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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Background to the Study


The 5th International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA on 19-20th May, 2022, a very appropriate location given the growing interest in, and vast potential for, offshore storage in the Gulf of Mexico.


With 50 attendees in-person and 120 virtually, there was a good mix of industry, researchers and regulators. In particular there was very good attendance by US regulators, State and Federal, as rule-making is underway at the Federal level to allow and regulate offshore CCS.


Despite a very packed agenda of some 45 presentations, time for valuable discussion was also included. In the two years since the last workshop in Bergen, Norway, many new projects with offshore storage are progressing. With so many projects to fit into the schedule, we had to limit the project updates (sixteen in total) to just 5 minutes each. As well as the number, the diversity of the projects is impressive, covering many industry sectors, different routes to storage, and two including not just shipping for transport but also ship-based handling/injection, as already demonstrated by the Lula project in Brazil. Once the project updates had been covered, the workshop got into more technical details, such as issues with depleted fields, the use of deep saline formations, containment and well integrity, infrastructure re-use and shipping transport.

In the USA, regulators are currently developing offshore storage rules and are very open to receiving inputs from researchers and industry. Many new industry players are entering into the area of CCS and need information. Some of the high-level messages from the workshop were that the re-use of infrastructure is complex, both technically and legally. There were good real-life examples of the details to be considered from some projects. The new ship transport plans shared by Shell were also very impressive. Another outcome of the presentations, and especially from the discussions, was the need for standardisation in storage assessment methodologies, making the case for the use of the Storage Resource Management System (SRMS) from SPE.

The workshop presentations also indicated that outputs from EU research projects such as STEMM-CCS and ECO2, are being used by real projects. The workshop included an example of these experimental outputs being used to ‘down-select’ techniques for one real project’s monitoring plans, so these plans were described as being ‘fit-for-purpose’. Similar moves towards ‘down-selecting’ monitoring methods were seen previously with the onshore US Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) and their outputs being used by larger integrated projects in ‘down-selecting’ monitoring strategies and techniques from the vast range tested in RSCPs.

Overall, there is impressive progress with developing CCS projects offshore, and much knowledge was shared in this workshop. The feedback from all attendees, in-person and virtual, was very appreciative with many requests for it to be repeated.

The report is available to download.