SPE Releases Document for Evaluating Carbon Dioxide Storage

A CO2 storage resource is defined as the quantity (mass or volume) of CO2 that can be stored in a geologic formation. Resource assessments estimate total storable quantities in known, yet-to-be-discovered (i.e., identified) geologic formations; resource evaluations focus on those quantities that potentially can be used for commercial storage. A CO2 storage resources management system (SRMS) provides a consistent approach to estimate storable quantities, evaluate development projects, and present results within a comprehensive classification framework.

It has been recognized for several years that quantitative estimates of CO2 storage need to be better described in terms of data availability and certainty of the estimate, as well as the status of a related injection project.

Over the past decade, authors around the world have proposed many methods to describe and systematically estimate storage resources; however, none of these methods have gained global acceptance. Several authors and institutes have recommended systems on the basis of the SPE Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS). The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum has adopted a technoeconomic resource-pyramid approach presented a summary of classification systems in 2014.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has an overarching classification system for fossil energy and mineral reserves and resources called the United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC-2009). The UNFC-2009, as applied to petroleum resources, has been mapped to the PRMS by way of a bridging document. To maintain consistency between the two systems, the SPE Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Storage Technical Section is working with the UNECE to apply the same approach to the SPE CO2 SRMS.

This multiplicity of similar, but different, classification systems has a remarkable parallel to the petroleum industry because it was before the coordinated efforts of a number of societies at the beginning of the 21st century to develop a PRMS. Drawing upon this experience, this document outlines a system based on the PRMS, which is well-established and widely used and accepted by many organizations. It was very closely used in the development of this document. The PRMS definitions and the related classification system are now in common use internationally within the petroleum industry. The CO2 SRMS is being developed to create a consistent set of definitions and a classification system for international usage. The SRMS will also provide a measure of comparability and reduce the subjective nature of resources estimation. As technologies and methodologies employed for CO2 storage evolve, the CO2 SRMS subcommittee will work closely with other organizations to update this document periodically to keep current with common practices and changing commerciality criteria.

The established use and acceptance of the PRMS provided the initial template for adaptation to this SRMS document. The PRMS classification concerns the commercial viability of hydrocarbon accumulations. The basis of the SRMS classification scheme is the accessible pore volume in a geologic formation in which CO2 could be stored (i.e., storable quantities).

These definitions and guidelines are designed to provide a common reference for the international storage industry, including national reporting and regulatory disclosure agencies, and to support storage-project and portfolio-management requirements. They are intended to improve clarity in global communications regarding storage resources. It is expected that this document will be supplemented with industry education programs and application guides addressing their implementation in a wide spectrum of technical or commercial settings.

This document is intended for use in geologic formations completely saturated with brine (i.e., saline formations or saline aquifers) and depleted hydrocarbon fields without hydrocarbon production.

Read the document here (PDF).


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