Laying the Cornerstones of a Regional Storage Hub in California
Anthony R. Kovscek (Stanford University)
Carbon Solutions LLC, Montana State University
Oil & gas production facilities in Kern Co.
Saline formation in the Southern San Joaquin Basin
- Accelerate pilot project to capture, transport, and store 70 ktCO2/y.
- Support an EPA Class VI well permit application
- Demonstrate the feasibility of a CCS storage hub in Kern Co.
Stanford University (SU) is working to create a regional CCUS hub in California. Initial studies have targeted oil and gas production facilities in Kern county, CA, as CO2 source, and a saline formation in the Southern San Joaquin Basin as the storage reservoir. The objectives of the project are (1) to accelerate the development of a pilot project to capture, transport, and store 70 000 MTCO2/yr, (2) to support an EPA Class VI well permit application and (3) to demonstrate the feasibility of a CCS storage hub in Kern County. SU research partners are Carbon Solutions LLC, Montana State University and industrial partner Sentinel Peak Resources (SPR)
The project seeks to leverage California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) tax credits to deploy a CCS project in California that will investigate storage volumes and dynamic storage capacity in targeted saline formation. Then, SU aims to establish similar projects for oil & gas companies and forge a pathway to deploy a regional storage hub in the Southern San Joaquin Basin.
Kern county is an ideal candidate to develop a CCUS hub. The area has many stationary CO2 sources, with an estimated 12.7 MMt CO2/yr available . At a probable capture rate of 90% as much as 11.4 MMt CO2/yr could be sequestered. The area also has close proximity to abundant storage resources. A first screening estimates that 5.8 Gt CO2 could be stored; 41 potential optimal storage sites have been identified, but all require further analysis.
SU used SimCCS to analyse the potential of the region for a CCUS hub. Two modes of SimCCS were used. The first one was a ‘CAP mode’ that analysed a scenario where all emissions are captured and stored. The second one was a ‘PRICE mode’ that only analysed cost-beneficial projects. (Fig.). SimCCS techno-economic studies indicate that with California LCFS credits (currently $100/MT CO2 captured) and other incentives, CCUS could generate incomes, either through EOR projects or geological sequestration.
 SimCCS is an open source software for designing carbon dioxide capture, transport and storage projects. The SimCCS gateway is a cloud computing service that provides an online platform for the community open-source version of the SimCCS software. It is led by Indiana University, Indiana Geological & Water Survey and the Los Alamos National Laboratory and sponsored by the Department of Energy, the National Science Fundation and the West Virginia University.