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National Laboratory Research Network

The National Laboratory Research Network (NLRN) is a strategic effort to foster collaboration between the Storage Program, NETL's Research & Innovation Center, and other DOE laboratories. This coordination provides DOE researchers and program managers the ability to look across similar activities, quickly fill critical gaps in research, and archive results in a corporate database, all of which will promote efficient knowledge for future researchers.

Efforts span all of the key technologies, which are working to support a range of technical needs within the Storage Program to help meet its goals for future capacity and storage assessments.

Research objectives of the National Laboratory network in support of the Storage Program include:

  • Research on storage reservoirs that is focused on improving the understanding of factors that impact storage resource and injectivity, thereby helping to improve regional and national estimates of resource potential.

  • Seal integrity research that involves the use of NETL experimental facilities to assess the potential impact of geochemical and geomechanical processes on the integrity of wellbores and caprocks.

  • Working with a variety of collaborators (including the RCSPs), NETL researchers are developing and field testing a suite of MVA technologies that improve the ability for early release detection and quantifying CO2 plumes at storage sites (ranging from natural and engineered tracers to new geophysical methods). In addition, NETL investigated remote sensing methods that may assist in locating abandoned wells that provide release paths for stored CO2.

  • Using a variety of computational and experimental methods (spanning from micro-computed tomography imaging to high-pressure/temperature core flow units), NETL researchers are improving pore-scale to reservoir-scale predictive methods to provide accurate and reliable simulations in fractured reservoirs.

  • NETL’s ORD manages and has upgraded NATCARB into an informational research tool deployed through an on-line viewer, allowing access to a wide range of users. This effort involves webpage development, data management and visualization, and public relations support involving a web-based interface and mapping tools to track the progress of the RCSPs and communicate DOE efforts in carbon storage to the public.
National Laboratory participants collaborating in research efforts in support of NETL's Storage Program.

Additional Strategic Program Support Avenues

Another example of the program’s integrated approach is DOE’s Subsurface Technology and Engineering Crosscut Technical Team (SubTER), which identifies and facilitates crosscutting subsurface R&D and policy priorities. SubTER is an integrated platform across DOE offices to address crosscutting challenges associated with the use of the subsurface for energy extraction and storage purposes. This new initiative is focusing on subsurface research, such as discovering, characterizing, predicting, and monitoring the subsurface; accessing wells and their integrity; engineering and permeability control; and sustained production while sustaining the environment.

The Storage Program also leverages two activities implemented by NETL’s ORD to facilitate the validation of storage technologies and data collected through the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs). These include the National Risk Assessment Partnership and Energy Data eXchange.  

National Risk Assessment Partnership
The National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) is a DOE multi-national laboratory initiative that harnesses core capabilities developed across the national laboratories in order to carry out science-based predictions of the critical behavior of engineered-natural systems that can be applied to risk assessment for safe, long-term CO2 storage. The basic goals of NRAP are to build a suite of science-based tools for predicting the performance of CO2storage sites, apply the tools to a range of potential scenarios to clarify key storage-security relationships, and develop a portfolio of monitoring and mitigation protocols that can be used as part of a risk management strategy. These goals require that NRAP closely collaborate with the RCSPs to obtain field data to develop and validate their protocols and predictive tools.
Energy Data Exchange
The NLRN also manages the Energy Data eXchange™, which is an online system providing access to information and data relevant to fossil and renewable energy systems. EDX coordinates historical and current data and information from a wide variety of sources to serve as a research and rapid response tool for a wide variety of users. Datasets from NATCARB, the RCSPs, and the other sponsored research projects in the Core Storage R&D Technology Areas can be stored in EDX for the benefit of future research and analysis.