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Assessment of geologic carbon dioxide storage resources in the middle to upper Silurian strata of the Appalachian basin


As part of the National Assessment of Geologic Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Storage Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey has completed an assessment of the potential geologic CO2 storage resources within the Appalachian basin. This study focuses on the assessment of the middle to upper Silurian rocks of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. The McKenzie, Lockport and Newburg Formations storage assessment unit (SAU) consists of the porous intervals of these formations which are bounded by the underlying Rochester and Rose Hill Formations and the overlying Salina Group that acts as a regionally extensive sealing formation. The Lockport Formation in Pennsylvania and Ohio is a shaley dolomite that grades to the fossiliferous shale of the McKenzie Formation in West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania. The Newburg Sandstone is a well-sorted, fine-grained sand of central West Virginia. The boundary of the SAU is defined by the presence of thick (>50 feet) evaporites in the overlying seal formation.

The mean net porous thickness of the SAU, determined from geophysical logs and isopach maps, is 30 feet at depths between 3,000 and 11,500 feet. Mean porosities of the net porous interval and formation permeabilities were derived from published reservoir characteristics which were calculated to be 10% and 16.00 mD respectively. The volume of technically available storage resources within the SAU was calculated using the area of 19,510,000 acres, the net porous thickness, mean porosity, and permeability. The McKenzie, Lockport, and Newburg Formations SAU contains sufficient storage resource volume to sequester 1,600 megatons of CO2.