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Assessing CO2 Storage Potential in the Mid-Atlantic Offshore Region of USA

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critical technology for ensuring a range of clean energy options are available to meet future energy demands. Offshore storage can be linked to large point-sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) while avoiding many of the logistical difficulties and potential risks encountered when siting onshore projects, especially in densely populated areas of the East Coast of the United States. The Mid-Atlantic U.S. Offshore Carbon Storage Resource Assessment Project (MAOCSRAP), funded by the US Department of Energy, has completed a systematic carbon storage resource assessment of the mid- and north-Atlantic offshore coastal region to provide a strong technical basis on which future CCS efforts can be built.

Various publicly available data sets were compiled and integrated to define geologic characteristics for Cretaceous- and Jurassic-age sandstone sequences named Logan Canyon (LC), Missisauga, and Mohawk formations of the mid-Atlantic offshore coastal region from the Georges Bank Basin (GBB) through the Long Island Platform (LIP) to the southern Baltimore Canyon Trough (BCT). Prospective storage resource estimates were calculated using net effective pore volumes and fluid displacement properties specific to offshore lithologies. Estimates for the combined storage zones were 150 to 1136 gigatonnes (Gt), which suggests mid-Atlantic U.S. offshore formations can store decades of CO2 from industrial sources in the region. Preliminary local reservoir simulations in the BCT indicated successful injection of at least 1 Mt CO2/year for 30 years in single injection wells. An initial, qualitative assessment of risk factors in mid-Atlantic offshore areas based on results from hydrologic characterization, seismic interpretation, geologic mapping, and previous research indicated that there are no highly critical risk factors that would impede CO2 storage along the study areas.

Input and participation from government, industry, and environmental groups provided input into the Road Map and addressed next steps needed for future CCS project planning and implementation offshore of the mid-Atlantic United States. Recommended near-term actions for project deployment are to develop site screening, implement stakeholder outreach and risk mitigation strategies, identify common industry and research goals, and develop regulatory pathways. Recommended mid-term actions are to validate subsurface properties with new data, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and develop a monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) plan. Long term-recommended actions are to implement a plan for large-scale CCS operations, conduct site design, permitting, and construction, and upscale infrastructure. This project represents an important first step by completing a high-level CO2 storage resource assessment and building the knowledge infrastructure necessary to improve quantitative storage resource estimates. The data sets that have been curated under this project provide an opportunity to conduct research and development needed to address data gaps and reduce risk and uncertainty. Offshore characterization and validation strategies that are systematically designed to provide data and infrastructure that can be upscaled to meet commercial requirements should be developed.

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  • 1Assessing CO2 Storage Potential in the Mid-Atlantic Offshore Region of USA - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Dr. Neeraj Gupta