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Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative

To support the development of regional infrastructure for carbon capture and storage (CCS), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created a network of seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs).

The RCSP Initiative began in 2003 with characterization of each region’s potential to store carbon dioxide (CO2) in different geologic formations. Characterization activities in the Carbon Storage Program originally started as Phase I of the RCSP Initiative (the "Characterization Phase") and included cataloging regional CO2 sources, characterizing CCS prospects, and prioritizing opportunities for future CO2 injection field projects. In 2005, validation of the most promising regional storage opportunities was initiated through a series of small-scale field laboratory projects (Validation Phase). The Validation Phase led to the successful completion of 19 small-scale field projects in a variety of storage complexes (8 in oil and gas fields, 5 in unmineable coal seams, 5 in saline formations, 1 in basalt), providing information on reservoir and seal properties of regionally significant formations, testing, and initial validation of modeling and monitoring technologies. In 2008, the RCSP focus turned to large-scale field laboratories in saline formations and oil and gas fields with a target of injecting at least 1 million metric tons (MMT) per project in the Development Phase of the RCSP Initiative. Numerous applied research technologies have been integrated into these projects and the results have been essential in further technology development of CCS.

Map depicting location of the seven RCSP regions
Map depicting location of the seven RCSP regions

Results obtained from the RCSP efforts provide the foundation for validating that CCS technologies can be commercially deployed and monitored throughout the United States. While providing important technical knowledge and operational experience for future 50+ MMT-scale projects, RCSP field projects have also been essential for identifying additional subsurface reservoir and operational issues which still need to be addressed. These and future large-scale projects will be necessary to validate storage projects integrated with carbon capture technologies from various CO2 sources and geologic storage in the diverse geologic settings found in multiple basins throughout the United States. 

RCSP Infographic
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Infographic


In 2003, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded cooperative agreements to seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs)
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs)


Storage Infrastructure
Technology Pathway Challenges Current Research Efforts
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Initiative
  • Capability for safe, permanent, and cost-effective storage in storage complexes in diverse geologic settings.
  • Cost-effective integrated technologies for storage and monitoring that meet requirements for safety and permanence, and that satisfy regulations.
  • In addition to technical R&D challenges, non-technical issues associated with CCS large-scale deployment, such as effective public outreach and providing information to regulators, legislators, and financiers.
  • Conduct large-scale field laboratory projects involving CO2 injection in saline reservoirs and oil and gas fields.
  • Prove adequate injectivity and storage resource for regionally important storage formations.
  • Prove storage permanence by validating that CO2 will be retained in the subsurface.
  • Determine the areal extent of the CO2 plume/pressure front through modeling and monitoring.
  • Develop risk assessment and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Engage with the public, regulators, and others in the regions where the projects are developed.

Note: A storage complex consists of: (1) one or more storage reservoirs, with permeability and porosity that allow injection and storage of CO2; and (2) one or more low-permeability seals, which enclose the reservoir(s) and serve as barriers to migration of CO2 out of the reservoir. Geologic setting refers to the rock type, structural characteristics, and rock and fluid properties arising from the depositional environment and post-depositional processes at a potential storage site.


Key accomplishments of the RCSP Initiative include:

  • Established the first U.S. national network of companies and professionals focused on carbon storage, significantly raising public awareness and forming a strong foundation to support deployment of storage projects.
  • Developed and applied a standard, consistent methodology for estimating geologic storage resource throughout the United States.
  • Integrated CO2 stationary source and geologic storage information into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB), forming the basis for a series of widely acclaimed regional and national carbon storage atlases for the United States and portions of Canada.
  • Successful completion of 19 small-scale geologic field projects collectively injecting and monitoring more than 1.0 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2.
  • Pilot-scale validation of diverse geologic settings as suitable potential sites for CO2 storage.
  • Commenced injection in six of the seven planned large-scale deployment phase projects with more than 10 MMT safely stored.
  • Investigated the response of a broad portfolio of monitoring, verification, accounting (MVA), and assessment technologies in a variety of geologic settings.
  • Provided examples of the effectiveness of simulation models and MVA to predict and measure CO2movement in multiple reservoir types.
  • Implementation of expert panel-based risk assessment strategies, including potential leakage scenarios, and technologies and processes to monitor and mitigate each scenario.
  • Participated in the development of technologies to support regulatory and legal frameworks for the safe injection and long-term geologic CO2 storage in the regions where the projects are developed.
  • Provided data, experience, and lessons learned for a series of Best Practice Manuals (BPMs) for site selection and initial characterization, monitoring, simulation and risk assessment, public outreach, and well completions and operation.
  • While providing important technical knowledge and operational experience for future commercial-scale projects, RCSP field laboratories have also been essential for identifying additional subsurface technologies, as well as reservoir and operational issues that still need to be addressed.


Technology Component Portfolio Interactive Map

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is supporting a diverse portfolio of projects, which can be viewed in the Tableau Dashboard below. This map is entirely interactive; adjusting the toolbar on the left allows you to narrow your selection, pan, or zoom in/out. The map can be sorted by Technology Area; clicking on a location allows you to learn more about each individual project. 

Adjusting the Icon Spread Factor allows you to simultaneously view projects with the same locations. NOTE: Some of the projects, while they share a location, appear staggered to allow the viewer to show multiple projects at the same location. In those instances, as well those in which the location is marked as "Regional," the location is estimated.

Please note that the interactive map is best viewed using the Internet Explorer or Edge internet browsers.