Washington, D.C. – As a complementary document to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada issued in November 2008, the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory has now released a report that provides an initial estimate of the potential to store carbon dioxide (CO2) underneath millions of acres of Federal lands.
The report, Storage of Captured Carbon Dioxide Beneath Federal Lands, estimates and characterizes the storage potential that lies beneath some of the more than 400 million acres of Federal land available for lease. Estimated at between 126 to 375 billion metric tons of CO2, the majority of this storage potential (about 85 percent) is located west of the Mississippi River, where most of the leasable Federal acreage (92 percent) is found.
"This report builds on last year’s carbon sequestration atlas and further bolsters our efforts to develop America’s carbon sequestration capabilities," said Dr. Victor Der, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. "The availability of Federal lands, in addition to private sites, could provide enormous potential resources to sequester carbon dioxide in the future."
In assessing the potential for storage beneath Federal lands, the report addresses issues such as Federal control, location of emission sources, and pipeline rights-of-way, as well as laws and regulations relevant to Federal leasing. Last year’s atlas addressed similar issues regarding privately owned acreage capable of storing an estimated 3,500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Since carbon capture and storage is central to the Office of Fossil Energy’s Carbon Sequestration Program, which is designed to limit CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, NETL and its carbon sequestration research partners prepared the Federal lands report and the atlas as data resources for the wider sequestration community.