Open Access Article

Title: Uncertainty in risk issues for carbon capture and geological storage: findings from a structured expert elicitation

Authors: Patricia Larkin; Robert Gracie; Ali Shafiei; Maurice Dusseault; Mirhamed Sarkarfarshi; Willy Aspinall; Daniel Krewski

Addresses: McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Room 216A, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, Ottawa, K1G 5Z3, Ontario, Canada ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Room E2-2321, Waterloo, N2L 3G1, Ontario, Canada ' Department of Petroleum Engineering, School of Mining and Geosciences, Nazarbayev University, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Ave., Nur-Sultan, 010000, Republic of Kazakhstan ' Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, EIT-2043, Waterloo, N2L 3G1, Ontario, Canada ' CIBC Global Markets, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ' School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Beacon House, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1QU, UK ' McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Room 216A, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, Ottawa, K1G 5Z3, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: Carbon capture and geological storage (CCS) is identified within the portfolio of mitigation options for climate change. Each value chain activity of large scale integrated projects (capture, transport, injection and storage) includes uncertainties and hence potential risks with respect to both environmental and human health protection. With a focus on injection and storage, a structured elicitation of international experts provides quantified judgements and uncertainties and understanding of relative risk of CCS activities. In the 0-50 year, 51-499 year and >500 year time periods, the expert panel suggested an almost equal likelihood of storage leakage occurring, with a marked decrease from minor to major to catastrophic leakage (approximately >1 in 30; 1 in 103; 1 in 104, respectively); for the same time periods, the judgement of likelihood for major leakage that would result in measurable negative effects on human health or the environment was the same (approximately 1 in 103). Insights could stimulate further scientific deliberations about the reliable and effective deployment of this complex and interdisciplinary technological process. A companion paper discusses complementary findings for issues in CCS risk management.

Keywords: carbon capture and storage; expert elicitation; risk assessment; uncertainty; public health; environmental protection; injection; geological sequestration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2019.103335

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2019 Vol.22 No.3/4, pp.429 - 463

Available online: 25 Oct 2019 *