Estimating geological CO2 storage security to deliver on climate mitigation

Juan Alcalde (Corresponding Author), Stephanie Flude, Mark Wilkinson, Gareth Johnson, Katriona Edlmann, Clare E Bond, Vivian Scott, Stuart M. V. Gilfillan, Xènia Ogaya, Stuart R. Haszeldine

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Abstract

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can help nations meet their Paris CO2 reduction commitments cost-effectively. However, lack of confidence in geologic CO2 storage security remains a barrier to CCS implementation. We present a numerical program that calculates CO2 storage security and leakage to the atmosphere over 10kyr. This links processes of geologically measured CO2 subsurface retention, and estimates of CO2 leakage. We model 12 GtCO2 of cumulative storage based on the EU’s 2050 target, commencing injection in 2020. Realistically well-regulated CCS industry in regions with moderate well densities has a 50% probability that leakage remains below 0.0004% yr-1, with less than 4% of injected CO2 migrating to the atmosphere over 10kyr. An unrealistic unregulated case, with unknown and inadequately abandoned wells shows a 50% probability that leakage is below 0.003% yr-1 over 10kyr, meaning more than 70% of the CO2 is securely retained over 10kyr. Hence, geological storage of CO2 is a secure climate change mitigation option.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2201
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018

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Carbon capture
Climate
climate
estimating
Carbon
Atmosphere
Abandoned wells
leakage
Climate Change
Paris
Cost reduction
Climate change
Industry
carbon
Costs and Cost Analysis
Injections
atmospheres
cost reduction
climate change
confidence

Keywords

  • CCS
  • climate change mitigation
  • CO2 storage

Cite this

Alcalde, J., Flude, S., Wilkinson, M., Johnson, G., Edlmann, K., Bond, C. E., ... Haszeldine, S. R. (2018). Estimating geological CO2 storage security to deliver on climate mitigation. Nature Communications, 9, [2201]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04423-1

Estimating geological CO2 storage security to deliver on climate mitigation. / Alcalde, Juan (Corresponding Author); Flude, Stephanie ; Wilkinson, Mark; Johnson, Gareth; Edlmann, Katriona ; Bond, Clare E; Scott, Vivian ; Gilfillan, Stuart M. V. ; Ogaya, Xènia; Haszeldine, Stuart R.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, 2201, 12.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alcalde, J, Flude, S, Wilkinson, M, Johnson, G, Edlmann, K, Bond, CE, Scott, V, Gilfillan, SMV, Ogaya, X & Haszeldine, SR 2018, 'Estimating geological CO2 storage security to deliver on climate mitigation', Nature Communications, vol. 9, 2201. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04423-1
Alcalde, Juan ; Flude, Stephanie ; Wilkinson, Mark ; Johnson, Gareth ; Edlmann, Katriona ; Bond, Clare E ; Scott, Vivian ; Gilfillan, Stuart M. V. ; Ogaya, Xènia ; Haszeldine, Stuart R. / Estimating geological CO2 storage security to deliver on climate mitigation. In: Nature Communications. 2018 ; Vol. 9.
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N1 - ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Juan Alcalde and Clare Bond were supported by NERC Grant NE/M007251/1 on interpretational uncertainty; Stephanie Flude and Stuart M V Gilfillan were supported by EPSRC Grant EP/K036033/1; R Stuart Haszeldine was supported by Scottish Funding Council, EPSRC Grants EP/P026214/1, EP/K000446/2 and NERC Grant NE/L008475/1; Gareth Johnson was supported by EPSRC Grant EP/P026214/1; Vivian Scott was supported by NERC GHGR programme Grant NE/P019749/1; Katriona Edlmann was supported by H2020 Grant 636811.

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N2 - Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can help nations meet their Paris CO2 reduction commitments cost-effectively. However, lack of confidence in geologic CO2 storage security remains a barrier to CCS implementation. We present a numerical program that calculates CO2 storage security and leakage to the atmosphere over 10kyr. This links processes of geologically measured CO2 subsurface retention, and estimates of CO2 leakage. We model 12 GtCO2 of cumulative storage based on the EU’s 2050 target, commencing injection in 2020. Realistically well-regulated CCS industry in regions with moderate well densities has a 50% probability that leakage remains below 0.0004% yr-1, with less than 4% of injected CO2 migrating to the atmosphere over 10kyr. An unrealistic unregulated case, with unknown and inadequately abandoned wells shows a 50% probability that leakage is below 0.003% yr-1 over 10kyr, meaning more than 70% of the CO2 is securely retained over 10kyr. Hence, geological storage of CO2 is a secure climate change mitigation option.

AB - Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can help nations meet their Paris CO2 reduction commitments cost-effectively. However, lack of confidence in geologic CO2 storage security remains a barrier to CCS implementation. We present a numerical program that calculates CO2 storage security and leakage to the atmosphere over 10kyr. This links processes of geologically measured CO2 subsurface retention, and estimates of CO2 leakage. We model 12 GtCO2 of cumulative storage based on the EU’s 2050 target, commencing injection in 2020. Realistically well-regulated CCS industry in regions with moderate well densities has a 50% probability that leakage remains below 0.0004% yr-1, with less than 4% of injected CO2 migrating to the atmosphere over 10kyr. An unrealistic unregulated case, with unknown and inadequately abandoned wells shows a 50% probability that leakage is below 0.003% yr-1 over 10kyr, meaning more than 70% of the CO2 is securely retained over 10kyr. Hence, geological storage of CO2 is a secure climate change mitigation option.

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