US, Canada and Mexico map carbon storage sites

Posted at May 6, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on US, Canada and Mexico map carbon storage sites

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has joined forces with Canadian and Mexican partners to unveil a map of the potential carbon storage capacity across the continent.

The North American Carbon Storage Atlas (NACSA) reveals that there is at least 500 years’ worth of geologic storage for CO2 from industrial sources or power plants.

The atlas looks at oil and gas fields, coal fields and saline reservoirs and their potential for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects.

The mapping initiative looked at both low and high estimates, calculating that a minimum of 136 billion metric tons of CO2 could be stored in oil and gas fields, 65 billion metric tons in coal fields and 1738 billion metric tons in saline reservoirs.

As well as injecting into geological formations for permanent storage, captured CO2 can also be used for enhanced oil recovery in hard-to-access oil deposits.

“By identifying North American geological formations with large CO2 storage potential, this new atlas provides the kind of fundamental information that, combined with technology innovation, can help fossil-fueled facilities continue their essential energy role while reducing carbon pollution,” commented US Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Meanwhile, the UK government has appointed Jeff Chapman as the chair of the new carbon capture and storage (CCS) cost reduction task force.

The task force, which was announced in last month’s CCS roadmap, will advise the government on how to reduce costs in the next wave of projects.

Chapman is currently the chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which represents the UK CCS industry.

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Related stories:
UK government launches CCS competition and new roadmap (3-Apr)
EPA releases emission standard for new power plants (29-Mar)
Industrial sector should adopt carbon capture and storage, says IEA (22-Sept 2011)
US backs CCS with $41m and first industrial-scale project (30-Aug 2011)

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