GoMCarb Offshore Storage Resources

Storage Assessment (Task 2)

The goal of this task is to identify potential subsurface geologic storage reservoirs and assess whether they are candidates for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which provides revenue to offset the cost of CO2 storage projects.

Graph of the thickness of rocks to determine suitability for carbon storage


Database Development
Through its partnership with the Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis project, GoMCarb has access to unparalleled data and expertise on the subsurface stratigraphy of the GoM Basin. By using the available data and identifying the remaining gaps, GoMCarb provides a geological and geophysical framework to assess offshore regions of the GoM for CO2 storage.

The highly-characterized state waters on the near shelf provide a data-rich starting point for additional subsurface study. As federal data becomes available for the outer continental shelf, the assessment coverage of offshore CO2 storage will extend further into deeper parts of the gulf.

Once the data are compiled, GoMCarb will assess any remaining data gaps in order to develop strategies to acquire needed data. Known data gaps in implementing offshore CO2 storage include: feasibility and cost of reusing existing oil and gas infrastructure; limited subsurface data generally in the eastern GoM, some in the north-central GoM; needed conversion and georeferencing of older data; and economic models to help determine primary barriers to deployment.

Once data gaps and strategies to obtain missing data are identified, sites that are candidates for potential offshore storage will be assessed for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) potential. Using an approach developed by the United State Geological Survey (USGS), the storage potential of offshore hydrocarbon reservoirs will be assessed, ranked, and evaluated for CO2-assisted EOR. As this is the first attempt to characterize offshore EOR, potential issues related to the geotechnics of the offshore environment will be considered. Areas with stratigraphic potential for EOR will be identified and mapped.

Offsetting the high capital costs of offshore storage will be addressed by exploring different EOR revenue scenarios so that industry facilities are aware of the various opportunities to adopt CO2 capture devices and storage leases.

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