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Recent Site Characterization Studies Being Investigated By The Department of Energy (DOE)/National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) For Potential Geologic Storage of CO2


A need exists to further characterize the subsurface to identify geological units that would be suitable to store carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects. CCS projects collect CO2 from stationary sources, such as power plants, which would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere, and stores the CO2 deep underground. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOEs) National Energy Technology Laboratory is the lead federal agency for the development and deployment of carbon storage technologies in the U.S. Part of DOEs mission includes identifying geological units that have the volume and characteristics to provide economic, safe, and permanent storage of CO2 in the subsurface, at both on-shore and off-shore locations, throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Nine projects, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009), recently completed site characterization studies to investigate the geologic properties of reservoirs and confining units for potential on-shore and off-shore CO2 subsurface storage. These small scale characterization projects are part of an integrated program to help commercialize CCS. Hundreds of miles of surface seismic data were collected by these nine projects. More than a dozen deep characterization wells were drilled, and rock core samples were collected along with comprehensive wireline logging suites to evaluate the subsurface formations and their suitability as geologic storage reservoirs. Over twenty two geological reservoirs, within six distinct depositional classes, were identified and characterized, which helped verify over 252 billion metric tons of potential storage available for commercial development.