Work in SUPRI-A on CCUS is aligned with the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage SCCS as well as the Carbon Utilization and Storage Partnership CUSP WEST. Our interests include basin-scale assessment of storage formations using rapid evaluation and ranking methods that are relatively simple to implement. The assessment methodology clarifies prospective carbon dioxide storage amounts taking into account formation specific properties as well as restrictions including sites that pose technical risk or are located in regions with surface restrictions including sensitive habitats and dense populations. In this way, we advance toward adding certainty to estimates of carbon dioxide storage potential and identification of potentially acceptable sites for injection.
Also at the scale of fields and basins, we are developing methods to model the heterogeneous distribution of stress in the subsurface. This knowledge is essential to robust geomechanical assessment to avoid mechanical damage to the storage formation and overlying strata.
With respect to monitoring the progress of carbon storage activities, we are extending our past work using Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) in combination with in-depth understanding of formation deformation. As a formation undergoes injection, surface movement, in some cases, correlates with the progress of storage operations as well as the volume of pore space that is contacted. Monitoring using InSAR may provide an option for both long- and short-term assessment of the efficacy of storage operations.
Pivoting to carbon utilization, carbon dioxide enhanced recovery provides a means to decrease the climate impacts of oil and gas production. Hence, our continued interest in enhanced recovery as described in a subsequent area. Because of its low viscosity and availability, water is used as a hydraulic fracturing fluid in nearly all hydraulic fracturing operations. Carbon dioxide is a potential substitute for aqueous fracturing fluids and may have a number of advantages including reduction of stress on water resources, less water to be disposed, and/or less water recycled. The expense and lack of availability of carbon dioxide, however, makes water the fracturing fluid of choice. Our research contributes toward a shift toward reduced water consumption in upstream petroleum operations.