- © 2001. AAPG/DEG
The global climate change issue has experienced a gradual metamorphosis over the past several decades from an issue focused primarily on scientific concerns to one now focusing on selection of mitigation and carbon removal options. A broad range of technological options exist to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or to capture and dispose of carbon from emissions sources or from the atmosphere. A range of factors need to be considered in choosing appropriate mitigation and disposal options, including how soon each option can be expected to be available, the volume of emissions that could be reduced or offset, the cost, and other technical, social, and political factors. The disposal of carbon dioxide in geological structures appears to be an important option because of the volume of potential disposal sites, permanence of disposal, potential low cost, and the prospect of safely extending the use of cost-effective fossil fuels to allow time for the development of alternatives. We examine some of the technical issues surrounding the geological disposal of carbon dioxide and highlight opportunities for research and development to realize the potential of this valuable option.
Key Words: carbon dioxide, underground sequestration, underground storage, CO2 capture project.
Craig A. Lewis is a senior staff research scientist with Chevron Petroleum Technology Company. He is currently the R&D manager for Chevron’s CO2 Capture (CCP) and Geologic Storage portfolio. A key element of this portfolio is managing the CO2 Capture Project JIP Climate Change and he also helps to coordinate all Climate Change research activities within Chevron.
Dr. John H. Shinn is Project Technical Leader, Global Change, for Chevron Research and Technology Company. In this capacity, he serves as an internal consultant to Chevron businesses worldwide in the areas of greenhouse gas management and responsible growth. He has also been the elected chairman of the Climate Change Working Group of the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association, an oil industry group active in the climate change issue. He has been involved in the climate change issue since the late 1980s. Dr. Shinn holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (1979).