--> Abstract: Site Characterization for CO2 Storage from Coal-Fired Power Facilities in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama, by Rachael Rutter, Whitney Harris, Andrew Goodliffe, and Jack Pashin; #90124 (2011)

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Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

Site Characterization for CO2 Storage from Coal-Fired Power Facilities in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama

Rachael Rutter1; Whitney Harris1; Andrew Goodliffe1; Jack Pashin1

(1) University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

The Southeastern US is a vast producer of greenhouse gas emissions due to the number of coal-fired power plants. Alabama ranks no. 9 in the nation for the volume of CO2 emissions. Options for renewable energy sources are minimal in the region, but the geology is ideal for sequestering captured CO2. The United States Department of Energy has partnered with The University of Alabama, the Geological Survey of Alabama, Rice University, and Southern Company to produce a best practices manual for geological characterization of a site for potential commercial scale carbon sequestration. In compliance with the project’s proposed objectives, a potential injection site has been selected at Plant Gorgas, a coal fired power plant run by Southern Company which has flue-gas desulfurization units that can facilitate the application of carbon capture technology. Plant Gorgas is located in the eastern Black Warrior Basin, where stacked saline aquifers make the geologic conditions potentially ideal for sequestration. Reservoir properties, faulting, and seal potential parameters are determined regionally through the analysis of multiple geophysical datasets including new and existing 2-D seismic lines, tomographic data, multi-offset VSP, and borehole gravity. The acquired 2-D seismic data with contemporaneous recording of the signal on a temporary array is used to contain local velocity structures. In addition to the sequestration site geophysical data, supplemental industry 2-D seismic lines are used in conjunction to map the reservoirs at a basin-scale. Through these geophysical tests a complete interpretation of the geology and CO2 sequestration potential of the Black Warrior Basin in the vicinity of Plant Gorgas will be generated.