WASHINGTON, DC - In 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began to assemble a network of regional partnerships to identify the very best methods to capture and permanently store gases that can contribute to global climate change.
For its effort, the Energy Department has been selected to receive the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Corporate Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship. The Association's Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) presented the award during the AAPG Annual Convention in Long Beach, Calif.
In its selection process, DEG officials cited the Energy Department's "continued support and funding for carbon sequestration partnerships in the United States and Canada to reduce the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide." DEG's mission is to foster an understanding of geological, geochemical, geophysical, and hydrogeological principles and methodologies that can be applied to environmental problems.
"The Department of Energy has been in the forefront of carbon sequestration as a way to mitigate carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and has made significant progress through its Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Program," said John Litynski, who serves as the program coordinator for the partnerships initiative at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory. "I am honored to accept this award on behalf of DOE."
The partnerships are the centerpiece of federal efforts to investigate the potential for carbon sequestration. Nearly 350 organizations in 41 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, and three Indian nations form the national network. The partnerships program is a key element of the President's Global Climate Change Initiative.
The Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships have completed a two-year characterization phase that identified more than 3,500 billion tons of potential CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations throughout the United States. The partnerships are currently working to implement 25 geologic sequestration tests in a variety of geologic formations to prove the capacity and availability of these formations. Two tests have begun injection while those remaining are in various stages of development, including permitting, baseline characterization, and well construction.
The partnership program will continue to develop the framework to ultimately deploy those carbon sequestration technology approaches best suited for their specific regions. As an integral segment of the program, the partnerships have also begun to explore possible regulations and infrastructure requirements necessary should climate change technologies be implemented.