Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership
 
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Additional information related to ongoing SECARB efforts can be found on their website.

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB), managed by the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB), represents a 13-State region, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, and portions of Kentucky and West Virginia. SECARB is comprised of over 100 participants representing Federal and State governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations.

 

Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Region
Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Region

The primary goal of SECARB is to develop the necessary framework and infrastructure to conduct field tests of carbon storage technologies and to evaluate options and potential opportunities for the future commercialization of carbon storage in the region. In addition, SECARB continues to:

  • Characterize the region's geologic storage options, both onshore and offshore
  • Identify barriers and opportunities for the wide-scale construction of pipelines to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) for the purposes of storage, EOR, and other commercial uses
  • Monitor Federal and State regulatory and legislative activities
  • Support local, regional, national, and international education and outreach efforts related to the SECARB and the RCSP initiative.

There are more than 900 large, stationary sources of CO2 in the SECARB region, which are targets for future carbon storage projects. Their total annual emissions are estimated at slightly over 1 billion metric tons of CO2. Fossil fuel-fired (coal, oil, or gas) power plants are the largest contributors, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the total CO2 emissions. The SECARB region also hosts a number of non-power related stationary sources of CO2. These include, in descending order of CO2 contribution, refineries, ethylene plants, cement plants, gas processing plants, iron and steel plants, and ethylene oxide plants.

CO2 Stationary Sources in the SECARB Region
CO2 Stationary Sources in the SECARB Region (click to enlarge)

The regional characterization of potential storage sites conducted during the initial RCSP Characterization Phase efforts confirmed that the region offers significant potential for storage in mature oil fields, saline formations, and coal seams. SECARB's Validation Phase pilot-scale geologic projects were designed to characterize and test areas of high CO2 storage potential in the region, including enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM) extraction and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) pilot tests. A total of four locations were selected and those projects have taken place or are underway in Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia. A stacked storage pilot test has been initiated near Natchez, Mississippi in order to characterize injection activities into a deep saline storage formation (lower Tuscaloosa) and assess EOR benefits within the injection zone. This project can store between 100,000 to 500,000 tons of CO2 per year with EOR flooding. The lower Tuscaloosa formation is also being evaluated at a power station near Escatawpa, Mississippi, in order to assess the potential of the lower Tuscaloosa deep saline storage formation as a means to store large amounts of CO2 from power generation facilities within the region.

  SECARB Validation Phase Project Locations
  SECARB Validation Phase Project Locations 
(click to enlarge)

Pilot tests within unmineable coal seams have been initiated in the Central Appalachian Basin in Russell County, Virginia. Over the course of the project 1,000 tons of CO2 was injected into the Pocahontas and Lee Coal Seam formations to demonstrate geologic storage capacity and to assess the potential for ECBM extraction activities. Similar activities are occurring in the Black Warrior Basin in Alabama, where project investigators are determining the feasibility of ECBM activities and long-term geologic storage potential of CO2 within the Pratt, Mary Lee, and Black Creek Coal groups. From June to August of 2010, over 278 tons of CO2 were injected into these formations at a site in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

  SECARB Development Phase Project Locations
  SECARB Development Phase Project Locations 
(click to enlarge)

SECARB is currently evaluating two opportunities for large-scale CO2 storage Development Phase field projects. The Early Test, currently underway 

Cranfield, Mississippi, has injected 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 since April 2009. This project focuses on EOR efforts, the long-term storage of a large-scale amount of CO2, and the effects that large volume of CO2 has on the storage formation.

The information gathered from the Early Test will be applied an Anthropogenic Test at Alabama Power Company's Plant Barry in Bucks, Alabama. This test comprises a fully integrated CO2 capture, transport, and storage project. The CO2 generated at Plant Barry will be captured on-site, transported by pipeline and stored within a deep saline formation at the Citronelle oil field operated by Denbury Resources, Inc. Denbury will inject at least 100,000 metric tons of CO2 generated by Plant Barry per year for 3 years. SECARB is also working to deploy a pre-, during, and post-injection MVA program for this project.

Outreach and education is a key component of success for all three phases of the SECARB program. During the Characterization Phase, an action plan for outreach and education related to small-scale CO2 storage field tests was developed. This action plan has been carried out in small-scale demonstrations (Validation Phase) and large-scale projects (Development Phase), which includes the SSEB leading the international, national, and regional effort, and the individual field teams leading the site specific public outreach activities. Each field site has hosted an Open House meeting to engage the local community and future CCS workforce. Hundreds of presentations have been delivered and posters displayed since the SECARB Program began in 2003 to share the details of the SECARB projects' definition, design, implementation, operation, and closeout activities with various audiences.

The overall guiding principles of the SECARB outreach and education program are as follows:

  • Educating the individuals who will take responsibility for implementing site-specific education and outreach programs.
  • Presenting the RCSP and SECARB Programs to various audiences.
  • Developing education and outreach action plans.
  • Identifying the materials and support needed to implement these plans.

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