Best Practices Manuals

Sharing of lessons learned and best practices from the research and development (R&D) projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carbon Storage Program is essential for the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Best Practice Manuals (BPMs) are one of the key ways in which DOE promotes information sharing among all of the projects it sponsors, including the Advanced Storage R&D and Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) activities. The BPMs are focused on establishing uniform approaches for carrying out essential activities common to the success of all CCS projects, including site selection and characterization, monitoring, modeling, risk assessment, field operations, and public outreach and education. Lessons learned and best practices contained in the BPMs are integral to the successful progress of the development of the infrastructure needed for the planned field activities and future commercial deployment of CCS technology.

Experience and knowledge gained from field laboratories is key in development of the Carbon Storage Program BPMs. The first editions of the BPMs were completed in 2011 and incorporated results from the RCSP Validation Phase field projects. DOE released updated versions of five BPMs in 2017. The 2017 revisions include new information learned as the RCSPs progressed to large-scale Development Phase field projects.

DOE Best Practice Manuals
DOE Best Practice Manual  Description
Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) for Geologic Storage Projects
Discusses development of MVA plans for geologic storage projects and provides recent research results on existing and emerging MVA techniques. The focus is on the experience gained through the RCSP Initiative, but MVA plans and a few key monitoring techniques applied at international large-scale field projects are also described. The best practices result from successful application of techniques during field application and are documented through lessons learned. This BPM provides an extensive discussion of existing and evolving monitoring tools, the information that each tool can provide, the tool’s R&D status, and insights into how some of these tools can be used to meet regulatory requirements.
Public Outreach and Education for Geologic Storage Projects
Provides guidelines for conducting outreach and education for geologic storage projects across a variety of geologic and cultural settings. These best practices are intended to address recurring issues related to: (1) insufficient knowledge of how CO2 storage works due to the “out of sight” nature of the technology; (2) a lack of familiarity with similar storage functions already occurring in nature; and (3) the difficulty of communicating effectively when implementing complex projects.
Site Screening, Site Selection, and Site Characterization for Geologic Storage Projects Provides guidelines for locating and developing a geologic storage project from the initial stages of regional exploration at the basin scale, to the point where a site is considered qualified for commercial storage. This BPM will also inform the public about activities involved in screening, selecting, and characterizing potential geologic storage sites. Examples and lessons learned are provided as case studies from the RCSP Large-Scale Development Phase field projects.
Risk Management and Simulation for Geologic Storage Projects
Presents the concepts and steps involved in developing a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the impact project risks could pose to human health, safety, the environment, and operational aspects of a storage project. This BPM summarizes tools that have recently become available for performing risk analysis and discusses the potential major pathways for migration of CO2 out of the storage reservoir and approaches to mitigate, remediate, and control such migration. It also presents a framework of best practices for developing and using numeric simulation to model the specific subsurface processes (thermal and hydrologic, chemical, mechanical, and biological) at a geologic storage site that are necessary for predicting the behavior of injected CO2 for risk management and other purposes.
Operations for Geologic Storage Projects
Encompasses all facets of field operations related to planning, designing, implementing, and executing a carbon storage project—from project development to post-injection monitoring. Site development planning, permitting, well drilling and completion operations, injection operations, and post-injection operations are discussed, with emphasis on detailing the components necessary to initiate and operate a large-scale carbon storage project.
Geologic Formation Storage Classification
Discusses the basis for categorizing different groups, or “classes,” of depositional environments as having potential for CO2 storage. Describes how physical and chemical conditions and processes at the time the sediments were deposited might affect flow of CO2 and other fluids in potential storage complexes. Depositional environments are defined in terms of geomorphic units, or landforms, examples of which can be readily found at present.
Terrestrial Sequestration of CO2
Based on the field experience of the RCSPs’ field projects and covers land types and management methods that can maximize carbon storage in vegetation and soil. Covers the analytical techniques necessary to monitor, verify, and account for terrestrially stored carbon and how these technologies were applied in the various field projects.

The lessons learned from Storage Infrastructure projects will be documented in updates of BPMs and DOE’s Carbon Storage Atlas. The second edition of the BPM series contain lessons learned from the RCSP large-volume tests. Future editions will contain lessons learned from commercial-scale onshore and offshore field projects.