The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory is funding several field projects to characterize promising geologic formations for CO2 storage with funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These projects are characterizing high-priority geologic storage formations and providing greater insight into the potential for geologic reservoirs across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. This research further advances DOE's efforts to develop a national assessment of CO2 storage capacity in deep geologic formations. The formation types being evaluated include saline formations, depleting/depleted oil fields (but not specifically or primarily for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery [EOR]), and unmineable coal seams. The formations selected for characterization have adequate seals to protect against impacts to the overlying formations or risks to underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).
Project personnel are developing comprehensive data sets of formation characteristics (porosity, permeability, reservoir architecture, cap rock integrity, etc.) while also acquiring information and gaining experience in refining best practices for storage site selection and characterization. These data sets are being acquired through efforts that include drilling stratigraphic wells to collect whole and sidewall core data on confining and injection zones, conducting comprehensive logging suites and formation evaluation tests, and analyzing the chemistry of formation rocks and fluids. The characterization efforts also include the acquisition of two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional seismic surveys that integrate rock property data acquired from new wellbores with other existing data to validate seismic responses. The integration of these data are providing a better understanding of the subsurface properties that will be necessary to develop dynamic models to account for CO2 migration.
All of the information gathered from these projects are being incorporated into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB) to improve future CO2 storage resource estimates in the United States.
The locations of the nine ARRA site characterization projects are shown throughout the map below. For more information about a particular project, click on the project location on the map.