Going, going… green

NETL open sources CCSI software. DoE funds CCS, ML in energy and CCS geomechanics. Harc’s green drilling system. CMI on fate of frac fluids. PTAC’s Upstream eco-efficiency handbook.

The US NETL is releasing CCSI, its carbon capture simulation toolset as open source software. CCSI is a suite of computational tools and models designed to maximize learning and reduce cost and risk during the scale-up process for carbon capture technologies. Download the CCSI toolset on Github.

The US DoE has announced ‘up to’ $9 million in federal funding of projects that advance ‘associated geologic storage of CO2 in basinal geolaboratories.’ NETL is to manage the projects under the DOE’s carbon storage program. Projects include computational, analytical, bench and field -scale laboratory studies. One ‘potentially large’ opportunity is seen in residual oil zones and tight oil formations (not, though, according to CMI, see below). Read the announcement on DE-FOA-0001829.

The DOE is also looking into the application of machine learning for energy applications, in particular, energy efficiency and renewables. The DEO’s Devanand Shenoy, writing in the proceedings of a Google-sponsored workshop, cited IBM’s Watt Sun self learning weather model, that is ‘more accurate than previous solar forecasting models.’ Shenoy also mentioned ‘smart wells’ that sense temperature, pressure, chemicals and vibrations that are ‘deployed to streamline efficiency and mitigate failures in the oil and gas industry.’

Harc Research reports continued benefits from its ‘environmentally friendly drilling systems’ program. The program has demonstrated the feasibility of innovative biological emissions treatment technology to reduce air pollution. A bioreactor treats air emissions at oil and gas facilities and reduces or eliminates volatile organic compounds. The work was presented at last year’s SPE ATCE (SPE-187144-MS).

The DOE also recently announced $10.4 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under DE-FOA-0001826 for the development of technologies to advance the understanding of state of stress and geomechanical impacts in the subsurface. The research addresses the ‘safe and permanent’ geologic storage of CO2.

Ikon Science has joined the National Oceanography Centre, Shell, BP and OEAGHG in an initiative to ‘close the gap’ on missing CCS research. GASRIP (geomechanical assessment of CO2 Storage reservoir integrity post-closure) investigates how CO2-brine induced-salt precipitation/dissolution affects geomechanical integrity and transport in CO2 storage reservoirs.

The 2017 Annual Report from the Carbon Mitigation Initiative reports on the fate of fracking fluids in shale-gas systems. The CMI concludes that ‘the large volume of fracking fluid that remains underground is imbibed strongly into the host rock and remains there in the long term. Earlier CMI research found that CO2 injection into depleted shale-gas systems is not feasible for most situations (see NETL above). That modeling work has now been extended to study the fate of fracking fluids in shale-gas systems. Modeling results indicate that the large amount of fracking fluids left underground is unlikely to pose any significant environmental risk.

Finally, a belated heads-up for the 2017 PTAC Canadian Upstream oil & gas eco-efficiency and operations handbook, a useful compendium of energy efficiency and environmental resources.

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