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Title: Can we treat CO₂ well blowouts like routine plumbing problems? A study of the incidence, impact, and perception of loss of well control

Risk communication literature suggests that for a number of reasons, the public may perceive a risk to be greater than indicated by its statistical probability. Public concern over risk can lead to significant and costly delays in project permitting and operations. Considering these theories, media coverage of CO₂-related well blowouts in 2013 gave rise to the questions: What is the risk of CO₂ well blowouts associated with CCUS through CO₂ EOR? What is the potential public perception of those risks? What information could be used to respond to public concern? To address these questions, this study aims to: 1) provide a framework for understanding the nature of onshore well blowouts, 2) quantify the incidence of such events for three specific geographic regions of Texas, 3) relate this data to CCUS and findings from other studies, and 4) explore the potential implications for public perception of this risk associated with CCUS projects. While quantifying answers to these questions proved to be challenging, the results from this study suggest that (1) the perceived risk of CO₂ well blowouts may exceed the statistical risk and (2) information that could be used to address this gap could be made more readily available to themore » greater benefit of industry and stakeholders who support the development of CCUS as an option for addressing anthropogenic CO₂ emissions. The study also suggests approaches to best conduct such data inquiries.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. WADE, LLC, Washington, DC (United States)
  3. The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States). Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Procedia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 63; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1876-6102
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); Gulf Coast Carbon Center
Country of Publication:
United States
02 PETROLEUM; CO₂ enhanced oil recovery; CO₂ well blowout; risk management; public acceptance; recordkeeping and reporting
OSTI Identifier: