabilities across the DOE complex into a mission-focused platform that will develop the integrated science base that can be applied to risk assessment for long-term storage of CO2: the National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP). NRAP involves five DOE national laboratories: NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  The motivating goal of NRAP is to build methods and tools and improve the science base to quantify key environmental risks at geologic carbon storage sites, in the context of system uncertainty, particularly those associated with potential release of CO2 or brine from the storage reservoir, and potential ground-motion impacts due to large volume injection of CO2.

Past Work and Progress

In its first phase of research (2011 – 2016), the NRAP team established the science base, methods, and tools to quantitatively assess environmental risks at geologic carbon storage (GCS) sites – those associated with potential unwanted fluid migration and potential ground motion. NRAP Phase I accomplishments included:

  • Generated the first long-term quantitative risk profiles for a full CO2 storage system.
  • Developed predictive tools and conducted focused experimental studies to improve the understanding of potential leakage pathway behavior.
  • Developed a comprehensive risk analysis framework for induced seismicity and tools to forecast near-term induced seismicity potential and ground motion effects.
  • Developed insights into the utility of select monitoring approaches, and explored the potential for optimization of monitoring design.
  • Developed an integrated assessment model that coupled computationally efficient reduced-order models of various system components to describe whole-system CO2 containment behavior and potential leakage performance.

Products from these efforts include approximately 400 peer-reviewed publications, 50 technical reports, and release of a set of 10 science-based computational tools to facilitate risk assessment and inform decision making for carbon storage sites. The toolset has been downloaded, and is in use by, over 300 individuals from approximately 50 institutions; release of the NRAP Toolset prompted the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to designate NRAP as a CSLF-recognized project, and the Toolset earned a 2017 R&D 100 Award – considered the “Oscars of Innovation.”

In fiscal year (FY) 2017, the NRAP team initiated NRAP Phase II efforts focused on applying and extending that predictive capability to actively manage risks related to CO2 storage by quantitatively assessing improvements in environmental risk performance afforded by select mitigation strategies and to reduce uncertainties in system performance through iterative conformance assessment and prediction improvement. Toward meeting those objectives, the proposed work scope includes the following research tasks:

  • Containment Assurance
  • Induced Seismicity Risk
  • Strategic Monitoring for Uncertainty Reduction
  • Validation of Risk Assessment Tools and Methodologies Using Synthetic and Field Data
  • Addressing Critical Questions Related to Assessment and Management of Environmental Risk at CO2 Storage Sites