--> --> A Retrospective Accounting of the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership’s Technical Achievements and Contributions

2019 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting:
Energy from the Heartland

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A Retrospective Accounting of the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership’s Technical Achievements and Contributions


The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) is a public/private consortium established by the U.S. Department of Energy that has worked to assess the technical potential, economic viability and public acceptability of carbon utilization and storage within its region for nearly 20 years. The MRCSP region is comprised of three major physiographic regions covering ten states: the Atlantic Plain (Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey), Appalachian Highlands (Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia) and Interior Plains (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio). Sometimes referred to as the “boiler room” of the United States, this region generates 24 percent of the nation’s electricity, half of which is derived from coal. In addition, the region is home to the modern oil, gas and petrochemical industries and offers world-class unconventional shale reservoirs. This has uniquely positioned the MRCSP region to leverage industry support in the development of practical carbon management solutions. In addition to the requisite work of planning and implementing its full-scale implementation project of more than 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 stored as part of a CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operation in the Michigan Basin, MRCSP has built and maintained a strong coalition of state geological surveys and educational institutions. It is this group of “Geoteam” members with diverse skill sets and areas of expertise who have prepared assessments of regional subsurface geology, addressing stratigraphic correlations across geopolitical boundaries; refined methods for carbon storage resource estimates over time; developed granular data inventories and important data transforms to make the most of publicly available datasets; and provided important stakeholder outreach and engagement. MRCSP Geoteam members prepared the first-ever digital oil and gas fields map of the Appalachian Basin (2005); coordinated the completion and assessment of the first-ever state-funded CO2 stratigraphic test well in Tuscarawas County, Ohio (2007); provided critical insight regarding CO2-EOR opportunities in the Appalachian and Michigan basins (2010) even before this was considered a bona fide approach to mitigating carbon emissions; generated the first digital petroleum hydrocarbons geodatabase that spans the entire MRCSP region (2019); and is publishing regional geologic cross sections spanning multiple physiographic provinces to illustrate subsurface geologic, economic and carbon storage resources to policymakers and the public at large (2019).