Energy Excursions

Site-Specific Monitoring

As previously discussed, monitoring technologies can be deployed for atmospheric, near-surface and subsurface applications to ensure that injected CO2 remains in the storage reservoir and that injection wells and preexisting wells are not prone to unintended CO2 release. The monitoring plan is an essential part of ensuring safe, effective and permanent CO2 storage in all types of storage complexes.1DOE. (2017). Best practices: Monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) for geologic storage projects (revised edition). U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/NETL-2018/1847. Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-10/BPM-MVA-2012.pdf

Monitoring plans should be risk-based, designed to mitigate any potential negative impacts and minimize any uncertainties by iterative application of monitoring technologies and risk analysis. Much of the technology used for monitoring is not fundamentally new. Technologies developed for oil and gas exploration and development provide a good basis for geologic storage monitoring plans, but regulations and agreements for geologic storage push technology needs to be more CO2-specific.2DOE. (2017). Best practices: Monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) for geologic storage projects (revised edition). U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/NETL-2018/1847. Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-10/BPM-MVA-2012.pdf

Monitoring Programs are Unique

The EPA Class VI well regulations outline requirements for monitoring, but do not prescribe specific monitoring technologies.3DOE. (2017). Best practices: Monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) for geologic storage projects (revised edition). U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/NETL-2018/1847. Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-10/BPM-MVA-2012.pdf And because each project site/geology is unique, the monitoring plan needs to be designed to address these specific site and geology characteristics. This customization of the monitoring program requires an integrated team of experts from multiple technical (e.g., scientific and engineering) and non-technical (e.g., legal, economic, communications) disciplines.4DOE. (2017). Best practices: Monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) for geologic storage projects (revised edition). U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/NETL-2018/1847. Retrieved June 27, 2021, from https://netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-10/BPM-MVA-2012.pdf As you will see in the next lesson on a monitoring case study, adequate monitoring must be appropriate to match the unique setting of the project; but, over-monitoring can result in an uneconomic project. 

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