“Viability of Using in Hydrocarbon Depleted Fractured Shale Formations for Geologic CO2 Storage” – Jeff Bielicki – 3 March
Date: 3 March 2017
Location: Baker 129 Conference Room
Speaker: Jeff Bielicki
Topic: Viability of Using in Hydrocarbon Depleted Fractured Shale Formations for Geologic CO2 Storage
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the largest unused byproducts of human activities, the emissions of which are accumulating in the atmosphere and exacerbating climate change. A number of options have been proposed to avoid or accommodate this CO2—one of which is the deliberate storage of CO2 in geologic formations. To date, much effort has investigated the use of deep, porous, and permeable saline aquifers as repositories for CO2. These saline aquifers are attractive for storing CO2 because they are ubiquitous, have large estimated storage capacities, and the processes involved with storing CO2 in them are well understood. But integrated CO2 capture, transport, and storage systems are costly, and many believe that deployment of CCS using deep saline aquifers is further impeded by the potential for the buoyant CO2 to leak through natural or manmade breaches (e.g., faults, fractures, existing wells) in the caprock. In contrast, fractured shale formations that are depleted of hydrocarbons could be attractive repositories for CO2 storage. Compared to saline aquifers shale formations may have larger storage capacity, could be more secure, and could leverage existing infrastructure and sites associated with the substantial increase in shale development over the last decade. This talk will present an investigation of the viability of storing CO2 in shale formations relative to saline aquifers in a region containing Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The viability of an integrated CCS systems includes considerations of realistic costs, capacities, and geospatial opportunities for CO2 capture, transportation and storage. The estimated capacities and costs of CO2 storage in shale formations and saline aquifers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia were used with the estimated costs of CO2 capture from power plants in the region to parameterize an engineering-economic geospatial infrastructure optimization model for CO2 capture and storage. We found that the CO2 storage capacity of shale formations in this region is on average fourteen times larger than saline aquifers at the same location, and tends to be less expensive than in saline aquifers. Relative to CO2 storage in saline aquifers in this region, storage in shale formations can be more centralized, occur in fewer sites, require less pipeline infrastructure, and prioritize different routes for trunklines and the same routes for CO2 sources. The results suggest that CO2 storage in hydrocarbon depleted fractured shale formations could be attractive for both technical and economic reasons, and therefore may lower barriers to large scale CO2 storage.