Sandia Technologies, LLC (Sandia), in partnership with Conrad Geoscience Corporation, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Columbia University, Rutgers University, the New York State Museum, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will examine the potential for large-scale, permanent storage of CO2 in deep strata of the Newark Rift Basin (NRB). The NRB underlies a heavily industrialized region comprising parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The primary focus of this project is to examine and prove the suitability of these Triassic to Cambrian formations for geologic storage of CO2.
This project includes the analysis of existing hydrologic, geologic, and oil and gas well data; development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) database; geologic and conceptual modeling (Figure 1); and drilling and completing a characterization well. Drilling a stratigraphic test well to near-geologic basement (approximately 8,000 feet total depth) will provide Sandia with formation water samples, native formation pressures, and estimates of formation porosity, permeability, grain and bulk density, lithology, and mineralogy. A second characterization well, drilled in conjunction with Columbia University, and the completion of a 2-D seismic survey will also further characterize the basin.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies offer the potential for reducing CO2 emissions without adversely influencing energy use or hindering economic growth. Deploying these technologies in commercial-scale applications requires adequate geologic formations capable of (1) storing large volumes of CO2, (2) receiving injected CO2 at efficient and economic rates, and (3) retaining CO2 safely over extended periods. Research efforts are currently focused on conventional and unconventional storage formations within depositional environments such as: deltaic, fluvial, alluvial, strandplain, turbidite, eolian, lacustrine, clastic shelf, carbonate shallow shelf, and reef. Conventional storage types are porous permeable clastic or carbonate rocks that have contained fluids such as brine, oil, or gas in the natural void spaces of the rocks. Unconventional storage types include unmineable coal, organic shale, and basalt interflow zones.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) selected 10 projects that received $49 million of DOE funding to characterize promising geologic formations for CO2 storage. The funding was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was enacted to create new jobs, spur economic activity, and promote long-term economic growth. This research further advances DOE’s efforts to develop a national assessment of CO2 storage resources in deep geologic formations. These 10 projects are focusing on the regional site characterization of high-potential geologic storage formations. They will assess and develop comprehensive data sets of storage formation characteristics (porosity, permeability, reservoir architecture, cap rock integrity, etc.) providing insight into the potential for selected geologic reservoirs across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. An additional $50 million of ARRA funding was provided to augment the work that the existing projects are conducting. This additional funding will allow these projects to further characterize reservoir geology, identifying additional storage opportunities for industrial CO2 sources. This additional funding will allow these projects to drill additional and/or deeper wells, collect significantly better log and core data to populate models, collect additional geophysical data, and integrate additional data and conduct more extensive reservoir models.
The overall effort will provide greater insight into the potential for geologic formations across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. The information gained from this endeavor will further the DOE effort to refine a national assessment of CO2 storage capacity in deep geologic formations. Specifically, this project will contribute to a more precise and thorough understanding of the geologic storage opportunities in the NRB, sink-source matching, and refined storage capacity estimate. The data gathered as part of this research effort will be shared with the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership’s (MRCSP), integrated into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB), and utilized for the 4th Edition of the Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada.
The primary objective of the DOE’s Carbon Storage Program is to develop technologies to safely and permanently store CO2 and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth. The Programmatic goals of Carbon Storage research are: (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations; (2) demonstrating that 99 percent of injected CO2 remains in the injection zone(s); (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals (BPMs).
The specific objective of this project is to assess the potential for storing large amounts of CO2 in the NRB geologic formations (the Stockton Formation is estimated to have over 1 gigatonne of storage capacity) in order to demonstrate that geologic storage of CO2 offers an effective and viable large-scale mitigation approach to managing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial sources in the northeastern United States. This project also aims to create meaningful near-term and long-term employment, building and initiating the foundation for a CCS industry using the Newark Basin geologic formations.
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