Characterization of Sites with High CCS Potential

WESTCARB conducted CO2 storage site characterization activities in the Colorado Plateau of Arizona and in the oil- and gas-producing regions of California to assess the suitability of these areas for commercial-scale CO2 storage.

Both locations offer geologic features favorable to carbon storage: thick and extensive porous rock formations filled with highly saline waters (called saline formations) overlain by impermeable layers called cap rocks. Under these conditions, CO2 can be injected into the pore spaces of the deep-lying formations, where it is contained by trapping mechanisms such as dissolution and mineralization, as well as by the cap rock layers above. In California, gas- or oil-bearing formations also have the potential to store CO2 while providing opportunities for enhanced hydrocarbon recovery.

Where research indicates large volumes of CO2 can be securely stored, wells may be drilled to determine the properties of target formations and sealing cap rocks, and to collect samples of rocks and fluids. Subsequent laboratory experiments using these samples aid researchers in predicting CO2 storage effectiveness.

WESTCARB project results supported more accurate estimates of the CO2 storage capacity of commercially promising geologic formations in California and Arizona.




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