What's New

What's New

Battelle and MRCSP Contribute to NETL’s Best Practice Manuals for Geological Storage
July 21, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announced recently the release of three revised edition best practice manuals for geologic storage projects. These manuals provide a provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to carrying out a geologic storage project, from planning to completion. 

These Best Practice Manuals are the product of work done by the Regional Carbon Sequestration Projects, including lessons learned from the MRCSP field tests. The three 2017 revised edition best practice manuals which have been released for use are:
Along with these manuals, RCSPs also develop human capital, encourage stakeholder networking, develop carbon mitigation plans, and enhance public outreach and education.

11th IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting
June 6, 2017

Battelle, MRCSP, and Core Energy will be hosting the monitoring network meeting of the IEAGHG (International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D programme) in Traverse City, Michigan from June 13-15.

The conference theme is focused on: “Cost and Value-effectiveness of Monitoring: What Key Drivers are Required to Deliver an Optimum Outcome.” Presentations will also be centered around leveraging oil and gas industry experience for carbon dioxide storage.

As part of the IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting program, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) active CCUS field site. This site is a fully integrated carbon capture, pipeline, injection, and storage facility. This field trip allows attendees to view and learn about the operational and field aspects of a large-scale carbon dioxide injection and gain deeper insight into the DOE MRCSP project operations and monitoring systems.


New Cross Sections of Pennsylvania’s Devonian Shales Posted
May 19, 2017

Pennsylvania Geological Survey presented on recently reinterpreted stratigraphy at the Geological Society of America Northeastern Section meeting in Pittsburgh.  As a member of the Eastern Gas Shales Project (EGSP) research consortium, the Pennsylvania Geological Survey established a basic subsurface stratigraphy of the Middle and Upper Devonian section organic-rich black shales in Pennsylvania using gamma-ray wireline logs. Since 2004, thousands of shale gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania, generating renewed interest in the lithostratigraphy, mineralogy, and thermal maturity of the Marcellus and other organic-rich shales. The modern downhole geophysical log data associated with these shale gas completions has facilitated a deeper dive into the lithostratigraphy of both the Marcellus Formation and shallower Middle and Upper Devonian shales. As part of Pennsylvania’s ongoing MRCSP research – namely, interpreting and mapping the lithostratigraphy of organic-rich shales for enhanced gas recovery potential using carbon dioxide – Pennsylvania is building on EGSP and subsequent work. Additional geophysical logs and related data for ~3,500 wells in 41 counties has been interpreted to resolve Devonian shale to the formation and/or member level. 

In conjunction with this talk, the Pennsylvania Geological Survey prepared cross sectional images that have been posted on the MRCSP website. New cross sections showing the reinterpreted stratigraphy for the western and northern portions of Pennsylvania can be downloaded at the bottom of the MRCSP Regional Characterization Page. MRCSP was recognized as a funding source for the study.

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Facility Begins Operations in Abu Dhabi
April 24, 2017

The first commercial-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage facility in the Middle East and North Africa is now operational.

The Al Reyadah project aims to sequester up to 800,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The facility harnesses the CO₂ emitted by major Abu Dhabi steel producer Emirates Steel Industries and injects it as a substitute for rich gas into the emirate’s oil reservoirs to help enhance their output.

The technology works in three stages. Carbon dioxide is first captured on site at the Emirates Steel manufacturing complex before being compressed and dehydrated. The third step involves conveying the CO₂ via an underground pipeline for enhanced oil recovery injection into two onshore oilfields.

For more information, click here.

MRCSP Leaders Contribute to Society of Petroleum Engineers “Grand Challenge: Carbon Capture and Sequestration” Paper
March 20, 2017

Battelle’s Neeraj Gupta and Lydia Cumming coauthored a recent Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) paper on the Grand Challenges facing Carbon Capture and Sequestration. The challenges listed are (1) Cost Effective Capture of Power Sector and Industrial Carbon Dioxide, (2) Carbon Dioxide Storage in Geologic Formations – The Challenges of Scale and Pore Space Access, (3) Reusing Old Fields and Infrastructure, Well Engineering Operations and Design, (4) Demonstrating that Storage is Secure, (5) Dealing with the Availability of Much More CO₂, (6) Development and Dissemination of Best Practices and (7) Encouraging R&D Policies/Efforts to Address the Challenges. The full paper is published on the SPE website and a summary is published in the January 2017 issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT). The paper authors presented an SPE webinar on the topic on March 2. 

A link to the paper can be found here.
A link to the Webinar can be found here

MRCSP Field Program Achieves Key Milestone with Characterization and Baseline Monitoring in a New EOR Field in Michigan
March 20, 2017

The MRCSP research team completed a milestone in February when operations associated with drilling, characterization, and completion were finished for two new wells, an injection well and a monitoring well. Operations supporting this MRCSP research in this new field began in November 2016 when the injection well was spudded in the depleted oil and gas reef being prepared for a carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery. These wells are planned to be part of a carbon dioxide storage and enhanced oil recovery project which will use carbon dioxide to flood the reef, re-pressurize the oil bearing formations, and extract additional oil from this otherwise unproductive reef while permanently storing carbon dioxide. Achievement of this milestone is a key step towards MRCSP’s goal of monitoring at least 1 million tonnes of net injection.

In this depleted reef, the MRCSP program collected characterization data, including mudlogs, wireline logs, sidewall cores, whole core, and formation test data. This characterization data will be used to gain understanding of the geologic nature of the reef. The data will also contribute to geologic models that will be used as the basis for understanding the injection, production, and storage mechanisms and behavior as operations in the reef are underway.

MRCSP also installed monitoring equipment in the two new wells. A permanent fiber optic monitoring system using behind-casing fiber optic DTS (Distributed Temperature Sensing) and DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) technology was installed in both the injection and monitoring wells. A multi-level pressure array was installed in the monitoring well to observe pressure changes in formation layers within the reef; the array was installed in tandem with the monitoring well’s fiber optic system. After the installation of the behind casing monitoring equipment, isolation scanner and magnetic flux cased hole wireline technology was used for advanced cement bond logging and to help map the equipment location as installed behind casing. This mapping will help prevent damage to the fiber optic during perforation of the wells for production. The DAS system in both wells was used to collected baseline seismic profiles in the reef, which can be compared with future seismic profiles to evaluate the efficacy of these seismic techniques for monitoring CO₂ migration. An additional part of the monitoring program - running a baseline pulsed neutron capture log - was also performed following the completion of each well to gain insight into the initial fluid saturation conditions within the reef. Following the baseline monitoring, our host company has started injection of CO₂ in this field and continuous operational and monitoring data are being shared with MRCSP for research purposes. 


World’s Largest Carbon Capture Plant Begins Operation in Texas
January 24, 2017

NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation have begun operations of the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture system.

The Petra Nova coal power plant has already delivered more than 100,000 tons of captured carbon dioxide to a field through an 80-mile pipeline. Final performance acceptance testing recently was completed in late 2016. During performance testing, the system met all performance criteria including capturing more than 90% of carbon dioxide off an existing coal-fueled electrical generating unit. At this level of operation, Petra Nova can capture more than 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide per day, which is the equivalent of taking more than 350,000 cars off the road. 

Both a win for job creation and the environment, Petra Nova shows an economic path to make existing and new fossil fuel plants significantly more environmentally viable. At peak construction, over 500 people were working on the project. Christopher Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, stated “As the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture system, the Petra Nova project confirms that carbon capture and storage technologies can play a critical role in ensuring the Nation’s energy security and providing good jobs for American workers, all while helping us reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.”

For more information, go to the link

Battelle Presents at IEAGHG Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference
December 12, 2016

Battelle’s carbon storage team recently shared their latest research at the 13th International Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT) Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland from November 14 to 18, 2016. The presentations highlighted progress on large-scale tests in Michigan under MRCSP and several other research efforts aimed at the development of carbon storage and utilization technologies. Topics ranged from:  
  • Well integrity assessment of monitoring wells at an active carbon dioxide-EOR flood - (Andrew Duguid)
  • Static earth modelling of diverse Michigan Niagaran Reefs and the implications for carbon dioxide storage - (Autumn Haagsma)
  • Technical and economic performance metrics for CCUS projects: an example from the East Canton Consolidated Oil Field, Ohio, USA - (Dr. Srikanta Mishra)
  • Integrated sub-basin scale exploration for carbon storage targets: advanced characterization of geologic reservoirs and caprocks in the Upper Ohio River Valley - (Dr. Neeraj Gupta)
  • An investigation of possible causes of pressure decline and maximum carbon dioxide storage potential following carbon dioxide injection into a “closed” Pinnacle Reef reservoir - (Dr. Neeraj Gupta) 
  • Analyzing the performance of closed reservoirs following carbon dioxide injection in CCUS projects - (Dr. Srikanta Mishra)
  • Lessons learned from carbon dioxide injection, monitoring, and modelling across a diverse portfolio of depleted closed carbonate reef oil fields - The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership experience - (Dr. Neeraj Gupta)
  • Developing best practices for evaluating fluid saturations with pulsed neutron logging across multiple active carbon dioxide-EOR fields - (Amber Connor)
  • Developing and validating simplified predictive models for carbon dioxide geologic sequestration - (Dr. Srikanta Mishra)
  • Integrated analysis of geomechanical factors for geologic carbon dioxide storage in the Midwestern United States - (Joel Sminchak)
  • Mid-Atlantic U.S. offshore carbon storage resource assessment - (Lydia Cumming)
MRCSP Annual Meeting 2016 – RECAP
November 8, 2016

MRCSP held its Annual Meeting November 1-2, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. More than 90 research partners, project supporters, and other interested stakeholders participated in the meeting. The group met to review MRCSP’s accomplishments and discuss how they relate to the current policy context and future challenges for carbon storage. The group also learned about other emerging research within the US Department of Energy’s carbon storage and capture program portfolios.

The meeting kicked off with a discussion of the international context for carbon storage. Jeff Erickson, General Manager – Americas for the Global CCS Institute, reviewed the role of carbon storage in global efforts to address climate change. Chuck McConnell, former MRCSP team member and current Executive Director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, built on this talk by reviewing international carbon storage initiatives. This discussion was rounded out by remarks from Dirk Forrister, President and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), who discussed the status of the global climate change negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, including the Paris Agreement and early national efforts to implement it. The group was presented with possible paths for carbon storage to help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

The MRCSP Principal Investigator Neeraj Gupta, Battelle, provided an overview presentation that highlighted the recent progress on the large-scale Development Phase project in Michigan and efforts to further improve the geologic characterization of the ten-state MRCSP region. Two sessions with more detailed reviews of specific technical issues and project achievements followed. This included an overview by Rick Pardini of Core Energy of infrastructure additions currently underway followed by a review of geologic and reservoir modeling and status of monitoring technologies by Battelle researchers. One important message was the MRCSP monitoring of CO₂ injection is more than 60% complete, and the early results of monitoring have been useful in evaluating the CO₂ injection and retention processes. Another important message was the MRCSP region covering ten states has significant and varied geologic resources that could be developed for carbon storage and utilization.

The final session of the meeting circled back to the global and national context for carbon storage. Presentations included a review of capacity building by Battelle in developing countries, carbon capture R&D programs, and carbon storage policy and incentives in the US and in individual states. Based on the updates, it appears that there is a strong industry interest and stakeholder momentum for expanding the incentives for CO₂ storage in saline formations and as part of EOR to encourage broader deployment in the US.

The annual meeting is an important opportunity for those involved in carbon storage in the region to meet, share information, and further working relationships. The MRCSP convenes these discussions as part of its mission to build a core competency in the region.

Largest Carbon Capture Plant in World to Open in Texas
October 13, 2016

The carbon capture system under construction at a coal-fired power plant southwest of Houston, TX is scheduled to be operational before the end of the year. The facility will be the largest post-combustion carbon capture system on an existing power plant in the world and is designed to capture about 90% of the carbon dioxide from a 240-MW slipstream of flue gas and sequester 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases a year.

The captured carbon dioxide will be pumped to depleted wells in an oilfield located 82 miles away, where it will be injected into the West Ranch oil field in Jackson County, Texas for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), where an estimated 60 million barrels of oil could be recovered using EOR.

The Petra Nova facility is being built by a joint venture of NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration at NRG’s W.S. Parish coal-fired plant.

For more information, go to the link.


S.3179 - Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act
August 4, 2016

U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently introduced a bill to incentivize the development and use of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies and processes.

The proposed bill would promote carbon capture technologies by extending the 45Q tax credit, which encourages investment in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration. The credits also encourage the use of CO₂ in enhanced oil recovery. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance for review.

A link to the bill can be found here.

Battelle to Represent MRCSP at International Carbon Capture and Storage Conference
June 30, 2016

Battelle will be presenting MRCSP research findings at the 2nd Combined Meeting of the IEAGHG Modeling and Monitoring Networks in July 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Program (IEAGHG) is an international collaborative research program established in 1991 under the International Energy Agency (IEA). The program created several networks that bring together experts from around the world to share information on different aspects of carbon capture and storage. The meeting of the Modeling and Monitoring Network will focus on “Using the modeling-monitoring loop to demonstrate storage performance more effectively.” The British Geological Survey and Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage are hosting the meeting.

Amber Conner, Research Scientist at Battelle, will give a presentation that highlights the efforts by MRCSP to advance the monitoring technique known as Pulsed neutron capture (PNC) logging. This technique is successfully applied in many geologic settings but traditional PNC measurements, like Sigma, are not sufficiently sensitive for certain oil field conditions including 3-phase systems (oil-water-gas) and zones of low porosity. MRCSP has been working with the technology vendor to improve the applicability of the tool through data processing approaches, Monte Carlo analysis, and incorporation of factors such as wellbore conditions, logging configurations, reservoir geologic and geochemical conditions. Advanced PNC tool technology requires more comprehensive understanding of geologic and geochemical conditions to create accurate models for estimating relative saturations of various fluid phases. Each field and well is treated as a unique case and modeled according to its geological and geochemical characteristics prior to PNC logging. This provides optimal data output and better resolution of injected CO₂.  Conner’s presentation is entitled: “Optimizing Pulsed Neutron (PNC) Logging and Modeling Techniques.”

Neeraj Gupta, Senior Research Leader at Battelle, will be giving an update on the linkage between modeling and monitoring results for the MRCSP large-scale test in Michigan.  Andrew Duguid will present recent progress in understanding and mitigating well integrity risks for CO₂ storage.  For more information visit the IEAGHG website.


The Coal Utilization Research Council and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization Release Global CCS White Paper
May 25, 2016

The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) recently released a study titled Analysis of Options for Funding Large Pilot Scale Testing of Advanced Fossil-Based Power Generation Technologies with Carbon Capture. The paper is the product of an effort led by CURC pursuant to a contract with NEDO of Japan and as a component of the continuing collaboration between NEDO and the U.S. Department of Energy. Other participants to the study include Natural Resources Canada and the Korean Institute of Energy Research of the Republic of Korea.

The New Energy and Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is one of Japan's largest economic and industrial policy research and development management organizations. Learn more at www.nedo.go.jp/english.

The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) is an industry advocacy group organized to promote the research, development, demonstration and deployment of technology that will enable the long term use of our nation's abundant coal supplies in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable manner. Learn more at www.coal.org.

Pennsylvania Geological Survey Presents a Carbon Sequestration Lecture to Lehigh University
March 31, 2016

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey had an opportunity to speak with undergraduate and graduate students at Lehigh University's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department in Bethlehem, PA, on March 8. Kristin Carter, an Assistant State Geologist at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, provided an interactive lecture and discussion on how the commonwealth has engaged in carbon capture utilization and storage research since 2003, and highlighted its collaboration with Battelle Memorial Institute, which has resulted in technical deliverables that inform stakeholders and researchers alike regarding sequestration opportunities throughout the greater MRCSP Region.

One particular discussion focused on how Pennsylvania and MRCSP conduct research at various scales to characterize sequestration reservoirs. Kristin demonstrated the geologic software that her team uses to do the characterization of sequestration reservoirs. The discussion also focused on ways that the Pennsylvania Geological Survey is working directly with professors and graduate students to perform value-added reservoir characterization research to support ongoing MRCSP Phase III regional characterization studies.

Battelle Wins Project to Develop Additional Benefits from Ohio Coal
February 8, 2016

Battelle has added another project aimed at optimizing the benefits from local coal. It received $900,000 in government funding, most of it federal, to economically demonstrate extraction of rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts. The project has been recommended for co-funding by the Ohio Coal Research and Development Program's Technical Advisory Committee. This work adds to the work already being done on Carbon Capture and Sequestration to help keep coal clean, economic, and local.
Inside many coals are key – and expensive – elements used to make components of cell-phone batteries, magnets and wind turbines. These elements are also critical in military communication systems. The current methods of rare earth extraction from coal are economically infeasible. 

Most rare earth elements are mined in China. The U.S. doesn't have those mines but it does have plenty of coal and coal ash. Ohio and West Virginia coal especially contain properties necessary for rare earth mineral mining. If proven, it can be a potential new outlet for Ohio Coal.

Battelle's unique approach will use simple acids to extract the rare earth elements out of coal and recycle almost all of the acid instead of disposing it as waste. Thus, reducing costs and leaving a concentrated source of rare earth elements.
The research will target coal mined in the Appalachian region where relatively high rare earth content has been found by the U.S. Geological Survey. The researchers will work with the coal producers and users to locate sources of coal and coal by-products in Ohio with high rare earth content.

CORE Energy LLC Implements CO Enhanced Oil Recovery on its 9th Well in Michigan
January 12, 2016

MRSCP Research Partner and site host Core Energy continues to expand its operations and has recently begun a CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery project in a new depleted oil field. Core Energy. This newest oil field is expected to produce another 1 million barrels of oil over a 10-year period, thus increasing oil production by over 33% in this mature field. Carbon dioxide used for the project comes from a gas processing plant in Antrim County, where it is removed from natural gas. From there the carbon dioxide is compressed and then injected about one mile into the ground at the Otsego County field.

Depending on oil prices, 1 million barrels could lead to $40 million to $80 million in additional revenue. Bob Mannes (CEO & Founder, Core Energy) said, "Otsego County has had tens of millions of gallons of oil produced throughout the decades, and there is three times as much oil left in the ground than came out, but you can't get it out." This project using CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery hopes to collect the remaining oil.

What does this news mean for climate change mitigation? The carbon dioxide stays in the ground after the oil is produced so this project will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. "We are taking carbon dioxide that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere and we are injecting the carbon dioxide a mile underground into an oil field," said Mannes. Harold Fitch, chief of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals, said "It's a win-win situation this way. It's a good way to recover extra oil and take carbon dioxide out of the air to address global climate issues." Successful projects, such as those achieved by Core Energy, helps to open doors for the use of CO₂ enhanced oil recovery as a climate change mitigation strategy.

The story can be viewed here and here.
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