University of Minnesota
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Thrust I: Predict leakage from CO2 injection zones with precision and low computational effort (Contact: Jeff Fitts fitts’at’

Permeability evolution due to dissolution and precipitation of carbonates using reactive transport modeling in pore networks

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Nogues, J. P.; Fitts, J. P.; Celia, M. A.; Peters, C. A.,. Water Resources Research, In review.

A reactive transport model was developed to simulate the dissolution and precipitation of carbonates within a pore network structure system for the high-pressure CO2-acidified conditions relevant to geological carbon sequestration. We have shown how the evolution of the permeability and porosity of a pore network behaves depending on the chemical reactivity of the inflowing water, the transport processes that dominate the system (i.e. advective vs. diffusive) and the mixing patterns that might occur within a network. 

Modifications of carbonate fracture hydrodynamic properties by CO2-acidified brine flow

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Deng, H.; Ellis, B. R.; Peters, C. A.; Fitts, J. P.; Crandall, D.; Bromhal, G. S., Energy & Fuels, In press, 2013.

Understanding reaction-induced changes in fracture hydrodynamic properties is essential for predicting subsurface flows such as leakage, injectability, and fluid production. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted to quantify the changes in hydraulic aperture, fracture transmissivity and permeability.

Dissolution-Driven Permeability Reduction of a CO2 Leakage Pathway in a Carbonate Caprock.

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Ellis, B. R.; Fitts, J. P.; Bromhal, G. S.; McIntyre, D. L.; Tappero, R.; Peters, C. A., Environmental Engineering Science 2013 30 (4).

A caprock specimen from a carbonate formation in the Michigan sedimentary Basin was fractured and studied in a high-pressure core-flow experiment. The observed decrease in fracture permeability despite a net removal of material along the fracture pathway demonstrates a non-intuitive, inverse relationship between dissolution and permeability evolution in a fractured carbonate caprock.

Geochemical controls on fracture evolution in carbon sequestration

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Fitts, J. P.; Ellis, B. R.; Deng, H.; Peters, C. A., In 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium American Rock Mechanics Association: Chicago, IL, 2012; Vol. 12, p 549. (pdf)

We present examples from our experimental efforts to understand how CO2-acidified brines might alter fracture geometry and leakage pathway permeability, with the ultimate goal of predicting caprock integrity. These results clearly point to the need for predictive models of caprock integrity to consider coupled geochemical processes, mineralogical characterizations, and geometric alterations of flow paths.

Deterioration of a fractured carbonate caprock exposed to CO2-acidified brine flow

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Ellis, B. R.; Peters, C. A.; Fitts, J. P.; Bromhal, G. S.; McIntyre, D. L.; Warzinski, R. P.; Rosenbaum, E. J., Greenhouse Gas Sci Technol. 2011, 1, (3), 248-260. (pdf)

A flow-through experiment was performed to investigate evolution of a fractured carbonate caprock during flow of CO2-acidified brine. This experiment showed how the evolution of fracture permeability will depend in a complex way on the carbonate content, as well as the heterogeneity of the minerals and their spatial patterning.

Thrust II: Quantify financial consequences of leakage including costs from interferences with subsurface resources (Contacts: Wilson ewilson’at’, Bielicki bielicki.2’at’

Causes and Financial Consequences of Geologic CO2 Storage Reservoir Leakage and Interference with other Subsurface Resources.

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J.M. Bielicki; M.F. Pollak; J.P. Fitts; C.A. Peters; E.J. Wilson; International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, In revision.

We applied the Leakage Impact Valuation (LIV) method of estimating the financial consequences of leakage from geologic CO2 storage reservoirs to a case study in the Michigan Sedimentary Basin. This application of LIV shows that the majority of leakage costs arise from activities to “Find and Fix a Leak” and from “Injection Interruption”. We also found that these costs will be influenced by regulator decisions specific to a leakage event and depend on the developmental state of the CCUS industry. Estimated costs for an Nth-of-a-Kind (NOAK) project range from $2.2MM for a low-cost event with only leakage to $154.7MM for a high-cost event that reaches the surface. Leakage from First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) projects incurs approximately 1.6-3.0x more costs than equivalent leakage from an Nth-of-a-Kind (NOAK) project across all of the storylines we develop.

The Leakage Impact Valuation (LIV) Method for Leakage from Geologic CO2 Storage Reservoirs

M.F. Pollak, J.M. Bielicki, J.A. Dammel, E.J. Wilson, J.P. Fitts, C.A. Peters. Energy Text Box:
In press, 2013.

We present the Leakage Impact Valuation (LIV) method, a systematic and thorough scenario-based approach to identify these costs, their drivers, and who incurs them across four potential leakage outcomes: 1) Leakage only; 2) leakage that interferes with a subsurface activity; 3) leakage that affects groundwater; and 4) leakage that reaches the surface. The LIV method is flexible and can be used to investigate a wide range of scenarios.


A Methodology for Monetizing Basin‐Scale Leakage Risk and Stakeholder Impacts

Text Box:  J.M. Bielicki, M.F. Pollak, E.J. Wilson, J.P. Fitts, C.A. Peters. Energy Procedia. In press, 2013.

We summarize a methodology to monetize leakage risk throughout a basin, based on simulations of fluid flow, subsurface data, and estimates of costs triggered by leakage. We apply this methodology to two injection locations in the Michigan (U.S.A.) Sedimentary Basin, and show that leakage risk is site-specific and may change priorities for selecting CO2 storage sites, depending on its siting relative to leakage pathways and other subsurface activities.

A Tale of Two Technologies: Hydraulic Fracturing and Geologic Carbon Sequestration

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Dammel, J., Bielicki, J., Pollak, M., and Wilson, E. Environmental Science & Technology. 2011. Vol 45 (12) pg 5075.

Both hydraulic fracturing and geologic sequestration are 21st Century technologies with promise to transform energy, climate, and subsurface landscapes, and for both, effective risk management will be crucial. Potential environmental impacts, particularly to groundwater, are key concerns for both activities, because both inject large volumes of fluids into the subsurface. Unless environmental issues and public concerns are actively addressed, public opposition could stall deployment of these two important technologies.

Thrust III: Examine the competitiveness of CCS in the energy market and quantify the impact of leakage on this market competitiveness (Vatsal Bhatt; vbhatt’at’

Economic Policy Driver Module (EPDM) Cost Calculator and Methodology Description

D. Mahapatra, M. Pollack, H., Li, V. Bhatt

The EPDM cost calculator for geologic CO2 storage is based on an algorithm for each compliance activity, which multiplies the unit cost by certain variables from the project type profiles and by the factors appropriate for the project type to produce a project level cost. Results reported here is site specific and dependent on the trade-offs between discounting, leakage rate, and the individual cost module. The impacts of leakage on CO2 storage cost from individual site looks small, however, aggregation at the national level may not be ignored both in absolute as well as economic value terms.

Evaluating Opportunities For Long-Term Deployment Of Carbon Capture And Sequestration Technologies In The U.S. Energy Market

See CCUS Conference 2012 abstract and oral presentation

V. Bhatt, D. Mahapatra, H. Li

This paper outlines economic risk of various CCS and CS approaches in a competitive U.S. energy market (with competing energy production and use technologies) with the help of an integrated energy systems analysis model MARKAL. The end result is a tool to assess the required cost in the marketplace to be competitive, and the combination of technical and policy conditions that lessen the risk of failing to reach the desired objectives.