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DOE Manual Studies 11 Major CO2 Geologic Storage Formations

October 5, 2010 - 1:00pm


Washington, DC - A comprehensive study of 11 geologic formations suitable for permanent underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage is contained in a new manual issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Geologic Storage Formation Classifications: Understanding Its Importance and Impact onCCS Opportunities in the United States [click on imageto link to the publication]Using data from DOE’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) and other sponsored research activities, the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) developed the manual to better understand the characteristics of geologic formations that could potentially be used for carbon capture and storage (CCS). In CCS, CO2 is captured from large stationary sources, such as power plants, and injected for permanent storage in suitable underground reservoirs. CCS is a key component in America’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate global climate change.

As part of the further research required before commercial-scale CCS implementation, one of DOE’s program goals is identifying geologic formations that can store large volumes of CO2, receive CO2 at an efficient and economic rate of injection, and safely retain the CO2 over long time periods. The manual investigates those three criteria for 11 major classes of geologic reservoirs.

The manual builds on lessons learned from CO2 behavior in geologic reservoirs during earlier investigations. To date, DOE’s carbon sequestration program has implemented 28 CO2 injection field projects in conjunction with the RCSP initiative and an additional 10 site characterization projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NETL evaluated the geology and depositional environments of each of the sponsored projects to determine if additional efforts need to be focused.

The resulting manual allows carbon sequestration participants to better understand depositional environments and predict the behavior of CO2 within those environments. With this information, government agencies and their project partners and/or private investors can optimize their sequestration efforts, saving time, effort, and funds.