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CEIC-09-05

"Implications of Compensating Property-Owners for Geologic Sequestration of CO2"
By R. Lee Gresham, Jay Apt, M. Granger Morgan, Sean T. McCoy

Abstract:
Geologic sequestration (GS) of carbon dioxide (CO2) is contingent upon securing the legal right to use deep subsurface pore space. Under the assumption that compensation is required to use pore space for GS, we examine the cost of acquiring rights to sequester 160-million metric tons of CO2 (the 30-year emissions output for an 800 megawatt power plant at 90% capture efficiency) using a probabilistic model to simulate the temporal-spatial distribution of subsurface CO2 plumes in several brine-filled sandstones in Pennsylvania and Ohio. For comparison, the Frio Sandstone in the Texas Gulf Coast and the Mt. Simon Sandstone in Illinois were also analyzed. The predicted CO2 plume distributions have a median range of 3,700 km2 to 9,600 km2 for the Ohio and Pennsylvania sandstones compared to 320 km2 and 300 km2 for the thicker Frio and Mt. Simon Sandstones. We model the cost to use pore space in Pennsylvania and Ohio and, alternatively, the cost of piping CO2 from Pennsylvania and Ohio to the Mt. Simon or Frio Sandstones. The results suggest that pore space acquisition costs could be significant, and that using thin local formations for sequestration may be more expensive than piping CO2 to thicker formations at distant sites.

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