Containment Risk Assessment (CRA)

On the 24th February 2022, at a SPE-PESGB webinar, Richard Metcalfe of Quintessa Ltd. presented a talk on ‘CRA’ and how Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) principles can be applied to carbon storage.

Permanent geological CO2 storage is in its infancy yet has a significant role to play in energy transition and beyond. Regulators and stakeholders are establishing and developing the methods and processes required to explore, appraise, prove/verify, develop and monitor workable and appropriate sites.

At such times, it is wise to look to other industries, to identify sources of transferable knowledge. One such instance is the nuclear sector, which has expended a considerable amount of resource, over several decades, in developing specific ‘Containment Risk’ assessment methods. Due to the level of complexity, one cannot expect to numerically model a storage project in its entirety. Expert judgement must be applied to simplify it and the audit trail must be well documented, so it can be subject to scrutiny.

Critically, QRA can identify where the key uncertainties are at any stage of a given project, so that work can be focused more and more on those areas. Through further/prioritised investment, confidence in those areas can be increased and a suitably structured case formed to demonstrate to key stakeholders/regulators that the risks are acceptable.