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Implications of Compensating Property Owners for Geologic Sequestration of CO2

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journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2010, 00:00 by R. Lee Gresham, Sean T. McCoy, Jay Apt, M. Granger Morgan
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 might be required to use pore space for GS, we examine the cost of acquiring the rights to sequester 160-million metric tons of CO2 (the 30-year emissions output for an 800 megawatt power plant operating with a 60% capacity factor and 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 median values of CO2 plume footprints range from 4500 km2 to 11,000 km2 for the Ohio and Pennsylvania sandstones compared to 320 km2 and 300 km2 for the thicker Frio and Mt. Simon Sandstones, respectively. We use these footprints to bound 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 for sequestration. 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.