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The Leakage Risk Monetization Model for Geologic CO2 Storage

Journal Title Environmental Science and Technology
Published Date April 06, 2016
Research Type


We developed the Leakage Risk Monetization Model (LRiMM) which integrates simulation of CO2 leakage from geologic CO2 storage reservoirs with estimation of monetized leakage risk (MLR). Using geospatial data, LRiMM quantifies financial responsibility if leaked CO2 or brine interferes with subsurface resources, and estimates the MLR reduction achievable by remediating leaks. We demonstrate LRiMM with simulations of 30 years of injection into the Mt. Simon sandstone at two locations that differ primarily in their proximity to existing wells that could be leakage pathways. The peak MLR for the site nearest the leakage pathways ($7.5/tCO2) was 190x larger than for the farther injection site, illustrating how careful siting would minimize MLR in heavily used sedimentary basins. Our MLR projections are at least an order of magnitude below overall CO2 storage costs at well-sited locations, but some stakeholders may incur substantial costs. Reliable methods to detect and remediate leaks could further minimize MLR. For both sites, the risk of CO2 migrating to potable aquifers or reaching the atmosphere was negligible due to secondary trapping, whereby multiple impervious sedimentary layers trap CO2 that has leaked through the primary seal of the storage formation.

Bielicki, J., Pollak, M., Deng, H., Wilson, E., Fitts, J., and Peters, C. (2016) “The Leakage Risk Monetization Model for Geologic CO2 Storage.” Environmental Science & Technology, 50(10), 4923-4931.