HPC Simulation Software for the Gigatonne Storage Challenge

What we do

HPC-G builds upon a tight collaboration between NORCE, SINTEF and Equinor focused on development of the Open Porous Media (OPM) reservoir simulator Flow towards a dedicated simulator for CO2 storage. Building upon existing capabilities in OPM Flow, the project will deliver a groundbreaking HPC-capable CO2-storage simulator with advanced functionality for meeting the gigatonne storage challenge. Code development will be based on concepts formed in collaboration with key stakeholders in industry, research and the public sector with strong interests in maturing CO2 storage at the gigatonne scale: Oljedirektoratet (Norway), CarbonNet (Australia), UT Austin Bureau of Economic Geology (USA), TNO (Netherlands). Reference group workshops will be a platform for discussing the challenges, priorities and opportunities for development of new simulation technology to support large-scale CO2 storage deployment.

Why is this important?

The gigatonne-storage challenge is to accelerate scale-up of CO2 storage to meet global emissions targets by mid-century. Continental margins such as the NCS are particularly well-suited, and initial estimates point to a realistic build-out of injection over several decades. Significant investments and other incentives are already underway in Norway, Australia, USA and elsewhere to spur large-scale CCS and kick-start a new industry in CO2 transport and storage. These investments are focused on the first few flagship projects, but future CCS business models are based on unlocking new expansion storage capacity that can be marketed to energy-intensive industry and power sectors seeking a pathway to decarbonization. Gigatonne-scale appraisal activities must tackle basin-scale pressure response to regional scale-up in order to ensure storage development plans can be carried out safely and at lowest cost. A big bottleneck is dynamic simulation of basin-scale multi-site injection at sufficient resolution and efficiency to meet the requirements of risk reduction workflows. A reliable gigatonne storage simulation tool can be a game changer for industry.

Goals

The project goals are ambitious and will be carried out on an accelerated timeline. HPC-G aims for two main deliverables: (1) demonstration of HPC performance on supercomputer infrastructure, including cloud-based computing (Q2-2021), (2) demonstration of dedicated CO2 functionality on real basin-scale cases provided by a reference group of key storage stakeholders (Q4-2021). At frequent stages during the project, the simulation product will be released openly to the CCS community. All necessary user-documentation, including tutorials and demonstration videos, will be provided by the project.

HPC-G can provide the first-ever simulation technology to meet the requirements of reservoir-scale simulation combined with needed capabilities for basin-scale multi-site pressure management. The project will enable operators to more efficiently assess gigatonne CO2 storage and plan for large-scale field developments. HPC-simulations with OPM Flow will support techno-economical analyses and provide better CAPEX/OPEX estimates.