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type     December, 2002

Long-term CO2 Storage Using Petroleum Industry Experience

Reid B. Grigg, New Mexico Petroleum Recovery Research Center

This project by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology studies over 135 reservoirs in the USA into which CO2 is either being injected, has been injected or will be injected.

The petroleum industry has been injecting CO2 into geologic formations for about fifty years. Currently, about 2 billion standard cubic feet per day (BCFD) of CO2 is being injected into geologic formations for the purpose of improving oil recovery (IOR). Though most of the injected CO2 remains in an oil reservoir, the majority of the floods cannot be considered sequestration/storage projects because the CO2 source is another geologic formation. However, there are a number of floods, for which the CO2 source is an industrial by-product. These projects have the capacity to supply over 0.5 BCFD (11 million tons per year).

There is significant experience and knowledge in the industry to separate, compress, transport, inject, and process the quantities of CO2 that are envisioned for CO2 sequestration/storage. Improvements will occur as incentives, time and fluid volumes increase. The most important requirement is the provision of incentives to sequester CO2.

In the short time frame that CO2 has been injected into geological formations, seals are maintaining their integrity and retaining CO2 in place. Proven seals perform as expected in retaining CO2. Monitoring of CO2 flow in geological formations is critical to verification of sequestration, but technical development is in its infancy.

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