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Regional Initiative to Accelerate CCUS Deployment

Regional Initiative Overview:

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Regional Initiatives Infographic (Click to enlarge)

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Beginning in 2019, the Regional Initiative to Accelerate Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Deployment is supporting the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) mission to help the United States meet its need for secure, affordable, and environmentally sound fossil energy supplies. This builds upon advancements made by the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Initiative by identifying and addressing challenges to the widespread, commercial deployment of CCUS. There are four individual Regional Initiatives that gather and analyze information for their respective regions, work with existing and future demonstration projects, and coordinate certain efforts related to past and current field projects such as the Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE. By leveraging the strengths of the new Regional Initiatives, it will be possible to identify and promote potential carbon transportation/utilization/storage projects that will help meet goals for a future net zero carbon economy. The four Regional Initiatives have been established to further the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory Carbon Storage Program.


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Map of the Regional Initiatives.


The primary objective of the Regional Initiatives is to identify and help address regional storage and transport hurdles affecting commercial deployment of CCUS by performing the following activities:

  • Addressing Key Technical Challenges: Facilitate regional deployment of integrated CCUS by advancing the knowledge and capabilities needed for commercially successful storage operations beginning in 2025. This effort would facilitate safe, secure, efficient, and affordable carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and containment in regional storage facilities located in diverse geologic settings.
  • Facilitating Data Collection, Sharing, and Analysis: Collaborate with FECM-funded researchers to coordinate and facilitate the collection and analysis of new data, as well as the analysis of existing data in the region, to improve the understanding of the impacts of CO2 injection/storage and encourage safe, secure, efficient, and affordable CO2 injection and containment.
  • Evaluating Regional Infrastructure: Evaluate the regional needs and challenges for the development of safe and environmentally sound CO2 infrastructure. This infrastructure would transport CO2 captured from various types of point sources and distribute it for associated storage in enhanced oil recovery operations, saline storage, and/or to other suitable storage sites.
  • Promoting Regional Technology Transfer:Identify and engage industry, utilities, potential site developers, regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities, regulators, and the general public to inform and educate about CCUS technologies.

 Battelle Memorial Institute combined two RCSPs—the Midwest RCSP led by Battelle and the Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium led by the Illinois State Geological Survey— to form the Midwest Regional Carbon Initiative comprising midwestern and northeastern states. The initiative is supporting key activities, including: (1) expanding regional stress/risk assessment to an additional level of detail in new areas; (2) expanding the acquisition of legacy seismic/well data from small oil/gas producers; (3) evaluating conceptual project definition for Atlantic offshore areas and east coast sources; (4) expanding industrial collaboration efforts to new sites/partners and collecting data from brine injection wells for use in storage assessment; (5) incorporating energy transition issues (e.g., hydrogen, direct air capture, bio-enhanced CCUS, cybersecurity, environmental justice, and job creation/workforce development) into infrastructure assessments; and (6) expanding outreach efforts to regional intergovernmental groups and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology formed a new Carbon Utilization and Storage Partnership, whose primary objective is to conduct activities that include: (1) identification of near-term storage opportunities and assistance with the development of commercial storage operation(s); (2) focused studies on CO2 injection and storage into basalts; (3) investigation of the use of CO2 as a geothermal working fluid; and (4) acceleration of the development of at least two “storage hubs” in the region. 

Southern States Energy Board formed SECARB-USA, encompassing parts of southern states with diverse storage opportunities in oil, saline, and unconventional reservoir settings. The project is engaging in activities that include: (1) characterization of the Georgia Coastal Plain; (2) detailed reservoir characterization in south Arkansas; (3) development of baseline data gathering and assessment for integrated blue/green hydrogen potential with CCUS, direct air capture, and bio-enhanced CCUS to screen and rank regional “storage hubs”; (4) engagement with the hard-to-decarbonize pulp and paper industry in the region; and (5) enhanced prediction of plume migration through increased understanding of CO2-brine-mineral interactions in multi-phase regions.

The Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota leads the PCOR Partnership in fostering the development of CCUS in the northern great plains states, adjacent Canadian provinces, and Alaska. Areas included in this region are dominated by fossil energy production and coincide with abundant opportunities for geologic storage in sedimentary basins. The PCOR Partnership is catalyzing CCUS projects in its region by 1) strengthening the technical foundation for geologic CO2 storage and enhanced oil recovery; 2) advancing capture technology; 3) improving application of monitoring technologies to commercial CCUS projects in the region; 4) promoting integration between capture, transportation, use, and storage industries; 5) facilitating regulatory frameworks; and 6) providing scientific support to policy makers.


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