Why are small scale demonstration projects important for the future of CCS?

Hannes E. Leetaru, Robert A. Bauer, John H. McBride, Jared T. Freiburg, Sallie E. Greenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is moving toward large-scale commercial projects and the U.S. Department of Energy is supporting a new CarbonSAFE initiative to assist in the development of a 50 million tonnes geologic storage project. This type of large commercial CCS project will rely on lessons learned from smaller DOE CCS projects such as the Illinois Basin-Decatur Project (IBDP) and the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (IL-ICCS) Project located one mile north of IBDP. Over a three year period ending 2014 IBDP injected almost one million tonnes of CO2 into the Mt. Simon Sandstone, and the IL-ICCS project which commenced injection in 2017 will inject another four million tonnes over a four year period. The IBDP has recorded microseismic events within the study area through continuous downhole seismic monitoring before, during, and after injection. Monitoring shows that microseismicity increased during injection and originate not only in the Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone (the target reservoir), but also in the underlying Argenta clastics and deeper Precambrian igneous rocks as SW-NE elongate clusters aligned in strike to the maximum in situ stress direction. An interpretation of site 3D seismic reflection data suggests that much of the microseismicity is proximal to interpreted faults that extend from the basement up into the lowermost Mt. Simon strata. The faults proximally associated with microseismic activity are oriented parallel with respect to the maximum stress direction. The seismic monitoring of the IBDP indicate that the assessment of induced seismic potential associated with commercial-scale CCS requires not only identification of a suitable reservoir and its petrophysical characteristics, but also the extent and orientation of existing faults and their relation to regional stress orientation. Assessment of regional fault orientation using 3D seismic reflection data can be extremely useful to understanding the risks of induced seismicity associated with injection programs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScientific Program - AGU 2017 Fall Meeting
StatePublished - 2017


  • ISGS


Dive into the research topics of 'Why are small scale demonstration projects important for the future of CCS?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this