Expert-Based Development of a Site-Specific Standard in CO2 Sequestration Monitoring Technology
Program Overview

The purpose of this project is to provide information needed by project developers as they work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) Directors to determine the most appropriate monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) approaches and strategies for a CO2 injection site. Two regulations (Environmental Protection Agency, 2010a [Part RR and UU], 2010b [UIC]) require monitoring of greenhouse gases, including those injected into the subsurface, as part of an MRV plan. This project will provide a technical basis to support decision making on how this required monitoring should be accomplished. Relevant guidance documents are in development by the EPA.

It is widely believed that a monitoring strategy should be tailored to the sequestration site and the main tool that ensures that CO2 is retained in a zone is extensive site characterization. In recently released rules, the EPA Regional Administrator or his/her delegates are given authority to develop an MRV plan that is optimized for site-specific characteristics. Within the scope of these rules, this study is designed to fill a gap in guidance to determine how to match the site with the possible technologies.

The specific objectives of the research are to

  • Quantitatively evaluate potential monitoring strategies to select an array of strategies and guidelines for application to specific sites,
  • Test the results of evaluation against the growing array of field measurements gathered from past and current test sites in the U.S. and around the world,
  • Develop widespread consensus that these strategies are adequate when properly applied, and
  • Compile a test/teaching set of cases for testing strategies and then train practitioners in applying the strategies to an array of sites.

Work has begun on the following tasks. [Click for more information].

  1. Developing contacts and input from experts in the field
  2. Selecting tools to be studied, and
  3. Developing a process for quantitative assessment of tool site-specific effectiveness.

The study is led by Susan Hovorka and JP Nicot at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC). It is funded by the EPA and is supplemented by a parallel activities funded by the Carbon Capture Project (CCP).




The GCCC Mission

The GCCC seeks to apply its technical and educational resources to implement geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on an aggressive time scale with a focus in a region where large-scale reduction of atmospheric releases is needed and short term action is possible.