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Journal Article

Evaluation of Geological Carbon Storage Opportunities in California and a Deep Look in the Vicinity of Kern County


Geological carbon storage has a critical role to play for the US to accomplish carbon neutrality by 2050. In this work, previous studies of geological carbon storage are reviewed, redefined, and evaluated to focus on providing proper candidate storage sites in the Southern San Joaquin Basin. This study clarifies not only the CO2 capture and storage opportunity but also the potential economic benefit. A three-stage selection method is applied to a catalog of saline formations and hydrocarbon fields to qualify sites for additional in-depth study. The three stages consist of screening using geological criteria, defining exclusion zones, and qualifying sites (Callas and Benson, 2020Kim et al., 2022). Exclusion zones define potentially unacceptable storage sites based on seismic risk, surface environment such as sensitive habitats, social, and economic aspects. Nine saline formations and 133 hydrocarbon fields were examined. The exclusion zones including faulted, seismically active, large population density, restricted lands, and sensitive habitats, were subtracted from hydrocarbon fields and saline formations. This process resulted in qualified sites. Finally, qualified sites were prioritized using a scoring system. The estimated CO2 storage resource in the qualified saline formations ranged from 16.6 to 52 GtCO2 whereas the estimated CO2 storage resource in hydrocarbon fields ranged from 0.45 - 1.15 GtCO2. Among hydrocarbon fields, 15 CO2-EOR candidate fields with storage resources of 0.36 – 0.88 GtCO2 are located in Kern County. Considering the scoring system, a total of 41 storage sites including 7 hydrocarbon fields were defined as target CO2 storage sites. The opportunities for 41 CO2 storage sites in and around Kern County were linked to selected large CO2 emitters in Southern California including Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties. Finally, the prospective storage sites and emitters were analyzed technoeconomically using SimCCS to find optimal conditions to deploy CCS projects. Regional GHG emissions from oil and gas facilities such as EOR steam generators and CHPs can be captured and stored economically in geological formations as a result of LCFS and 45Q credits. The sensitivity of 45Q credit value and covered period are critical factors to incentivize CCS deployment. The deployment scenarios evaluated using SimCCS teach that the Southern San Joaquin basin is an excellent potential regional carbon storage hub.

Tae Wook Kim
Sean Yaw
Anthony R. Kovscek
SPE Western Regional Meeting
Publication Date
April 19, 2022