279984 Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Infrastructure Dependence On Reservoir Risk

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 10:10 AM
301 (Convention Center )
Jeffrey Bielicki1, Richard Middleton2, Melisa Pollak1, Elizabeth Wilson3, Jeffrey Fitts4 and Catherine Peters4, (1)Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, (2)Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, (3)Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, University of Minnesota, (4)Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University

Carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is a process that involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large stationary point sources and transporting that CO2 through pipelines to locations where it is injected into deep geologic reservoirs.  For CCUS to make meaningful contributions to producing economically valuable products (utilization) or climate change mitigation (storage), large amounts of CO2 must be transported through dedicated pipeline networks and injected into multiple reservoirs.  While CO2 transportation is considered to be a mature technology with little physical or financial risk, the CO2 pipeline transportation network is coupled to the geologic formation into which CO2 is being injected and thus dependent upon reservoir risk.  CO2 or displaced brine may leak from these reservoirs through natural or manmade pathways (e.g., faults, existing wells) and such leakage will incur physical and financial consequences. These consequences may reprioritize reservoir choices over time, and thus the planning, performance, and efficiency of the CO2 pipeline transportation network thus depends on the performance of the geologic reservoir.

Reservoir leakage risk depends on the physical characteristics (e.g., permeability) of the reservoir and leakage pathways, the three-dimensional proximity of injection to these pathways and other subsurface activities, and the costs that are triggered by the leakage.  As fluids escape the injection formation, they may (1) migrate up the geologic sequence and into overlying hydrostratigraphic units, (2) encounter other subsurface activities (e.g., natural gas storage), (3) contaminate underground sources of drinking water (USDW), or (4) escape to the surface.  Each of these four potential outcomes incurs costs, and monetizing reservoir leakage risk allows CO2 pipeline transportation planning to consider the dependence on reservoir performance.

We use the RISCS (Risk Interference of Subsurface CO2 Storage) model for probablilistic leakage risk assessment of CO2 injection into subsurface geologic reservoirs, and the SimCCS (Scalable Infrastructure Model for Carbon Capture and Storage) geospatial optimization model to show how leakage risk affects CO2 pipeline infrastructure deployment.  RISCS (e.g., Bielicki et al, 2012) combines probabilistic estimations of geophysical fluid flow and leakage from multiple iterations of the ELSA (Estimating Leakage Semi-Analytically) model (Nordbotten and Celia), three-dimensional data on hydrstratigraphic units and the locations of subsurface activities, and estimates of the financial consequences of leakage using the Leakage Impact Valuation (LIV) method (Pollak et al, 2012).  RISCS monetizes leakage risk from geologic CO2 injection for CCUS.  These monetized leakage risks are used by SimCCS (e.g., Middleton and Bielicki, 2009), a cost-minimizing geospatial optimization model for deploying CCUS infrastructure which simultaneously and optimally chooses which CO2 sources/reservoirs should be deployed, how much CO2 should be captured from/injected into each source/reservoir, and the pipeline routes, diameters, and CO2 flows between sources and reservoirs.  We conduct this analysis for CCUS options in the Michigan Basin and show how reservoir risk alters the choice of reservoirs and pipeline routes.


Bielicki, J., Pollak, M., Wilson, E., Peters, C. and Fitts, J (2012). “Your View or Mine: Spatially Quantifying CO2 Storage Risk from Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives.” DOE-NETL Project Review Meeting, January 16, 2012. Pittsburgh PA. Manuscript in preparation for Environmental Science & Technology.

Middleton, R. and Bielicki, J. (2009). “A scalable infrastructure model for carbon capture and storage: SimCCS,” Energy Policy 37, 1052-1060.

Pollak, M., Bielicki, J., Dammel, J., Fitts, J., Peters, C., and Wilson, E. (2012). “Estimating Financial Consequences from Geologic Sequestration.” Submitted to Environmental Science & Technology.

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