First Published: First Break, October 2022

Sougata Halder, James Keay, John Xie, Meridee Fockler, Matt Mayer and Phil Hargreaves demonstrate why access to expansive subsurface well and seismic data and decades of oil and gas exploration experience give the geoscience industry a unique advantage in developing integrated best-in-class, basin-wide interpretation solutions to reduce the risk, time, and cost of the CCS life cycle.

Climate modeling by the International Energy Agency recommends the optimal approach for stabilizing global climate incorporating Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at the multi-gigatonne (Gt) scale by the middle of this century. All the pathways to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), show the necessity for a rapid decrease in emissions, leading to net zero by the middle of this century, along with 5-10 Gt of CO2 removal from the atmosphere each year in the second half of the century to offset the hard to avoid emissions, such as from agriculture and air travel and to correct for the overshoot of the total load of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Further, all the long-term energy emission scenarios with near-zero greenhouse gas rely on a combination of renewable energy, nuclear power, and fossil energy coupled to CCS for electric power generation.

Comprehensive and bold steps are required to reach climate neutrality by 2050, and CCS technology will be a key part of that effort. CCS is a proven and safe technology that prevents carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released from a point source into the atmosphere or removes it directly from the atmosphere.

CCS Article - Sougata - Hydrocarbon Pools for CO2 storageHydrocarbon pools and their associated reservoir and fluid attributes for comparing CO2 storage opportunities.

The technology involves capturing (purifying) CO2 produced by industrial plants (such as steel mills, chemicals plants and cement plants), coal and natural gas-fired power plants, and oil refineries, compressing it for transportation and then injecting it deep underground – at least 800 m below the surface – into a geological storage site, where it will be trapped and permanently stored in the porous rock.

Synergy between the industry intelligence and CCS technologies is critical to achieve our ambitious climate goal. The extension and enhancement of the tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, will support innovation and new deployments for a range of technologies, including CCS. This will help to ensure strong commercial interest and provide a basis for potential large-scale deployment of CCS technologies. Geophysical companies can play a crucial role in various aspects in the deployment of large-scale CCS technologies. Leveraging subsurface data and knowledge base built through years of industry experience, subsurface intelligence products, such as comprehensive storage resource assessment tools, can be developed to de-risk CCS investments. By providing CO2 injection monitoring solutions they can also address storage containment and conformance. Further, the experience of geophysical companies could be leveraged to bridge the transition from site assessment to injection by providing insights on permitting and regulatory liaising...

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