Insights and Best Practices for Planning and Executing Geologic Sequestration Projects

J. Lemaster, T. Eggeman, S. Quillinan, F. McLaughlin
Carbon Solutions,
United States

Keywords: carbon sequestration, Class VI wells


Geologic storage of carbon dioxide is an effective and economic way to manage emissions and lower carbon intensity. Industrial producers now have economic incentives to pursue these goals through the tax credits defined under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Service along with additional programs including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the State of California. The U.S. EPA regulates Class VI (carbon sequestration) Underground Injection Control wells under federal regulations that were first published in 2010. North Dakota and Wyoming have received primacy to manage these wells, with other states exploring the option. A handful of private/public partnership wells have been drilled; however, we are in the first wave of purely commercial projects, including sequestration of CO2 from ethanol plants. Evaluating economic and geologic feasibility, planning, permitting, and executing Class VI wells has specific considerations based on regulatory agencies potentially involved beyond EPA, primacy states and tax incentive programs, and the nuances of local geology. This paper provides insight and best practices identified across the historic and current development of several Class VI wells and other UIC wells for the benefit of future sequestration projects to meet metrics of varying regulatory bodies (EPA, CARB, and primacy states). This includes planning and data usage for both virgin areas and historic oilfields, working with different regulatory agencies, identifying critical roles, building the best team based on current and repurposed skill sets, testing and monitoring plans, and overall project management.