What is the NRAP Initiative?
The National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) has joined international efforts to develop the risk assessment tools needed for safe, permanent geologic CO2 storage. NRAP members include five national DOE laboratories that have been conducting collaborative research for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Carbon Sequestration Program for many years: NETL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
NRAP receives input from industry, government, non-government organizations, and academia regarding research needs for large-scale CO2 storage deployment. The NRAP collaboration also keeps abreast of international developments by participating in collaborations like the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Research and Development Programme’s Risk Assessment Network.
The primary objective of NRAP is to develop a defensible, science-based methodology and platform for quantifying risk profiles at most types of CO2 storage sites to guide decision making and risk management. NRAP will also develop monitoring and mitigation protocols to reduce uncertainty in the predicted long-term behavior of a site.
To assist in effective site characterization, selection, operation, and management, NRAP is considering potential risks associated with key operational concerns, as well as those associated with long-term liabilities. Operational issues include the management of reservoir pressure and stress to avoid conditions that might induce seismic activity. Issues associated with long-term liabilities include groundwater protection and storage permanence to avoid CO2 leakage.
Proposed Research, Expected Benefits
The primary objective of National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) is to develop a defensible, generalized, and science-based methodology and platform for quantifying risk profiles at CO2 storage sites, and to then apply and extend those tools and applications to understand how assessed risks can be managed, if needed, through mitigation and other engineering interventions, and how uncertainties in assessed risks can be reduced through strategic monitoring, conformance evaluation, and iterative improvement of site characterization and system-wide performance prediction. The methodology must incorporate and define the scientific basis for assessing residual risks associated with long-term stewardship of CO2 storage sites, and help guide site operational and regulatory decision-making and risk management. Development of an integrated, strategic, risk-based monitoring and mitigation protocol is part of the NRAP objective; this protocol and related monitoring design tools will help to reduce uncertainty in the predicted long-term behavior of the site and thereby increase confidence in storage integrity.
In the second phase of NRAP research, efforts will focus on the development and application of methodologies and simulation tools for management of environmental risks at CO2 storage sites, and strategic monitoring to reduce uncertainties relative to risk performance through time – to improve risk outcomes.
|Outcomes:||A new integrated assessment model will be developed for prediction of CO2 storage containment and leakage performance at CO2 storage sites through time. This new model will feature an integrated mitigation performance assessment and monitoring module for potential leak detection and decision support. Improved system component reduced-order models, and methods and tools for probabilistic fluid migration/leakage concordance assessment will also be developed.|
|Impact:||This research directly addresses the programmatic goal of building confidence that CO2 storage can be implemented safely and effectively at scale, and that risks related to potential leakage can be managed. This will help to build stakeholder confidence in this technology, and methods/tools developed here can serve as a bridge in the evolution to future real-time risk management at CO2 storage sites.|
|Outcomes:||NRAP research will generate new tools (including improved short-term seismic forecasting tool and long-term forward integrated assessment of induced seismicity and ground motion risk) and methods, into likely seismic response to large-scale injection of CO2 at geologic storage sites, and possible performance of induce seismicity mitigation alternatives.|
|Impact:||Researchers will develop insights into injection practices and mitigation alternatives to manage the risk of induced seismicity at CO2 storage sites.|
|Outcomes:||New methods and tools will be developed for modeling (and reduced-order modeling) of monitoring technology detection performance amidst system uncertainty. Additionally, methods and tools will be developed/refined to use modeling of monitoring characterizations in monitoring network detection performance optimization efforts.|
|Impact:||This research will yield insights into the viability of technologies for early detection of potential leakage, and into the design of efficient and effective monitoring networks, with implications for monitoring cost performance.|
|Outcomes:||Field validated methods and tools related to environmental risk performance of geologic CO2 storage sites will be developed.|
|Impact:||Field validation of NRAP tools and methods will help to promote their adoption by the international carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) RD&D community; adoption of NRAP tools and methods can help to facilitate and expedite the process of CO2 storage site screening/selection and risk performance evaluation.|
|Outcomes:||Reports detailing questions and issues critical to address to build confidence in the risk performance of large-scale CO2 storage sites will be developed. These reports addressing prioritized questions based on application of NRAP tools and methods – considering probabilistic and whole-system performance to develop those insights in the context of system uncertainty.|
|Impact:||The results of the studies will be directly address prioritized questions related to environmental risk assessment at CO2 storage sites, which helps to address programmatic goals related to this technology, to build confidence in the viability of large-scale CO2 storage, and to guide future research and development (R&D) efforts.|