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College of Arts & Sciences
Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI-SC)


Southeast Offshore Storage Resource Assessment (SOSRA)

U.S. Department of Energy ($4M total; $1M for USC)
PIs: James Knapp (EOS), Camelia Knapp (ESRI-SC, EOS), Duke Brantley (ESRI-SC), and Venkat Lakshmi (EOS); Southern States Energy Board is Lead PI
Oct. 1, 2015 – Sept. 30, 2018

The Southeast Offshore Storage Resource Assessment (SOSRA) project will assess prospective geologic storage resources for carbon dioxide (CO2) in the State and Federal waters of the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The goal of the project is to develop a high-level approximation of the amount of CO2 that might be stored utilizing key geologic and environmental factors that influence the storage potential. The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) will serve as the overall lead for the project. Utilizing the successful model of the DOE Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, SSEB has taken a team approach to developing the Statement of Project Objectives (project tasks). To perform the work, SSEB is partnering with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University’s Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, the University of South Carolina, and Oklahoma State University for local management of the three planning areas. Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, South Carolina Geological Survey, and Geological Survey of Alabama, Advanced Resources International, Inc.,

The proposed research includes significant advances in knowledge and technology that can facilitate assessment and quantification of offshore CO2 storage resources in the SOSRA region and provide a pathway toward commercialization. This research focuses on the central objective of the FOA, which is to “develop an offshore Prospective Storage Resource assessment of subsurface depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs and saline formations at one or more offshore regions on the East Coast and/or Gulf of Mexico.” This project addresses goals 3 and 4 of the Carbon Storage Program, specifically: 3) “Support industry’s ability to predict CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations to within ±30 percent” by assessing potential regional storage formations in State and Federally regulated offshore areas of the United States, and 4) “Develop Best Practice Manuals for monitoring, verification, accounting (MVA), and assessment; site screening, selection, and initial characterization; public outreach; well management activities; and risk analysis and simulation” by producing information that will be useful for inclusion in DOE Best Practices Manuals (BPMs). A diverse suite of data analysis techniques will be used, designed to ensure that a high quality assessment is performed that can meet the goal of predicting storage capacity to within ±30 percent. Utilizing existing geologic and geophysical data such as seismic reflection surveys, geophysical well logs, and supporting reservoir data (pressure, temperature, etc.), the size and geology of the prospective storage resources, including areal extent, thickness, and physical properties such as porosity and permeability, will be defined. The analysis will begin with a survey of the available state of knowledge to provide an overview the basic geologic framework of the SOSRA region and to identify potential storage units and define the key planning areas. Phase I will conclude with a comprehensive analysis of available data, including quality and coverage assessment. In Phase II, SOSRA will continue a robust characterization of offshore COstorage opportunities, as well as conduct a volumetric analysis that is consistent with established procedures employed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory for CO2 assessment (NETL, 2012). Limited modeling of CO2 storage will be performed to understand the applicability of single-zone and stacked storage techniques in the SOSRA region, as well as the applicability of vertical and directional drilling technology. Development of BPMs based on this research will significantly advance the state of knowledge by identifying paths to deployment and applicable technologies that improve the effectiveness while reducing the cost of storage operations. This research will also identify economic and technical barriers that must be addressed or avoided to ensure timely deployment.