Carbon Storage Atlas

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership



Regional Accomplishments

During Phase III, the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) began to work more intensely on the assessment of the very large volume storage resource in deep saline formations beneath both state waters and federal waters (Outer Continental Shelf [OCS]). Initial assessments confirmed that offshore Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments are thick, rich in sandstones, and regionally extensive on both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico basins in the SECARB area.

The large volume and high quality of the offshore storage resource developed by the Phase III Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) work has generated intense interest, including additional focused studies, as well as commercial and regulatory consideration.


Story of Interest

From David Riestenberg, project manager, Advanced Resources International.

“Phase III of the [Citronelle Project] (Anthropogenic Test) was one of the first demonstrations of a fully integrated CO2 capture and storage project. The full chain included pilot-scale capture at Plant Barry, a coal-fired power station, with pipeline transport to the saline reservoir storage site. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) amine-based capture technology partially laid the groundwork for the larger-capacity capture technology now used at the Petra Nova project in east Texas. A moment of trepidation and excitement came when we started up the pipeline to conduct our first anthropogenic-source CO2 injection.

To me, as a project manager overseeing the innovative project, the science of monitoring the CO2 in the subsurface geology was the most exciting. One of the most interesting technologies we used was cross-well seismic. In order to visualize the CO2 underground, we put an acoustic source in one well and a receiver that picks up the signal in another. As the CO2 builds up in the reservoir, replacing other fluids, the acoustic signal takes longer to travel through it because CO2 is less dense. Comparing two surveys, we can see where the signal slows and where the CO2 saturation built up. Acquiring this underground map was a critical step in our project, showing that the CO2 was where predicted, and that we left the wells and underground drinking water safe. The only downside to the cross-well seismic technology is that it would take months to get interpreted results back. Now, with more advanced seismic tools, we can get almost instantaneous results.”


Research vs. Commercial

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) Cranfield and Citronelle Projects were both conducted early in the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Phase III program, prior to the promulgation of Class VI Underground Injection Control (UIC) rules and monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) plans required to obtain 45Q tax credits. Although the monitoring programs applied could have likely qualified these projects under those later plans, they were not optimized to meet those goals. The Early Test (Cranfield) in particular had a mission to test tools so that later projects could learn from this early experience. The Early Test (Cranfield) therefore deployed as many monitoring approaches as possible logistically and in budget, which led to both positive and negative recommendations going forward. Key positive results were above-zone pressure methods and process-based methods for soil gas. Findings on groundwater monitoring sensitivity to leakage and in-zone monitoring using both well-based and surface seismic techniques document the need for cautious and limited expectations from these technologies, both in the context of conformance and leakage detection.


Tech Transfer

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) has an active technology transfer and outreach program that includes an emphasis on international data exchange and lessons learned transfer. SECARB partners have hosted, organized, and presented results and products of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Initiative and the SECARB project at national and international professional societies, such as the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas (IEAGHG) Research and Development (R&D) Programme, Greenhouse Gas Technologies, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Geological Society of America, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The SECARB partners have welcomed guests for site visits during all phases of project development and operations. Federal, state, and local civic leaders and groups; U.S. and international scientists and engineers; students; regulators; and First Nation tribal leaders interested in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) have toured the sites. The project teams have hosted technology transfer events such as the IEAGHG summer school, the IEAGHG monitoring network, an AAPG field trip, and the Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration. In addition, SECARB and the Gulf Coast Carbon Center of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin (GCCC) have joined other international groups in hosting well-attended and successful side events at the United Nations Council of Parties (COP) to bring carbon capture and storage (CCS) information to this wide policy-oriented global audience. SECARB has supported activities of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), which has recognized both projects for achievements in advancing CCUS technologies.

The SECARB partners have hosted many investigations within and outside of the RCSP Initiative, such as the National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP), the Carbon Capture Project, the GEO-SEQ project, the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security, and other targeted projects. The public outreach activities are influencing decision-makers who are designing the next phase of commercially oriented monitoring.

A tremendous achievement in technology transfer is the application of SECARB lessons learned at several CCUS projects, including Mississippi Power’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE; storage complex) project at Plant Ratcliffe and the Petra Nova project in east Texas. The integrated CCUS system of the Citronelle Project served as the model for the Petra Nova carbon dioxide (CO2) capture system scale-up at NRG’s W.A. Parish Generating Station near Houston, Texas.

The SECARB website presents project-related activities and lessons learned are communicated through more than 100 published papers and multiple electronic sources and an annual briefing to stakeholders.



Phase III: Anthropogenic CO2 Injection Field Test (Citronelle)


Primary Sponsors

  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • Southern States Energy Board

Industrial Sponsors

  • Advanced Resources International
  • Alabama Power
  • Denbury Resources, Inc.
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • Geological Survey of Alabama
  • Southern Company
  • Southern Natural Gas


Phase III: Early CO2 Injection Field Test at Cranfield

Primary Sponsors

  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • Southern States Energy Board

Project Lead

  • Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin

Industrial Sponsors

  • Anchor/QEA
  • BP
  • Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security
  • Denbury Onshore LLC
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Mississippi State University
  • National Risk Assessment Program
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Schlumberger Carbon Services
  • Sandia Technologies LLC
  • Scottish Carbon Centre
  • University of Mississippi
  • U.S. Geological Survey Menlo Park/Jackson