LASPE Petroleum Technology Forum Announcement
December 9, 2003

Energy and Global Change:
CO2 Sequestration in the Earth's Crust and Deep Ocean

Lynn Orr, Stanford University

Energy is the lifeblood of modern societies. Within 20 years, 7.5 billion humans will occupy this planet, about 25% more than do so now. They will want to heat and light their homes, power electrical devices, move from place to place, grow food, and drink clean water. Supplying the energy required to do all this is, by itself, a significant challenge.

But that is only part of the challenge. It is now apparent that humans are interacting with the chemistry of the planet on a global scale. The concentration CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by a third from its preindustrial levels. There has been an easily detectable change in the pH (a measure of how acid or alkaline a solution is) of the upper ocean as the CO2 from the atmosphere dissolves. While there is a lively ongoing debate about the magnitude of a global warming response to the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, there is no question that changes are occurring on a global scale.

This talk considers the possibility that substantial reductions in the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere may be required. Improved energy efficiency, energy sources other than fossil fuels, and sequestration of CO2 in the oceans and in subsurface porous media are all being considered as ways to reduce CO2 emissions. The technical challenges of and the advantages of storage of CO2 in the oceans or in oil and gas reservoir rocks, deep saline aquifers, or in deep fractured coal beds are outlined.

BIO - Franklin M. Orr, Jr., GCEP Project Director, Stanford University

Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. became GCEP Project Director in November 2002. He is the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002.

Orr earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Stanford in 1969 and his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1976. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1985.

Orr's research interests include multiphase flow in porous media; interactions of high-pressure phase equilibria of multicomponent mixtures with multiphase flow, with applications to enhanced oil recovery by gas injection processes and contaminant transport in aquifers; modeling of large-scale, hydrodynamically unstable flows in naturally heterogeneous porous media; theory of first-order partial differential equations as applied to chromatographic separations that occur during multiphase flow in porous media; capillary phenomena of near-critical fluids in porous systems; and gas hydrates and CO2 sequestration.

Orr serves on the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000. Orr is a member of the boards of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Media Contact: Maxine Lym, GCEP Communications Manager, (650) 725-3228,

We hope to see you on October 14th and Click Here to see complete calendar for future Forums.

Forum Committee:
Anthony Taglieri
Brandy Fellers
Richard Finken

For additional information, please contact: Rick Finken (310) 540-1450,

return to SPE Home Page

Questions or comments? Send email to: SPE Info
Please report any problems to the webmaster . Website design & maintenance by 4th Forge