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emissions solutionscrowdsourcing carbon storage: app helps screen possible sites

2 min read | december 20, 2022

Looking at an image of the underground. We now have an app that helps us evaluate underground sites for their potential to store carbon dioxide safely and permanently.

The best people to solve a problem are the ones who face it daily.

We recognize that. At Chevron, we’ve developed a path that puts our employees in the driver’s seat to find solutions to challenges they encounter in their day-to-day work. One such employee-developed app helps us screen possible sites to store carbon dioxide (CO2).

the challenge

Our subsurface team of researchers and geologists found they didn’t have an easy-to-access storehouse of standardized information on each potential storage site. The variation in evaluation data slowed down the process of determining where we could store carbon dioxide safely and permanently underground. Carbon capture and storage calls for specific site features in order to function effectively, such as certain temperatures and pressures, and a naturally occurring rock that can form a seal over the stored CO2. What was available to the team was a shared spreadsheet rife with version control issues, missing information and other deficiencies.

“We needed something to enable us to make quick and effective decisions, because it’s a fast-moving industry.”

meg miller

geologist

the solution

Chevron geologist Meg Miller, who works in the Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage group, sought the help of colleague Sarah Wright, an earth scientist who had participated in Chevron’s Citizen Developer Program to learn how to build low-code tools. Together with a team of experts who provided important questions that became the basis for the data input, they created an app that makes it easy to add, access and compare information about individual CO2 storage sites all around the world.

why it matters

Carbon capture and storage is an important part of lowering the carbon intensity of our own operations and of other industries that have a difficult time decreasing their emissions. Finding the right site to store carbon dioxide safely requires extensive evaluation and comparison to working sites to determine the best fit for the need.

The app speeds up the process, increases accuracy and standardizes the data used to determine whether to pursue a site.

a logical conclusion

Wright built the app to follow a logical progression of questions. The app includes explanations, examples and other information to help a variety of team members enter data regardless of their field of expertise. There’s also a spot to flag comments and concerns that should be addressed when deciding whether to pursue a site for carbon capture and storage.
“It also keeps track of concerns, so it helps to prioritize. People don't want to spend a lot of time on something that has three critical concerns when there's something else that doesn't have any. It has visual indicators and data all in one place.”

sarah wright

earth scientist and app developer

Now when the team makes a business decision about whether to pursue a site, there’s easily accessible data to back it up as well.

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