IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme


Offshore Storage Potential Presented at US DOE Carbon Storage Meeting

TD 2The US DOE held its annual Carbon Storage Review meeting in Pittsburgh 1-3 August. This is always an interesting meeting because all the CCUS R,D&D projects funded by the US DOE have to present and be reviewed, and was attended by some 250 participants. This year was even more interesting because of the sixteen CarbonSAFE integrated projects being presented for the first time. The $44m worth of projects will be reported in a separate report/blog. The US has relatively recently developed interest in offshore CCS, and this meeting saw seven projects being presented.

The four projects funded to undertake offshore storage assessments presented their work and results so far. These were the Northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) (UT), the Mid-Atlantic (Battelle), the Southeast (GoM and Atlantic) (Southern States Energy Board), and the Ship Shoal (GoM) (Geomechanics Technologies Ic).The projects are covering both sandstone and carbonate reservoirs, have acquired existing data, for example from BOEM, and some have acquired new data such as high resolution seismic. In addition, another project presented on a high-level assessment of storage in GoM in depleting oil and gas reservoirs (NITEC LLC). Each project found large potential storage capacities in their areas, in the many millions of tonnes scale. The high-level study found in the Federal waters in GoM around 4000 Mt CO2 storage capacity in depleted oil and gas fields.

In addition, the CarbonSAFE initiative is funding two offshore assessments in the Phase 1 (pre-feasibility) stage. Cascadia Basin (basalts) (University of Columbia) and Northwest GoM (UT). The Cascadia project is interesting because of its unique storage geology and hence trapping mechanisms by dissolution in water and subsequent mineralisation, all at a deep water location 2600m deep, and potentially transboundary with Canada’s British Columbia. The GoM project is interesting because of the proximity of many large-scale CO2 sources and transport infrastructure options to potential storage sites close by offshore.

Five of these seven projects had presented at the 2nd Offshore workshop in Beaumont Texas in June, possibly the first time an international audience had seen these projects. In conclusion, the USA is quickly gaining knowledge on its considerable potential for offshore storage. This was assisted by hosting the 2nd International Workshop on Offshore CCS in June (see my blog of the 22 June) learning from other countries. When the USA acts, there is no doubt over the quick progress made. Watch this space!