The University of Texas at Austin and its partners at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Environmental Defense Fund, and Sandia Technologies, LLC have investigated Texas offshore subsurface storage resources in the Gulf of Mexico as candidate geologic storage formations. This project was designed to identify one or more CO2 injection site(s) within an area of Texas offshore state lands (extending approximately 10 miles from the shoreline) that are suitable for the safe and permanent storage of CO2 from future large-scale commercial CCS operations. The approach used in identifying these injection sites was to use both historic and new data to evaluate the candidate geologic formations, including an extensive Gulf Coast well database and seismic survey database. A major project effort was to characterize three selected offshore areas with high-resolution seismic surveys that were conducted by the project. In addition, reservoir simulations were performed and work was conducted to evaluate the effects of chemical reactions resulting from injection of CO2 into the identified formations. A risk analysis and mitigation plan has been generated in support of near-term commercial development efforts.
The overall effort provides greater insight into the potential for geologic formations across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. The information gained from this endeavor is being used to refine a national assessment of CO2 storage capacity in deep geologic formations. Specifically, the project’s ability to develop and utilize offshore geologic storage resources contributes significantly to the management of CO2 emissions from various emission sources located in southeastern Texas. The results from this study are helping to provide a summary of basin-scale suitability and identified and prioritized potential offshore CO2 geological storage opportunities.
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