The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) has completed studies to estimate the storage resource on the continental shelf off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S. The projects used a variety of methodologies and covered different geologic settings offshore of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the Atlantic coasts.
Currently DOE is funding two offshore partnerships to assemble the knowledge base required for secure, long-term, large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) storage, with or without enhanced hydrocarbon recovery, and assess technology-development needs (infrastructure, operational, monitoring), which differ from those onshore.
The advantages of offshore CO2 storage for the U.S. include:
Considerations in determining the suitability of a formation for storage include:
The Partnership for Offshore Carbon Storage Resources and Technology Development in the Gulf of Mexico (GoMCARB): The GoMCarb partnership compiles data and expertise in the region, integrating academic research institutions, government entities, and industry affiliates to address knowledge gaps, regulatory issues, infrastructure requirements, and geologic and engineering technical challenges of storing CO2.
Southeast Regional Carbon Storage Partnership: Offshore Gulf of Mexico (SECARB GOM): SECARB GOM is leading a coalition of southern universities and technical experts to expand the existing GOM government-industry partnership and focus on assembling the knowledge base required for secure, long-term, large-scale CO2 subsea storage.
Sediments beneath the GOM represent a vast storage resource in oil and gas reservoirs and saline formations, and resource estimates benefit from extensive oil and gas exploration and development data. Using production data, it is estimated that there are 20 billion metric tons of storage in just the oil and gas reservoirs. Including saline formations, analysis of seismic data and well data indicates that hundreds of billions of metric tons, or more, storage resource is available in the Gulf.
Storage resource estimates are less well-defined off the Atlantic coast due to lack of data. Nonetheless, improved stratigraphic models, guided by biostratigraphy and combined with available seism ic data, indicate hundreds of billions of metric tons, or more, of storage resource is also available throughout a large study area from New York to northern Florida.