News Release

Release Date: March 12, 2018

NETL-Managed Project Stores 1 Million Tons of Carbon Dioxide and Boosts Domestic Oil Production


The NETL-managed Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) , led by Battelle, has achieved an important milestone by safely and permanently storing one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into a series of depleted oil fields in northern Michigan, leading to the production of a significant volume of oil that would have otherwise been left behind.

The project developed novel approaches for monitoring CO2 in fields that were in different stages of their production life-cycles, from initial flooding to late-stage development. MRCSP tested techniques to track the CO2 and quantify the amount that is retained in the formation after the oil is removed. These data can be used to further optimize CO2 storage and energy production in other areas. This work is furthering the understanding of the subsurface by assessing potential storage capacity and validating computer models of the subsurface geology.

The oil was produced through a technique called enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which combines the environmental benefits of storing CO2 safely and permanently underground with the economic stimulation of increased domestic oil production. For example, the one million metric tons of carbon dioxide stored during this project is equal to what could be sequestered by more than one million acres of trees in one year. The additional oil produced in this project supported hundreds of jobs and generated approximately $70 million in income, and associated goods and services, and taxes.

The MRCSP region consists of ten states: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. A group of leading universities, state geological surveys, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies, led by Battelle, were assembled to carry out this research.