This summer, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center is thrilled to work with three outstanding graduate students, Amir Kamali from the University of Oklahoma and Alexander Tarakanov and Mehrdad Alfi from Texas A&M University. Seyyed Hosseini, who is overseeing the students’ research, notes that the interns “have the opportunity to work closely with GCCC staff to learn about CCS related problems and apply their skills to solve them.”

 

J_5okbroXDwAlexander Tarakanov is in the final year of his Ph. D. in the Department of Petroleum Engineering in Texas A&M University. His research is focused on the Lattice-Boltzmann Method (LBM), in particular developing LBM-based numerical schemes for simulating fluid flow from pore-scale to field-scale. This summer, Alexander is applying LBM to CO2 sequestration, with a goal of developing code to study the distribution of CO2 in a reservoir.

 

IMG_8171Merhdad Alfi (left) has a background in chemical engineering and has just finished his third year in Texas A&M University as a Ph. D. student in Petroleum Engineering. At GCCC, Merhdad is working on canister data obtained from shale formations in order to calculate lost gas and formation permeability. He is using an analytical solution to the continuity equation for modelling gas flow inside shale media and then matching it with experimental data gathered from the drawdown process.

 

Amir Kamali (right) is a Ph. D. candidate whose research involves reservoir geomechanics applied to petroleum and geothermal systems. His bachelors and masters degrees are in petroleum engineering as well. This summer, Amir is developing a transient gas transport model to quantify CO2 and CH4 concentrations at the bottom of the water wells and throughout the wellbore itself.

 

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    Attendees of the International Workshop on Offshore hailed from Europe, Asia, and North America.
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    Tim Dixon of IEAGHG talks to a local reporter during the CarbonSAFE meeting.

    In June, GCCC hosted three events that fostered opportunities for local and international collaboration on geological carbon sequestration in the Gulf Coast.

    Katherine Romanak and Tim Dixon facilitated the Second International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage at the Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship at Lamar University. Stakeholders from China, South Africa, Japan, Norway, France, the Netherlands, UK, Canada, and across the United States attended. Elements of this event were supported by CSLF.

    Tip Meckel led a field trip that incorporated aspects of the full CCS chain: a tour of the Air Products capture facility, overviews of a midstream transport terminal including rail, vessel and pipeline transport, highlights of modern analogues of storage formations at the Texas coast, and a visit to the museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur Texas.

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    Sue Hovorka describes the Air Products carbon capture project.

    As part of the CarbonSAFE project, the event wrapped up with a workshop and open house exploring the connections and opportunities between carbon sources and sinks in the Gulf Coast hosted by Lamar University. The Department of Energy is supporting the CarbonSAFE project to look at implementing carbon capture and storage technology in the Golden Triangle Area (Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange) of South East Texas.

    GCCC would like to thank Bart Owens of GT-Omniport for generously providing lunch at their facilities on the field trip, Jeff Hayes of Port Arthur for his support for the dinner on Tuesday night, and Tom Neal, the Director at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

    For more information about the events, please see the story published by the Bureau of Economic Geology and coverage in the Beaumont Business Journal.

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    Jeff Hayes provided dinner during a tour of the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur.
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    Tip Meckel with Bart Owens at GT-Omniport who provided lunch at their facilities.
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    Tip Meckel talks with Paul Latiolais, Director of the Center for Innovation and Commercialization at Lamar University.
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    The R/V Brooks-McCall, approximately 50 m in length, tows the P-cable system in October 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of TDI-Brooks International.

    The Gulf Coast Carbon Center is delighted to have received funding for a new project that will improve monitoring of carbon storage in offshore reservoirs. Tip Meckel is the PI on a $2.5 M award under DOE’s Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research, Development, and Demonstration Crosscut initiative to deploy and validate a novel, ultrahigh resolution 3D marine seismic technology at the Tomakomai carbon storage site in Japan.

    The technology, known as the P-cable because it is towed perpendicular to the direction of a ship’s track, has been used successfully off of the Texas coast to evaluate and characterize storage units with exceptional spatial resolution. Trailing long streamers equipped with seismic receivers in tight formation, the P-cable provides high resolution 3D seismic imagery in a region extending from the seafloor down to about 1500 meters. The detailed data can be used to infer the history of fluid migration, which is key to ensuring that carbon dioxide is stored where it will not leak. The effort was performed as part of the GCCC’s Offshore Miocene Project.

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    Schematic of the P-cable system

    With the new funding, the P-cable will be used to evaluate storage units at the Tomakomai Site, a fully developed carbon capture and storage project offshore from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The project seeks to test feasibility, and if favorable, deploy the P-cable to demonstrate significantly improved spatial resolution and accuracy over a commercially meaningful offshore area. Such high-quality and high-resolution data should decrease both cost and uncertainty in measurements supporting monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) in the subsea environment.

    “This is  an excellent method for GCCC and the US program to advance our expertise in storage in the near-offshore setting via international collaboration with the unique project in Japan,” said Susan Hovorka, GCCC’s Primary Investigator.