ARRA Site Characterization Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory funded several field projects that characterized promising geologic formations for CO2 storage with funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These projects characterized high-priority geologic storage formations and provided greater insight into the potential for geologic reservoirs across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. This research further advances DOE's efforts to develop a national assessment of CO2 storage capacity in deep geologic formations. The formation types evaluated included saline formations, depleting/depleted oil fields (but not specifically or primarily for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery [EOR]), and unmineable coal seams. The formations selected for characterization have adequate seals to protect against impacts to the overlying formations or risks to underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).

Project personnel have developed comprehensive data sets of formation characteristics (porosity, permeability, reservoir architecture, cap rock integrity, etc.) while also acquired information and gaining experience in refining best practices for storage site selection and characterization. These data sets have been acquired through efforts that included drilling stratigraphic wells to collect whole and sidewall core data on confining and injection zones, conducting comprehensive logging suites and formation evaluation tests, and analyzing the chemistry of formation rocks and fluids. The characterization efforts also included the acquisition of two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional seismic surveys that integrated rock property data acquired from new wellbores with other existing data to validate seismic responses. The integration of these data provides a better understanding of the subsurface properties that will be necessary to develop dynamic models to account for CO2 migration.

All of the information gathered from these projects have been incorporated into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB) to improve future CO2 storage resource estimates in the United States.

Click here for a comprehensive report on the accomplishments of the ARRA Site Characterization projects.

The locations of the nine ARRA site characterization projects are shown throughout the map below. For more information about a particular project, click on the project location on the map.