A key challenge to researchers involved with geological storage of CO2 has been to develop an appropriate methodology to assess and compare alternative CO2 injection projects on the basis of risk. Technical aspects, such as the risk of leakage and the effectiveness of the intended reservoir, need to be considered, but so do less tangible aspects such as the value and safety of geological storage of CO2, and potential impacts on the community and environment. A proprietary method has been applied and found to be an appropriate approach to deliver a transparent risk assessment process that can interface with the wider community and allow stakeholders to assess whether the CO2 storage process is safe, measurable and verifiable and whether a selected alternative delivers cost effective greenhouse benefits. Only the technical aspects of the risk assessment which has been undertaken are discussed in this paper. In Australia, the approach was applied to assess the risk posed by conceptual but representative CO2 injection projects in four selected areas. The assessment derived outputs that address key project performance indicators; are useful to compare projects; include technical, economic and community risk events; assist communication of risk to stakeholders; can be incorporated into risk management design of storage projects, and can help identify specific areas for future research. The approach is to use quantitative techniques to characterise risk in terms of both the likelihood of identified risk events occurring and their consequences. The approach integrates current best practice risk assessment methodology with best available information provided by an expert panel. The results presented here show the relationships between containment and effectiveness for all of the four conceptual CO2 injection projects and indicate their acceptability with respect to key performance indicators.
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