Reliable estimates of CO2 storage capacity are required by national, regional, and local governments, as well as by the emerging sequestration industry. Estimation of CO2 storage capacity requires a detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the potential reservoir (Bradshaw et al., 2005, 2006; Brennan and Burruss, 2006). Although there are no currently accepted guidelines for classifying CO2 storage “resources” and “reserves,” a classification system for CO2 storage capacity has been proposed by Frailey et al. (2006).

Bradshaw et al. (2005) identified four gaps that require additional research into standards for measurement of CO2 storage capacity:

  • Identification of clear and accepted definitions that are meaningful across a range of geoscience disciplines, including geology, reservoir engineering, and hydrology

  • Establishment of consistent and accepted methodologies and guidelines for capacity estimation

  • Establishment and documentation of appropriate constraints for assessments, especially for the technical (geological and reservoir engineering) data

  • Establishing reporting practices for storage capacities that are on a par with modern practices in the other resource industries

The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy is the lead federal entity for development of carbon sequestration technology in the United States. The program, administered by DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, is extensive—$67 million was enacted in FY 2006 and nearly $74 million was requested for FY 2007. This program included support for a high-level overview of potential geologic sequestration sites in the United States and Canada (DOE, 2007c). A large number of state agencies, universities, and private companies are involved in the program through seven regional partnerships as well through a variety of other projects funded by the program.

EPA also has regulatory responsibility for waste disposal that involves underground injection of hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. Injection of CO2 for geological sequestration currently falls within the purview of the EPA Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, whose primary purpose is the protection of drinking water supplies. CO2 injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is currently permitted under the UIC, and EPA has recently formulated draft guidance to permit pilot geological sequestration projects involving injections into deep saline formations. However, the regulatory structure and requirements applicable to future large-scale CCS programs are yet to be developed, although such issues are receiving considerable attention from a variety of interest groups in the United States and elsewhere (NETL, 2006b).

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement