Common risk segment mapping: Streamlining exploration for carbon storage sites, with application to coastal Texas and Louisiana

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Bump, Alexander P.
Hovorka, Susan D.
Meckel, Tim A.

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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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Bump, A. P., Hovorka, S. D., and Meckel, T.A., 2021, Common risk segment mapping: streamlining exploration for carbon storage sites, with application to coastal Texas and Louisiana: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 111, no. 103457, 13 p.,