• Peer-Reviewed
Energy Procedia · 2009

An overview of the Wabamun Area CO₂ Sequestration Project (WASP)

Large stationary CO₂ emitters are located in central Alberta with cumulative annual emissions in the order of 30 Mt CO₂. This includes four coal-fired power plants in the Wabamun Lake area, southwest of Edmonton with emissions between 3 to 6 Mt/year each. The study will perform a comprehensive characterization of large-scale CO₂ storage opportunities in the Wabamun area and analyze any potential risks. As a benchmark, the project will examine the feasibility of storing 20 Mt- CO₂/year for 50 years within 30 km of Wabamun. This gigaton-scale storage assessment project is one to two orders of magnitude larger than the commercial projects now under study. It will fill a gap between Canadian province-wide capacity estimates (which do not involve site specific studies of flow and geomechanics etc.) and the detailed commercial studies of small CO₂ storage projects currently underway. Unlike the commercial projects, this project is planned as a public non-confidential project lead by the University of Calgary (U of C).

The study will first assess the possible injection formations within the area based on storage capacity, ease of injectivity, leakage likelihood, and interference with current petroleum production. Then a few (1–3) specific targets will be selected for more detailed studies. The detailed studies will evaluate how the injected CO₂ moves and reacts within the reservoir, the storage integrity of the over and underlying shaly aquitard, leakage risks of CO₂ along existing wells and a preliminary well injection design. Finally, the study will do a preliminary assessment of currently available options for monitoring such large scale injection of CO₂. Since the project is planned to develop a realistic scenario we will add an economic evaluation of the total project costs downstream of the capture and pipeline transportation components. Furthermore, the study will outline the necessary next steps to close any remaining knowledge gaps before planning and conducting the actual injection phase of the project.

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