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    Carbon capture, utilization, and storage hub development on the Gulf Coast
    (2021) Meckel, Tim A.; Bump, Alexander P.; Hovorka, Susan D.; Treviño, R. H.
    The Gulf Coast of the United States hosts diverse power generation, refining, and petrochemical processing facilities, resulting in the nation’s largest volumetric concentration of industrial CO2 emissions, rivaled only by the Ohio River Valley. These emissions sources are concentrated in specific industrial clusters that allow combining emissions streams to achieve economies of scale. The region is currently undergoing globally significant industrial expansion and investment as a result of abundant and inexpensive regional unconventional natural gas availability, and is a growing exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Opportunities to integrate CO2 emission management within the diverse energy chains in the region are volumetrically significant and include both concentrated and dilute sources. Significant examples of capture, transport, and storage exist. Offshore storage is particularly attractive, as it provides simplified land leasing models (single governmental land owner), proven reservoir quality, and presents fewer risks to both protected groundwater and populated areas. Projects can now take advantage of recently expanded opportunities under section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Service tax code. The region continues to evolve as an active carbon-handling hub, and is uniquely suited to justify additional investment in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies via a large-scale integrated project development. Continued development of integrated projects will allow the region to continue to grow economically within its strong fossil-fuel handling competence focus while advancing low-carbon energy technologies that maintain globally competitiveness.
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    DeepSense: A Physics-Guided Deep Learning Paradigm for Anomaly Detection in Soil Gas Data at Geologic CO2 Storage Sites
    (2021) Bakhshian, Sahar; Romanak, Katherine
    Driven by the collection of enormous amounts of streaming data from sensors, and with the emergence of the internet of things, the need for developing robust detection techniques to identify data anomalies has increased recently. The algorithms for anomaly detection are required to be selected based on the type of data. In this study, we propose a predictive anomaly detection technique, DeepSense, which is applied to soil gas concentration data acquired from sensors being used for environmental characterization at a prospective CO2 storage site in Queensland, Australia. DeepSense takes advantage of deep-learning algorithms as its predictor module and uses a process-based soil gas method as the basis of its anomaly detector module. The proposed predictor framework leverages the power of convolutional neural network algorithms for feature extraction and simultaneously captures the long-term temporal dependency through long short-term memory algorithms. The proposed process-based anomaly detection method is a cost-effective alternative to the conventional concentration-based soil gas methodologies which rely on long-term baseline surveys for defining the threshold level. The results indicate that the proposed framework performs well in diagnosing anomalous data in soil gas concentration data streams. The robustness and efficacy of the DeepSense were verified against data sets acquired from different monitoring stations of the storage site.
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    Efficient marine environmental characterization to support monitoring of geological CO2 storage
    (2021) Blackford, Jerry; Romanak, Katherine; Huvenne, Veerle A.I.; Lichtschlag, Anna; Strong, James Asa; Alendal, Guttorm; Schütz, Sigrid Eskeland; Oleynik, Anna; Dankel, Dorothy J.
    Carbon capture and storage is key for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and offshore geological formations provide vast CO2 storage potential. Monitoring of sub-seabed CO2 storage sites requires that anomalies signifying a loss of containment be detected, and if attributed to storage, quantified and their impact assessed. However, monitoring at or above the seabed is only useful if one can reliably differentiate abnormal signals from natural variability. Baseline acquisition is the default option for describing the natural state, however we argue that a comprehensive baseline assessment is likely expensive and time-bound, given the multi-decadal nature of CCS operations and the dynamic heterogeneity of the marine environment. We present an outline of the elements comprising an efficient marine environmental baseline to support offshore monitoring. We demonstrate that many of these elements can be derived from pre-existing and ongoing sources, not necessarily related to CCS project development. We argue that a sufficient baseline can be achieved by identifying key emergent properties of the system rather than assembling an extensive description of the physical, chemical and biological states. Further, that contemporary comparisons between impacted and non-impacted sites are likely to be as valuable as before and after comparisons. However, as these emergent properties may be nuanced between sites and seasons and comparative studies need to be validated by the careful choice of reference site, a site-specific understanding of the scales of heterogeneity will be an invaluable component of a baseline.
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    Common risk segment mapping: Streamlining exploration for carbon storage sites, with application to coastal Texas and Louisiana
    (2021) Bump, Alexander P.; Hovorka, Susan D.; Meckel, Tim A.
    Large-scale deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will require a commensurately large number of sites. Efficient screening methods are needed to create investment assurance and focus efforts on the most promising sites. The problem is similar to petroleum exploration, for which there are well-developed (though seldom published) workflows, including Common Risk Segment (CRS) mapping. In brief, the process requires 1) defining the key play elements; 2) identifying candidate geologic intervals for each; 3) creating fact-based maps for those intervals; 4) determining minimum criteria for the success of each element; 5) reinterpreting the fact- based maps in terms of chance of success; and 6) combining the individual maps to form a composite, basin-scale view of prospectivity. In this paper, we adapt the CRS process to screening for CO2 storage sites. Critically, we redefine the process in terms of cost of characterization and development, rather than chance of success. For illustration, we apply the process to the example of the Lower Miocene on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. We show that the predictions are consistent with historic hydrocarbon production volumes and rates. The power of the CRS method is that it creates a systematic approach to geologic evaluation and translates complex, multidimensional analysis into clear, graphical and easily comprehended business inputs. The result highlights sweet spots and identifies critical risks, suggesting a focus for further data collection and analysis. The method developed here can be applied to both surface and subsurface factors anywhere that there is interest in geologic storage of CO2.
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    Estimation of CO₂ emissions from petroleum refineries based on the total operable capacity for carbon capture applications
    (2021) Madugula, Adhish Chandra Saketh; Sachde, Darshan; Hovorka, Susan D.; Meckel, Tim A.; Benson, Tracy J.
    Carbon capture and storage processes are sought to play a major role in reducing carbon emissions from large point sources. Petroleum refineries, in particular, produce several streams that are CO2-rich, including fluidized catalytic cracking, steam methane reforming, and natural gas combustion processes that generate heat for re- finery operations. Of these, stationary combustion processes account for nearly two-thirds of all CO2 generated within a refinery. In this work, a regression analysis was performed to correlate the size and power requirements for the combined capture, compression, and dehydration process dependent upon a refinery’s operating capacity. Refinery capacity and CO2 generation data from 128 U.S. refineries were normalized, and a linear regression model was developed. A capture, compression, and dehydration process model was developed using Aspen HYSYS for delivery of CO2 (10–15 wt. % in steam) to pipeline specifications (500 ppm H2O, 15.2 MPa). Predicted CO2 emissions were 0.1 to 7.7 % of actual emissions, depending on whether a refinery had a low, medium, or high carbon emission/capacity ratio.
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    Characterizing the Effect of Capillary Heterogeneity on Multiphase Flow Pulsation in an Intermediate-Scale Beadpack Experiment Using Time Series Clustering and Frequency Analysis
    (2021) Ni, Hailun; Meckel, Tim A.
    An intermediate-scale beadpack drainage experiment was conducted to investigate how simple layered lamination heterogeneity affects CO2 flow. Two simple layers of capillary barriers are manually packed in the tank and slow drainage was carried out using analog fluids to mimic the capillary- and gravity-dominated CO2 upward migration process in deep saline aquifers. Nonwetting phase saturation time series clustering analysis and frequency analysis have been conducted on the experimental data. Additionally, modified invasion percolation numerical simulations were done on a digital model of the beadpack to compare to experimental results. Results show that capillary barriers can lead to strong pulsation behavior, which in turn can cause unexpected early breaching through other barriers. The inlet pressure is found to be able to respond to saturation changes in far regions of the domain, indicating that the wetting phase can transmit pressure changes from the other phase. Although static simulations were not able to capture all the dynamic behavior observed in the experiment, Monte Carlo composite simulation results combining many different realizations can better illustrate how the nonwetting phase will behave in the heterogeneous domain. Our results suggest the need for CO2 storage site selection with preference given to aquifers with more capillary barriers with finer grain sizes to avoid flow pulsation and to retard plume upward migration.
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    Storage of Carbon Dioxide in Saline Aquifers: Physicochemical Processes, Key Constraints, and Scale-Up Potential
    (2021) Ringrose, Philip S.; Furre, Anne-Kari; Gilfillan, Stuart M.V.; Krevor, Samuel; Landrø, Martin; Leslie, Rory; Meckel, Tip A.; Nazarian, Bamshad; Zahid, Adeel
    CO2 storage in saline aquifers offers a realistic means of achieving globally significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at the scale of billions of tonnes per year. We review insights into the processes involved using well-documented industrial-scale projects, supported by a range of laboratory analyses, field studies, and flow simulations. The main topics we address are (a) the significant physicochemical processes, (b) the factors limiting CO2 storage capacity, and (c) the requirements for global scale-up.Although CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology can be considered mature and proven, it requires significant and rapid scale-up to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. The projected growth in the number of CO2 injection wells required is significantly lower than the historic petroleum industry drill rates, indicating that decarbonization via CCS is a highly credible and affordable ambition for modern human society. Several technology developments are needed to reduce deployment costs and to stimulate widespread adoption of this technology, and these should focus on demonstration of long-term retention and safety of CO2 storage and development of smart ways of handling injection wells and pressure, cost-effective monitoring solutions, and deployment of CCS hubs with associated infrastructure.
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    Attitudes on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a Mitigation Technology within the UNFCCC
    (2021) Romanak, Katherine; Fridahl, Mathias; Dixon, Tim
    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology for mitigating emissions from large point- source industries. In addition to the primary role of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, CCS forms the basis for two large-scale negative emissions technologies by coupling geologic CO2 storage with bioenergy (BECCS) and direct air carbon capture (DACCS). Despite its inclusion within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), CCS has been largely unsupported by UNFCCC delegates because of its association with fossil fuels. We evaluate data from surveys given since 2015 to UNFCCC delegates at the Conference of the Parties (COPs) to ascertain how attitudes about bioenergy, BECCS, and CCS may be changing within the UNFCCC. The results show a positive change in attitudes over time for both fossil CCS and BECCS. Using a unique data analysis method, we ascertain that, in some instances, popularity of BECCS increased due to an increased acceptance of CCS despite lower opinions of bioenergy. Business and research NGOs have the most positive views of CCS, and environmental NGOs the most negative views. Delegates that attend CCS side-events have more positive attitudes towards CCS than non-attendees. Developing countries have a larger need and a greater appetite for information on BECCS than developed countries, but a need for information exists in both.
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    Carbon Dioxide Storage in Deltaic Saline Aquifers: Invasion Percolation and Compositional Simulation
    (2021) Tavassoli, Shayan; Krishnamurthy Prasanna; Beckham, Emily; Meckel, Tip A.; Sepehrnoori, Kamy
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    Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Hub Development on the Gulf Coast
    (2021-01-15) Meckel, Tip A.; Bump, Alex P.; Hovorka, Susan D.; Trevino, Ramon H.