Underground storage of carbon dioxide has already been successfully tested in various aquifers, in hydrocarbon reservoirs and in non-minable coal seams. However, for extensive application a series of challenges must be considered: • high cost of separation and storage which currently leads to heavy increases of the cost of electric power. In the case of storage in oil or gas reservoirs and in coal seams, this cost may be partially offset by the increased production of oil in the first case, or of the methane contained in the carboniferous layers in the latter case. In any case, however a substantial economic contribution to GS, especially in aquifers, may come from the introduction of CO2 emission taxes; • the difficulty (or the impossibility) of getting to fully know the storage sites in a complete way, especially in the case of aquifers which may cover many thousands of square kilometres; • the incomplete knowledge of cap-rocks and of well leak tightness for thousands of years; • the risk of sudden leakages of CO2 due to seismic events; • political and legal obstacles to storage , often set by national and international laws, and the difficulty of achieving worldwide agreements. Some of these difficulties may be overcome in the future, and risks may be reduced by the evolution of techniques. However, even after having identified the techniques which cut risks down to the minimum, there are still the risks and uncertainties, impossible to eliminate, present in every activity associated with underground use, especially in the long run. At last, an accurate analysis of the situation may identify the most probable future scenarios and assess the degree of risk connected to each planned activity.

Carbon dioxide sequestration in geological formations: problems and difficulties

BRIGHENTI, GIOVANNI
2006

Abstract

Underground storage of carbon dioxide has already been successfully tested in various aquifers, in hydrocarbon reservoirs and in non-minable coal seams. However, for extensive application a series of challenges must be considered: • high cost of separation and storage which currently leads to heavy increases of the cost of electric power. In the case of storage in oil or gas reservoirs and in coal seams, this cost may be partially offset by the increased production of oil in the first case, or of the methane contained in the carboniferous layers in the latter case. In any case, however a substantial economic contribution to GS, especially in aquifers, may come from the introduction of CO2 emission taxes; • the difficulty (or the impossibility) of getting to fully know the storage sites in a complete way, especially in the case of aquifers which may cover many thousands of square kilometres; • the incomplete knowledge of cap-rocks and of well leak tightness for thousands of years; • the risk of sudden leakages of CO2 due to seismic events; • political and legal obstacles to storage , often set by national and international laws, and the difficulty of achieving worldwide agreements. Some of these difficulties may be overcome in the future, and risks may be reduced by the evolution of techniques. However, even after having identified the techniques which cut risks down to the minimum, there are still the risks and uncertainties, impossible to eliminate, present in every activity associated with underground use, especially in the long run. At last, an accurate analysis of the situation may identify the most probable future scenarios and assess the degree of risk connected to each planned activity.
Prooc. 5th European Congress on Regional Geoscientific Cartography and Information Systems
317
320
G. Brighenti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/30067
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