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CO 2 Storage in Saline Aquifers. Mac Burton Representing Dr. Steven L. Bryant And Geological CO2 Storage Research Program. Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions is a World-Scale Task. INDUSTRY 29%. TRANSPORT 33%. ELECTRICITY 38%.

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Co 2 storage in saline aquifers

CO2 Storage in Saline Aquifers

Mac Burton

Representing Dr. Steven L. Bryant


Geological CO2 Storage Research Program

Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions is a world scale task
Stabilizing Greenhouse Gas Emissions is a World-Scale Task




Co 2 storage in saline aquifers
Meaningful Mitigation of GHG Emissions will Require Geologic Sequestration(plus several other technologies simultaneously)

Each option would remove 1 Gt carbon/year

Co 2 storage in saline aquifers
Meaningful Geologic Sequestration will Require a New Industry Comparable in Size to Current Oil & Gas Industry

Global gas production in 2006

277 BCFD

Global oil production in 2006

81.7 MMBD

General overview of geologic storage in deep saline aquifer
General Overview of Geologic Storage in Deep Saline Aquifer

  • Storage Mechanisms and General Plume Prediction

    • Dissolution and Capillary Trapping

    • Structural Trapping and Mineral

    • Time to Reach Seal and Lateral Extent

  • Injection Strategies

    • Well Design

    • Reservoir Characterization

  • Leakage from Natural and Man-Made Features

    • Leaking Faults

    • Leaking Top Seal

    • Leaking Wells

Standard Evaluation Techniques

Standard Evaluation Techniques

Requires New Evaluation Techniques and Science

Co 2 storage in saline aquifers

Leakage of CO2 can pose a risk to:

Underground Assets

Health Safety & Environment

Atmosphere (Emission Credits)

Why is Our Work in the Subsurface Important?

Wells and faults are primary potential leakage pathways

Two Examples of Importance of Our Work

Example 1 active well leak and abandon
Example #1: Active Well Leak and Abandon

Number of Wells in Gulf of Mexico with SCP

600 400 200 0

Hundreds of Wells are Abandon in the Gulf of Mexico each Year;

Wells in the Gulf are Few in Number Compared to On-shore

5% to 30% of Active Wells per Field in Gulf of Mexico have Leaks that Run to the Surface

Bourgoyne et al,

MMS report

0 10 20 30 40 50

% of Wells with SCP

Nicot et al, 2006

Co 2 storage in saline aquifers

Example #2: Injection Design

Pressure profile in aquifer


Pressure profile in well


Surface dissolution implementation costs and technical challenges

Surface Dissolution: Implementation Costs and Technical Challenges

Mac Burton

Steven Bryant

Key findings
Key Findings

  • Surface dissolution technology increases the available target aquifer space. Where?

    • Shallower aquifers

    • Aquifers with poor seal quality

  • Operational and capital costs for surface dissolution are larger but comparable in magnitude to those for standard approach.

  • Surface dissolution may be attractive where the costs of insuring against buoyancy-driven CO2 leakage exceed these additional costs.

  • Adds reasonable technology or options to our arsenal.

Motivations for alternate co 2 storage strategies in saline aquifers
Motivations for Alternate CO2 Storage Strategies in Saline Aquifers

  • Cheap Solution

  • Simple Solution

  • Safe Solution

    We choose to look at a strategy that will:

  • Lower Risk Option

  • Address Technical Subsurface Challenges

  • Adds to Current Technology or Expanding our Options

Co 2 storage in saline aquifers

Costs for Standard Approach to Power PlantAquifer Sequestration

Sources: Dr. Rochelle’s presentation to Dr. Bryant research review,

and Remediation of Leakage from CO2 Storage Reservoirs, IEA GHG Programme

Standard approach to saline aquifer technical challenges
Standard Approach to Saline Aquifer: Power PlantTechnical Challenges

  • Buoyant Migration

    • Monitoring for Hundreds of Years

    • Interaction with Faults, Seals, and Existing Wells

    • Liability for Storage: Cost and Probability of

      • Remediation

      • Lost Emission Credit

      • Damage to Subsurface Assets

  • Injectivity

    • Reaching Pressure Limit In Closed Aquifer

    • Relative Permeability and Capillary Pressure

Surface dissolution approach to sequestration retrofitting coal fired power plant
Surface Dissolution Approach to Sequestration-Retrofitting Coal-Fired Power Plant


Modeling surface dissolution overview

Solubility of CO Coal-Fired Power Plant2 in Brine:

  • with temperature

  • with pressure

  • with salinity

Modeling Surface Dissolution: Overview

  • Solubility of CO2 in Brine (Aquifer & Surface)

  • Amount of Brine Needed

  • Operational and Capital Costs

Modeling surface dissolution solubility in brine in the aquifer

STANDARD APPROACH Coal-Fired Power Plant


Modeling Surface Dissolution: Solubility in Brine in the Aquifer

Increasing salinity

Solubility CO2 (mole %)

Aquifer Depth (ft)

Modeling surface dissolution brine rate comparable to other plant usage
Modeling Surface Dissolution: Coal-Fired Power PlantBrine Rate Comparable to Other Plant Usage

Operational and capital costs for surface dissolution

Operational Costs Coal-Fired Power Plant

CO2 Compression

Polytropic Compression


4 stages

Brine compression


80% efficient

Capital Costs

Injection and Extraction wells

$750,000 per well


CO2 Compressors and Brine Pumps

$900,000 per MW consumed for pumping

Pressure Mixing Vessel

~$25,000 per MW of power plant

Operational and Capital Costs for Surface Dissolution

Surface dissolution in saline aquifer technical challenges
Surface Dissolution in Saline Aquifer: Coal-Fired Power PlantTechnical Challenges

  • Surface Challenges

    • Strong Temperature Dependence (Shallow is Better)

    • Strong Salinity Dependence (Shallow is Better)

    • WellCosts Influential (Shallow is Better)

    • DissolvingCO2 in short time (less than few minutes)

    • Carbonicacid might cause corrosion

  • Subsurface Challenges

    • Large Areal Target and Large Injection Volume

      • Can we get the brine in and out?

      • What if the CO2 -dense brine shows up at the extraction wells?

Cost comparison of approaches
Cost Comparison of Approaches Coal-Fired Power Plant

5-8% More OPEX

Double CAPEX

Cost comparison of approaches1
Cost Comparison of Approaches Coal-Fired Power Plant

$20-$35 added / tonne

Conclusion motivation evaluation

Pro’s Coal-Fired Power Plant

Safety Sells

No Buoyant Migration

Interaction with Seal, Faults, Wells

Increases Aquifer Availability

Conclusion—Motivation Evaluation


  • Cheap Solution

  • Simple Solution

  • Safe Solution

  • Con’s

    • Added Costs

    • Additional Fluid Handling

    • Added Facilities (Compressors, Wells, etc.)

    • Requires More Aquifer Space

    • Technical Challenges (Carbonic Acid, Predicting Temperature, Predicting Reservoir, etc.)