Feasibility of a Commercial-Scale Carbon Storage Project in North Dakota | AIChE

Feasibility of a Commercial-Scale Carbon Storage Project in North Dakota


Wildgust, N. - Presenter, University of North Dakota
Peck, W., UND Energy & Environmental Research Center
Hamling, J. A., University of North Dakota
Gorecki, C. D., University of North Dakota
The Energy & Environmental Research Center is investigating the feasibility of storing upwards of 50 million tonnes of CO2 in central North Dakota over a 25-year operational period. Technical and nontechnical challenges specific to commercial-scale deployment of a CO2 storage project are being addresssed, with a long-term goal of developing a permitted geologic storage opportunity should a business case for CO2 storage emerge. Two geologic storage areas located adjacent to separate lignite-fired energy generation facilities are being evaluated. Analysis of the newly acquired core shows sandstone porosity in the 25% to 35% range with corresponding permerabilities of approximately 1000 mD, suggesting that the Broom Creek Formation is an excellent target for CO2 storage. 3-D geocellular models provide the foundation for dynamic simulation efforts to predict potential CO2 and pressure plume extents at both storage areas based on the premise of a 2-million-tonne-a-year injection rate. Understanding the potential extent of CO2 provides guidance on pore space leasing requirements; monitoring, verification, and accounting activities; and development of business case scenarios. Modeling results indicate over 200 Mt of CO2 storage resource in each of the two areas under investigation. Support for feasibility is bolstered by an existing North Dakota CO2 pipeline, long-term liability laws for CO2 storage, pore space ownership laws, and primacy to administer the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Class VI underground injection control (UIC) rules. To support future phases of this project, a permitting plan incorporating local, state, and federal regulations is being developed with guidance from officials who oversee North Dakota’s primacy of EPA Class VI UIC wells. Project partners include DOE, the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Lignite Research Council, ALLETE Clean Energy, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Minnkota Power Company, BNI Energy, North American Coal, Prairie Public Television, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and Computer Modelling Group, Ltd.