The U.S. Department of Energy is preparing to commission the first large-scale demonstrations of CO2capture and deep geologic storage to fulfill Phase III of the Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships Program.
The partnerships have proposed large-scale projects suited to specific regions,
some to capture and store between 1 and 2 million tons of
CO2per year. Proposals for Phase III demonstrations,
part of the Climate Change Technology Initiative, include the first-large scale
applications to coal-based power plants, plus natural gas processing plants and
ethanol production plants. Storage proposals include the first demonstration of
using a depleted U.S. oil field for sequestration, and the world’s first
large-scale on-shore storage in deep saline formations. Proposed storage depths
range from 3,000 to 10,000', or from more than half-a-mile up to almost two
miles. And all formations, or sinks, are covered by high-integrity cap rock to
ensure the security of long-term storage.
Each proposed demonstration would test a specific regional geology, through a
full project cycle, from site characterization to actual injection and
post-closure monitoring for security of storage. Important steps include
permitting, satisfying all requirements of the National Environmental Policy
Act, development and testing of injection wells, development of
CO2transportation and infrastructure, actual
CO2injection, monitoring behavior in storage, site
closure and post-closure monitoring of CO2.
Phase III sites would become candidates for continued or subsequent use in
CO2storage to accommodate capture from existing
large-point sources or from new plants. At present, the world has three
large-scale demonstrations of capture and storage in operation.