Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER), and the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) are proud to release the North American Carbon Storage Atlas (NACSA), which was produced under the leadership of the North American Carbon Atlas Partnership (NACAP). Production of this Atlas is the result of cooperation and coordination among carbon storage experts from local, state, provincial, and Federal government agencies, as well as industry and academia. This Atlas provides a coordinated overview of carbon capture and storage (CCS) potential across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The primary purpose of the Atlas is to show the location of large stationary carbon dioxide (CO2) emission sources and the locations and storage potential of various geological storage sites. This Atlas is a first attempt at providing a high-level overview of the potential for large-scale carbon storage in North America. As each country makes progress in the dynamic technology of CCS, additional resources will become available that allow for a more thorough effort to identify large stationary CO2 emission sources and potential storage sites.
A key aspect of CCS is the amount of carbon storage potential available to effectively help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As shown in this Atlas, CCS holds great promise as part of a portfolio of technologies that enables Canada, Mexico, the United States, and the rest of the world to effectively address climate change while meeting the energy demands of an ever increasing global population. This Atlas includes the most current and best available estimates of potential CO2 storage resource determined by each of the three countries’ selected methodology. A CO2 storage resource estimate is defined as the volume of porous and permeable rocks available for CO2 storage and accessible to injected CO2 via drilled and completed wellbores. Carbon dioxide storage resource assessments do not include economic or regulatory constraints; only physical constraints to define the accessible part of the subsurface are applied.
All data in this Atlas were collected before April 2011. These data sets are not comprehensive; however, it is anticipated that CO2 storage resource estimates, as well as geological formation maps, will be updated when sufficient new data are acquired. Furthermore, it is expected that, through the ongoing work of NRCan, SENER and U.S. DOE, data quality and conceptual understanding of the CCS process will improve, resulting in more refined CO2 storage estimates.
About The North American Carbon Storage Atlas
The North American Carbon Storage Atlas contains five main sections: (1) Introduction; (2) North American Perspectives; (3) Carbon Capture and Storage in Canada; (4) Carbon Capture and Storage in Mexico; and (5) Carbon Capture and Storage in the United States. The Introduction section contains an overview of CCS and the North American Carbon Atlas Partnership efforts. The North American Perspectives section describes North American geology as it pertains to the potential storage of CO2 and provides maps that show the number, location, and magnitude of large stationary CO2 emission sources and the location and areal extent of sedimentary basins and geological formations within those basins that have been assessed to date. This section also provides summaries of the estimated CO2 storage resource in the assessed formations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The remaining three sections provide more details on CO2 sources and storage resources in oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal, and saline formations in each of the three countries.
Carbon dioxide storage resource estimates were derived from data available in each country. These data are representative of potential storage formations in the three countries and are needed to estimate key parameters, such as area (A), thickness (h), and porosity (φ) of a formation. Carbon dioxide emission and storage resource maps were compiled for this Atlas by U.S. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) from information provided by the three countries.
The CO2 geological storage information in this Atlas was developed to provide a high-level overview of CO2 geological storage potential across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The location and areal extent of promising geological storage formations and the CO2 resource estimates presented in this Atlas are intended to be used as an initial assessment of potential geological storage opportunities. This information provides CCS project developers with a starting point for further investigations. Furthermore, the information provided by this Atlas will help quantify the extent to which CCS technologies can contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions, but it is not intended to serve as a substitute for site-specific assessments and testing.
This document was prepared as an account of work jointly undertaken by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Neither the governments of Canada, Mexico, the United States nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the governments of Canada, Mexico, the United States or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States or any agency thereof.