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Treviño (left) and Meckel edited the Atlas.

GCCC is delighted to announce the release of the latest Report of Investigations from the Bureau of Economic Geology titled, Geological CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters. Ramón Treviño and Tip Meckel are the editors of the Atlas, which summarizes research undertaken as part of a multiyear study (2009-2014) of Texas State Waters and the adjacent Federal Offshore Continental Shelf. The goal of the study was to assess and analyze existing data from historical hydrocarbon-industry activities in a regional transect of the Texas coast in order to verify the ability of Miocene-age rocks of the region to safely and permanently store large amounts of anthropogenic (industrial) CO2.

Perhaps the best reason for assessing near-offshore Texas waters is their location in the Gulf of Mexico basin, one of the world’s largest accumulations of porous sedimentary rocks with proven fluid-trapping capabilities. Prior hydrocarbon exploration history has set the stage for successful and low-risk carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment at offshore locations in general, and the near-offshore waters of Texas in particular. Benefits of these offshore locations include suitable geology, abundant and high-quality geologic data sets, proximity to CO2 sources, reduced risk to shallow sources of drinking water, higher likelihood of public acceptance than for onshore locations, and favorable leasing scenarios from single landholders.
The Atlas provides a resource for exploring the geological CO2 sequestration potential of the near-offshore waters of Texas via large-scale regional and qualitative, as well as detailed quantitative, information that can help operators quickly assess CO2 sequestration potential at specific sites. This is the first comprehensive attempt to accomplish this goal in the near offshore Gulf Coast and United States.
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An example page of the Atlas.
  • Gulf Coast Carbon Center, along with IEAGHG, Bellona, and CCSA, hosted the only official UNFCCC Side Event on CCS at COP-23 as well as an exhibit booth at the event. In keeping with the theme of the host country, Fiji, the side event explored carbon capture and storage, and its relationship to small island developing states.

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    Katherine Romanak at UNFCCC COP-23 Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada

    Speaking before the 150 attendees, GCCC’s Katherine Romanak explained the evolution of experience gained through the SECARB program, a DOE partnership, monitoring geological storage, which gives confidence to CCS technology. She said, “CCS works, and we know how to show that it works.” Romanak related the potential for storing gigatonnes of CO2 in offshore geologic formations and how environmental monitoring at CCS sites provides additional data on the health of local marine ecosystems. She invited countries interested in exploring their potential for offshore CO2 storage to join an initiative that began as a US DOE-led international project through the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.

    Other speakers included, Carol Turley from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, who discussed problems associated with ocean acidification, which results from the combination of carbon dioxide and seawater, and threatens marine communities throughout the globe. Such climate impacts are already having an effect in Trinidad and Tobago, where panel member David Alexander studies the potential for using CCS with ammonia and LNG production.

    Mike Monea from the International CCS Knowledge Centre provided an update on the Boundary Dam project and Keith Whiriskey from Bellona outlined the need for infrastructure development to connect CO2 sources to storage sites. Oslo’s Vice-Mayor Geir Lippestad presented an innovative form of CCS using capture from a waste incineration project. Clara Heuberger of Imperial College provided a perspective on using CCS in support of renewables.

    IEAGHGs, Tim Dixon, served as chair, setting the scene for the session, giving an update on how the London Convention was amended to allow for offshore CCS as a climate mitigation technology. He commented that, “the session showed why the oceans need CCS, and how it can be done in the perspective of small island states who need to move beyond their first NDCs to decarbonise their industrial sources.”

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    Members of the panel “CCS developments towards a 1.5 world; will they help the oceans and Small Island Developing States?” Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada

    The University of Texas at Austin and Bellona Foundation hosted an exhibit booth on CCS Technology led by Hilary Olson. The IEAGHG, Carbon Capture and Storage Association, and CCS Knowledge also provided interesting information on CCS. A great location, hands-on activities, easy to digest FAQs, and insightful diagrams attracted participants from multiple continents to learn more about this carbon mitigation technology. While many people had ‘heard of’ CCS technology, they did not know the details and were interested to have someone explain the technology and how it could impact CO2 levels.

    Official UNFCCC coverage of the side event provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development can be found here. Side Event presentations are available by searching “7 November” and “enhancing ambition” at this link. The entire side event can be viewed online.

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    Katherine Romanak and Tim Dixon speak to interested attendees at the exhibit booth

     

  • The Gulf Coasmarakesht Carbon Center will host the only official UNFCCC side event devoted entirely to CCS at COP-22 in Marrakech, Morocco November 7-18, 2016. The event is hosted in collaboration with IEAGHG, Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), and CO2GeoNet, and will focus on “Opportunities for Africa in Carbon Capture and Storage”.

    In addition to Katherine Romanak from the GCCC, Tim Dixon from IEAGHG, and Ton Wildenborg from CO2GeoNet, speakers will include Mike Monea from the newly-formed International CCS Knowledge Centre (an initiative of BHP Billiton and SaskPower), Felicia Chinwe Mogo from Nigeria, Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu from Ghana, and Tony Surridge from South Africa.

    The side event aims to show that CCS is a demonstrated technology for achieving emission reductions under the Paris Agreement. Progress towards CCS deployment in Africa and global CCS developments relevant for Africa, onshore and offshore will be presented. Steps for CCS pilot project development and new opportunities for technology transfer will be outlined.

    The side event will be held Tuesday November 8 from 11:30-13:00 UTC in the Mediterranean room for those attending the COP. For those who are not attending, the session can be viewed in real-time (local standard Morocco time) by using this link.