The field laboratory project-focused Storage Infrastructure Technology Area is critical to program success, as it allows for the field testing of diverse emerging technologies and techniques developed through the Advanced Storage Technology Area, as well as the development of best practices for future commercial deployment.
The Storage Infrastructure Technology Area includes three technology pathways to demonstrate that different types of storage reservoirs (saline reservoirs, oil and natural gas reservoirs, unmineable coal, organic-rich shale, and basalt formations) in storage complex with various geologic settings, distributed over different geographic regions, both onshore and offshore, have the capability to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2).
The Storage Infrastructure Technology Area tests new technologies and benefits from specific solutions developed in the Advanced Storage Research and Development (R&D) Technology Component. Technology gaps and lessons learned from field laboratories are fed back to the Advanced Storage R&D Technology Area to guide future early-stage R&D. The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Storage Infrastructure Technology Area is being implemented through three technology pathways:
The Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative large-scale field laboratories have proven instrumental in developing processes and procedures for site characterization and development of future 50+ million metric ton (MMT)-scale projects.
Through the RCSP Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting field laboratory large-scale field projects in storage complexes with different geological settings to confirm that CO2 capture, transportation, injection, and storage can be achieved safely, permanently, and economically. Results from these projects will provide a more thorough understanding of CO2plume and pressure-front movement, as well as the performance of existing and new monitoring technologies in various geologic settings. Together, this will help support development of 50+ MMT-scale projects.
Characterization Field Projects include next-generation onshore characterization studies and offshore projects to determine offshore storage potential and address technology needs that are specific to the offshore environment.
Characterization field studies will help to reduce the uncertainty associated with CO2 storage resource estimates, improve the understanding of storage efficiency in storage complexes across a range of geologic settings, and allow for a better understanding of injectivity rates and the performance and extent of regional confining seals needed to assure storage permanence. Current research involves onshore field projects carried out through the Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative.
"Fit-for-Purpose" projects are focused on developing specific subsurface engineering approaches that address research needs that are critical for advancing carbon capture and storage (CCS) to commercial scale.
Fit-for-Purpose Brine Extraction Storage Test (BEST) field projects have been initiated to address reservoir pressure management. Associated Storage field laboratory projects focused on unconventional residual oil zones (ROZs) and tight oil formations (TOFs) will demonstrate their potential as an additional carbon storage reservoir associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and support deployment of the technology by industry. Other candidate Fit-for-Purpose projects include field validation and optimization of stacked storage strategies and targeted post-injection studies.