CO2 Accounting and Risk Analysis for CO2 Sequestration at Enhanced Oil Recovery Sites

Research paper by Zhenxue Dai, Hari Viswanathan, Richard Middleton, Feng Pan, William Ampomah, Changbing Yang, Wei Jia, Ting Xiao, Si-Yong Lee, Brian McPherson, Robert Balch, Reid Grigg, Mark White

Indexed on: 01 Jul '16Published on: 30 Jun '16Published in: Environmental Science & Technology


Using CO2 in enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) is a promising technology for emissions management because CO2-EOR can dramatically reduce sequestration costs in the absence of emissions policies that include incentives for carbon capture and storage. This study develops a multiscale statistical framework to perform CO2 accounting and risk analysis in an EOR environment at the Farnsworth Unit (FWU), Texas. A set of geostatistical-based Monte Carlo simulations of CO2–oil/gas–water flow and transport in the Morrow formation are conducted for global sensitivity and statistical analysis of the major risk metrics: CO2/water injection/production rates, cumulative net CO2 storage, cumulative oil/gas productions, and CO2 breakthrough time. The median and confidence intervals are estimated for quantifying uncertainty ranges of the risk metrics. A response-surface-based economic model has been derived to calculate the CO2-EOR profitability for the FWU site with a current oil price, which suggests that approximately 31% of the 1000 realizations can be profitable. If government carbon-tax credits are available, or the oil price goes up or CO2 capture and operating expenses reduce, more realizations would be profitable. The results from this study provide valuable insights for understanding CO2 storage potential and the corresponding environmental and economic risks of commercial-scale CO2-sequestration in depleted reservoirs.

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