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Dream Come True for Carbon Storage Monitoring

New software developed at PNNL aids carbon dioxide storage planning

February 2016
Dream Come True for Carbon Storage Monitoring
DREAM tests various monitoring well configurations to see which one finds potential leaks the fastest.
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To reduce environmental impacts from carbon dioxide, techniques for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) continue to improve and expand as new information becomes available. One area of research that is critical to the storage equation is leak detection. Researchers at PNNL are helping solve this dilemma with a new decision support tool that identifies monitoring configurations that quickly detect if and when a leak occurs.

Designs for Risk Evaluation and Monitoring—or DREAM—is a software package that processes numerous computer simulations of leak scenarios. From these "ensembles", DREAM determines optimal monitoring locations and techniques, and predicts physical or chemical changes in reservoirs that overlie CO2 storage formations. These data result in well configurations with the highest potential to detect leakage or aquifer degradation in the shortest amount of time.

DREAM Input/Output Data

User input:

  • simulator data
  • leakage parameters
  • budget
  • location

User output: recommendations on placement and quantity of wells and which monitoring technologies to deploy for the fastest possible leak detection

DREAM provides site specific monitoring designs through a flexible user interface and can process hundreds of scenarios while minimizing leakage risk and taking cost constraints into consideration. Several post processing options can provide more information about overall system behavior and quantitatively evaluate various monitoring options against each other.

Released in January 2016, the Beta version of DREAM uses output data from subsurface flow simulators such as STOMP, NUFT, and TOUGH. Developed under the National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP), a multi-lab partnership, DREAM Beta is available for free download on the Energy Data Exchange. Additional NRAP software available for beta testing includes:

  • Integrated Assessment Model Carbon Storage: simulates long-term full-system behavior
  • Natural Seal ROM: estimates flux through a fractured or perforated seal
  • Reservoir Evaluation and Visualization Tool: generates pressure and carbon dioxide plume sizes over time
  • Wellbore Leakage Analysis Tool: evaluates existing wells for leakage potential
  • Aquifer Impact Model: rapidly estimates aquifer volume impacted by a leak (led by PNNL’s Diana Bacon)
  • Short Term Seismic Forecasting: forecasts seismic event frequency over the short term

Next Steps

DREAM 2.0 is already in the planning phase. In addition to optimizing a site’s cost options, it will include operational history data from well fields. The software capabilities of DREAM transcend the CCUS space and could be used for other subsurface work. For more information, watch this webinar on DREAM, given by project lead Catherine (Ruprecht) Yonkofski.

PNNL Research Staff: Catherine Yonkofski, Ellen Porter, Luke Rodriguez, Casie Davidson, Jason Gastelum, Diana Bacon, and Chris Brown


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