Your CCUS Team for Technical and Operational Efficiency
INTERA Incorporated (INTERA) offers the expertise and experience needed to accelerate decarbonization efforts. Founded in 1974 as an international geosciences and engineering consulting firm, INTERA has a deep understanding of the subsurface and is a global leader in the development and application of numerical models to support environmental and natural resource management issues. Additionally, INTERA staff bring over a decade of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage experience through the development of conceptual and numerical models of CO2 storage sites in the United States, Canada, and Europe at both the regional and local scales. Most significantly, INTERA experts led the numerical modeling required to obtain the first-ever U.S. EPA Class VI underground injection well permits for the FutureGen 2.0 Project.
INTERA’s long-term experience with sophisticated multi-phase subsurface simulation software for a variety of applications gives us a unique set of skills to tackle subsurface questions associated with the clean energy transition including CO2 storage, hydrogen storage, and geothermal applications. Our team of geoscientists and numerical modelers are experts in applying multi-phase simulators to evaluate complex subsurface systems for a variety of geologic settings.
Any clean energy project also needs to consider water as many technologies are water intensive. INTERA has decades of experience in planning, developing, managing, and protecting groundwater and surface water resources in a sustainable way. We work with agencies and organizations responsible for managing and protecting water resources, giving us insight into the regulatory process. This regulatory know how and understanding of groundwater systems uniquely positions INTERA to provide technical support for regulatory requirements under EPA’s Underground Injection Control program, particularly for Class VI wells.
Meet INTERA’s Geologic Carbon Storage Specialists
Simulation of Multi-phase CO2 Fate and Transport and Associated Geomechanical Effects
Conducting sophisticated, multi-phase subsurface simulation of CO2 injection and plume migration is one of the most significant hurdles in the permitting of Class VI injection wells. The computational codes required for modeling CO2 injection are technically complex as they are required to consider multi-phase flow of several fluids, CO2 dissolution, changes in temperature and pressure, pore pressure build up and cooling of the injection reservoirs, fault activation, induced seismicity, and in some cases, geochemical reactions that can result from CO2 injection. INTERA staff bring decades of experience applying specialized multi-phase simulators such as STOMP (Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases), TOUGH, and TOUGH-FLAC. With these tools, we can rigorously evaluate injection scenarios to estimate CO2 injectivity and storage capacity and predict plume development while accounting for the numerous trapping mechanisms responsible for safely storing CO2 (trapping due to geologic structures, residual gas trapping in pores, and geochemical trapping due to dissolution or mineralization). Additionally, we can assess reservoir pressure management options, determine threshold pressure fronts, and delineate an Area of Review (AoR).
UIC Class VI Permitting for Geologic CO2 Storage
Permitting wells under Class VI regulations requires specific and comprehensive requirements that are specifically designed to address the unique nature of CO2 injection for safe geologic storage and to ensure protection of underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). INTERA staff have been on the forefront of the development of CO2 storage technology and multi-phase simulation of CO2 injection, including delineation of the Area of Review as required for a Class VI permit. Our staff include veterans from the very first UIC Class VI wells permitted by the U.S. EPA (FutureGen 2.0). We can perform the technical work for Class VI permit applications, prepare the required documents, and coordinate with state and federal regulators to ensure your permit gets approved as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Geologic Model Construction
Predictions of CO2 plume migration are only as good as the underlying assumptions about the subsurface reservoirs and seals. Our scientists and engineers are extremely proficient in building static models of geologic repositories for CO2 storage operations using publicly available data and/or proprietary data (e.g., well logs, core data, and 2D and 3D seismic surveys). INTERA staff are versed in industry standard, geologic modeling software and have experience understanding the data required for reliably predicting plume development with multi-phase numerical simulators.
USDW Identification and Aquifer Characterization
The primary driver for Class VI well requirements is to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). Therefore, a successful Class VI permit application requires not only an understanding of storage reservoirs and seals, but of overlying aquifer systems as well. INTERA is a recognized leader in the hydrogeologic characterization of aquifer systems and stewardship of groundwater resources and has the expertise needed to identify and characterize USDWs and generate groundwater monitoring plans needed for CO2 storage projects to demonstrate the safe storage of CO2.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analysis and Graphics Support
The ability to generate site-specific conceptual models and detailed maps is essential to the interpretation of complex datasets and for Class VI permit applications. INTERA staff have vast expertise in developing visualization tools that illustrate these complicated relationships and clearly communicate technical information to regulators and to the general public. We can produce site-specific as well as regional base maps over a wide range of geographies and geologic environments. INTERA staff produce quality maps and documents, helping assure that your permit application will be clearly understood by reviewers, thereby accelerating the permit application review process.
Screening Level CO2 Storage Site Assessments
Establishing a commercial scale CO2 storage site can be a costly enterprise, but with the right location it can be one with a high return on investment. INTERA staff can assist you with evaluating geologic storage reservoirs to help you screen sites for CO2 storage suitability, thereby understanding their potential to make your project a success.
Water Supply Planning and Impacts Assessments
Carbon removal and clean energy technologies such as direct air capture (DAC) and hydrogen production can be water intensive. INTERA has experience conducting water supply planning to support these emerging industries. We can develop the tools and solutions needed to establish and sustain cost-effective supply systems that can adapt to changing conditions. We do this by collaborating with you and other key stakeholders to first develop a sound understanding of water demands and existing supply systems. INTERA staff look for ways to minimize risk and ensure availability of water resources for generations to come. From conceptualization to system design, installation, operation, maintenance, and optimization, INTERA helps with all phases of water supply development projects.
Subsurface Carbon Storage, Hydrogen Storage, and Geothermal Energy Production
Safely utilizing the subsurface for carbon storage, hydrogen storage and geothermal energy production is essential for the clean energy transition. Numerical models are critical tools to investigate and solve complex subsurface challenges at both local and regional scales. The development and application of numerical models has been one of INTERA’s core competencies since our company was founded in 1974, and our staff have extensive experience in fluid, gas, solute and heat transport in complex geologic systems using coupled THMC (thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical) simulators such as STOMP (Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases) and TOUGH. For decades we have supported federal and international projects for radioactive waste isolation in deep geological repositories for clients such as US DOE, Nagra and Andra.
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