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Geological Sequestration of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide: Applicability and Current Issues

By
Stefan Bachu
Stefan Bachu
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Published:
January 01, 2001

ABSTRACT

Using the technology and experience already gained by the oil and gas industry and in groundwater resource management, sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in geological media is an immediately applicable option for the near- to medium-term mitigation of climate-change effects resulting from the release of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere. Based on its properties and in-situ conditions, CO2 can be sequestered as a gas, a liquid, or in supercritical state in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, uneconomic coal beds, deep saline aquifers, and salt caverns. Using CO2 for miscible flooding of oil reservoirs or for methane production from coal beds has an added economic benefit. The main trapping mechanisms responsible for CO2 sequestration in geological media are geological, solubility, hydrodynamic, mineral, adsorption, and cavern trapping. Basin- scale criteria for CO2 sequestration, such as tectonic setting, hydrodynamic and geothermal regimes, hydrocarbon potential and basin maturity, and surface infrastructure, should be used in determining sedimentary basins in the world that are suitable for CO2 sequestration in geological media. Site-specific criteria, such as particular geological media, in-situ conditions, storage capacity, injectivity and flow dynamics, and sequestration efficiency, need to be applied to identify sites, methods, and capacity for CO2 sequestration. Continental sedimentary basins in North America, foremost in Texas and Alberta, are the prime candidates for CO2 sequestration in geological media, followed by circum-Atlantic shelf basins. However, a series of major issues still needs to be addressed before proceeding with full-scale implementation, such as identification of specific sites and their capacities; proper characterization of the sequestration medium and of in-situ conditions; predicting and monitoring the fate of the injected CO2; surface CO2 capture, transport, and injection; performance assessment; and, finally, general public acceptance. Nevertheless, CO2 sequestration in geological media is a very promising option for carbon management and is in the stage of development prior to application.

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Contents

AAPG Studies in Geology

Geological Perspectives of Global Climate Change

Lee C. Gerhard
Lee C. Gerhard
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William E. Harrison
William E. Harrison
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Bernold M. Hanson
Bernold M. Hanson
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
47
ISBN electronic:
9781629810669
Publication date:
January 01, 2001

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