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Shale Shows Potential for Carbon Dioxide Storage

November 2014

A newly published PNNL study shows that gas-bearing shales could play an important role in addressing carbon dioxide (CO2) storage needs in the United States, particularly in the Northeast where other options are limited. Casie Davidson, a researcher in PNNL's Energy Policy & Economics group, presented this new research at the 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, describing the implications of her team’s economic analysis suggesting which shales could be most heavily demanded for commercial-scale CO2 sequestration. Effective methods for storing CO2 in order to prevent it from increasing atmospheric concentrations are an important part of the nation’s ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

According to the team’s findings, shales could meet up to 20 percent of total CO2 storage demand in the most favorable case evaluated, although this depends heavily on how well CO2 can displace methane (CH4) from the shale. To better quantify how CO2 and CH4 interact in shales, additional experimental and simulation efforts are underway at PNNL and other national laboratories. This work will, in turn, allow for the refinement of estimates of storage capacity and incremental recovery. The newly completed deployment analysis has been published in Energy Procedia.

CL Davidson, RT Dahowski, JJ Dooley, BP McGrail. 2014. Modelling the deployment of CO2 storage in U.S. gas-bearing shales. Energy Procedia. Volume 63, pages 7272-7279. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.763

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