AZGS joins Carbon Utilization & Storage Partnership
Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has joined the Carbon Utilization and Storage Partnership (CUSP), to characterize, catalog, analyze and rank Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) options for Arizona. CUSP’s chief objective is to facilitate safe, secure, cost-effective transportation and long-term storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). The CUSP partnership comprises 13 states, 3 national laboratories and the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) - see CUSP partners section below.
The principle goal of CCUS is to reduce anthropogenic CO2 released into the atmosphere. CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas and a byproduct of fossil fuel emissions from vehicles and stationary sources such as electric, cement, ethanol, and fertilizer plants, and the single-largest anthropogenic contributor to climate change .
As part of the CCUS process, CO2 from industrial sources is captured and transported through pipelines to a location where it can either be stored long-term in confined underground rock formations saturated with saline groundwater at depths of more than 2600 feet or 800 meters, or used to squeeze out trapped oil unreachable by traditional recovery methods. Investing CCUS in Arizona benefits companies able to take advantage of tax credits in and adjacent to AZ, the AZ economy, and the climate.
In the 2020-2022 , up to 2024, AZGS-CUSP project, AZGS will be participating in additional and new data collection and analysis, data organization, regional infrastructure and economics, and outreach of CCUS in Arizona. Research will focus on potential subsurface storage targets adjacent to sources of CO2 (such as power plants), existing pipeline corridors and Right-of-Ways in Arizona’s Basin and Range Province and Colorado Plateau. One of the principal outcomes will be an enhanced machine-readable, open-access regional database with vetted, high-quality subsurface geology, infrastructure, industrial, and relatable databases for reservoir characterization for stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, regulators, federal, state, and tribal governments.
CUSP Funds. CUSP is led by the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC) at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, which was awarded $6.24 million by the DOE for the project. The AZGS will receive about $226,395 with the potential for additional funding for database development as the project progresses through 2024.
History of AZGS involvement in Carbon Sequestration. AZGS has led or participated in research involving CCUS projects funded by DOE since 2010, formerly referred to as Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration (SECARB), West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) and Rocky Mountain Carbon Capture and Storage (RMCCS). During these projects AZGS evaluated and published open-file reports for each of ten (10) of Arizona’s largest Cenozoic sedimentary basins in the Basin and Range and specific rock formations and strata on the Colorado Plateau. These projects collected and digitized large amounts of oil and gas and water well data, geophysical logs and some seismic data, formation data, and physical rock cuttings and drill cores. Data were used to populate a National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographical Information System (NATCARB) (Figure 2). A few published AZGS references are provided below.