Recovery Act: Characterization of Pliocene and Miocene Formations in the Wilmington Graben, Offshore Los Angeles, for Large Scale Geologic Storage of CO2


Location of the Wilmington Graben<br/>within the Los Angeles basin.
Location of the Wilmington Graben
within the Los Angeles basin.
Geomechanics Technologies, Inc.
Website:  Geomechanics Technologies, Inc.
Award Number:  FE0001922
Project Duration:  12/08/2009 – 12/08/2014
Total Award Value:  $10,749,803.00
DOE Share:  $8,326,456.00
Performer Share:  $2,423,347.00
Technology Area: 
Key Technology: 
Location:  Long Beach, California

Project Description

This project characterized the Pliocene and Miocene sediments in the Wilmington Graben, offshore of Los Angeles, CA, for CO2 storage. Characterization of these formations will help establish and broaden options for large-scale CO2 geologic storage throughout California. The project was performed in three phases, with the first phase devoted to completing a detailed review and interpretation of existing exploration well log data, 2-D and 3-D seismic data, acquiring and analyzing new seismic lines in current data gap areas, reviewing existing log data, and drilling a Pliocene well in northern Wilmington Graben area. In the second phase of the project, a second characterization well was drilled into the Miocene. Integrated 3-D geologic and geomechanical models for the Wilmington Graben were populated with grid data derived from lithologic properties to allow for additional quantification and analysis of storage targets and seals. A CO2 injection and migration model was also developed and calibrated against well injectivity data to simulate long-term injection, CO2 migration, and storage. In the third phase of the project, a detailed engineering review and documentation of the top 20 CO2 emission sources in the LA Basin was performed, and a feasibility analysis using existing and/or new pipelines in the LA Basin to transport CO2 from sources to storage sites was completed.

Project Benefits

The results from this are providing a summary of basin-scale suitability and identifying and prioritizing potential offshore CO2 geological storage opportunities. Offshore geologic storage offers additional CO2 storage opportunities and may prove to be easier, safer, and less expensive than storing CO2 in geologic formations on land, particularly during the early days of commercialization. Offshore storage provides several advantages that include: (1) additional CO2 storage potential in the United States to supplement existing onshore capacity estimates; (2) locating geologic storage sites away from heavily populated areas; and (3) reduces the risk to underground sources of drinking water.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Brian Dressel:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Mike Bruno:

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