Regional Partnership Development Phase iii

The Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) development phase builds on the findings generated during the characterization and validation phases. This phase involves the injection of 1 million metric tons or more of CO2 by each RCSP into regionally significant geologic formations of different depositional environments. These large-volume injection tests are designed to demonstrate that CO2 storage sites have the potential to store regional CO2 emissions safely, permanently, and economically for hundreds of years. Sources of CO2 include natural deposits, ethanol facilities, natural gas processing plants, and capture from power plants. Development phase projects will result in a better understanding of technical and non-technical aspects for commercial-scale CCS projects, including regulatory, liability, and ownerships issues associated with these projects, and will provide a firm foundation for commercialization of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS).

With the exception of the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership's large-scale test injection (number 4 on the map) into an oil bearing formation in the Williston Basin, the projects are primarily focused on injecting into saline-bearing formations. Saline-bearing formations targeted for geologic storage are porous sedimentary formations (clastic and carbonate) saturated with brine with salinity greater than 10,000 mg/l total dissolved solids (TDS). The formations and their ability to accept and store CO2 vary significantly based on their depositional environment, porosity, permeability, and chemical/physical characteristics of the formation. While not all saline formations in the United States and Canada have been examined, the RCSPs have documented the locations of saline formations with an estimated CO2 storage resource ranging from 1,653 billion metric tons to more than 20,213 billion metric tons (from 1,822 billion tons to more than 22,281 billion tons) of CO2, representing the largest potential storage resource of any formation type.

By early 2011, injection had occurred at one site, the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) Early Large Volume Injection Test (number 6 on map). This test is the fifth project worldwide (and the first in the United States) to reach the CO2 injection volume of 1 million metric tons with plume migration tracking continuing.

*Information current as of 2010. Some locations presented on map may differ from final injection location.


  Partnership Formation Type Source of CO2
Big Sky Saline Natural
MGSC Saline Anthropogenic
MRCSP Saline Anthropogenic
PCOR Oil Anthropogenic
Saline Anthropogenic
SECARB Saline Natural
Saline Anthropogenic
SWP Saline Natural
WESTCARB Regional Characterization

The large-scale field projects develop in three stages and typically require at least eight or more years to implement. These three stages include the site characterization, operations, and closure phases. Activities conducted throughout each of these stages are presented below.

RCSP Development Phase

Results obtained from these development phase tests will provide the foundation for validating the viability of commercial deployment of CCS technologies throughout the United States. These large-scale projects are necessary to validate storage projects integrated with carbon capture technologies from various CO2 sources and all storage types in multiple basins throughout the United States and parts of Canada.

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