The Earth Sciences Division (ESD) at LBNL conducts research in hydrogeology and reservoir engineering, geophysics and geomechanics, geochemistry, microbial ecology, and environmental engineering, tackling some of the planet's most pressing issues, including: improved oil recovery, energy resources, climate change, carbon sequestration, environmental remediation, and nuclear
energy and waste disposal. The ESD research and operations activities are supported at a level of more than $40 million a year, with a total of nearly 300 employees, UC faculty, guests, and students. ESD is organized into five departments and six programs, one of which is the Geologic Carbon Sequestration (GCS) Program.
The GCS Program mission is to develop knowledge and understanding of CO2 injection, storage, migration, impacts, and monitoring to inform and guide the safe and effective implementation of geologic carbon sequestration.
For over ten years, LBNL’s GCS Program has been using lab, field, and simulation approaches to
investigate key issues associated with GCS including: capacity, trapping mechanisms, and permanence, monitoring and verification using geophysical (e.g., seismic) and surface detection methods, enhanced hydrocarbon recovery options, leakage and seepage, impacts on the environment including groundwater, induced seismicity, and the near-surface; risk-based assessment and certification, injection field studies including fluid sampling at in-situ conditions and seismic monitoring, and performance prediction (LBNL develops the TOUGH reservoir simulation codes). Results of LBNL research in GCS have been reported in over 120 peer-reviewed journal publications. Support for LBNL's research on GCS comes mostly (>80%) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with additional support from the Carbon Capture Project, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and various other sources.
Relevant project experience (most recent only):
GEO-SEQ: research in support of demonstration programs occurring at the Frio Formation, Texas; Otway Basin, Australia; and Krechba Gas Field, In Salah, Algeria;
Zero Emissions Research and Technology (ZERT): fundamental studies of near-surface monitoring and leakage detection, relative permeability and trapping, and development and applications of simulation capabilities for CO2 migration;
West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) (one of seven DOE regional
partnerships): primary technical support for pilot studies in the western U.S.;
National Risk Assessment Program (NRAP): collaboration with four other national laboratories, research related to risk, namely we-bore integrity, groundwater impacts, monitoring, natural leakage pathways, and systems modeling;
U.S. EPA: research on potential effects on ground-water of large-scale CO2 injection;
Carbon Capture Project (CCP, an industry consortium): risk-based certification framework, and monitoring technologies.
Within CO2CARE, LBNL researchers will collaborate on some of the WP3 activities, modelling analysis of above-zone pressure monitoring results at Ketzin, modelling of trapping mechanisms affected by heterogeneity, and evaluation of pressure management options via brine extraction