Key Findings from the Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership’s (MRCSP) Large-Scale CO2-EOR/Storage Test in Michigan Basin
14 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2021
Date Written: February 22, 2021
The Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership program in the United States, funded by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is a widely recognized program for advancing Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) technologies. The Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) is one such Partnership covering 10 states across midwestern and northeast coastal USA. Since its inception in 2003, MRCSP has completed Phase I (2003-2005) involving assessment of regional emission sources and sequestration sinks and Phase II (2005-2011) involving multiple small-scale pilot tests to evaluate the feasibility of CCUS across the region. Under Phase III, which started in 2009, the MRCSP team has focused on detailed evaluation of a large-scale demonstration project of CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and associated storage. Work has also continued on the assessment of storage potential across the region by the MRCSP team.
This paper provides the overarching final conclusions of the large-scale test and implications for commercial deployment. The test was conducted in the CO2-EOR fields in northern Michigan, in the Silurian age carbonate reef complex, operated by Core Energy, LLC. The CO2 supply for the EOR is from processing of the natural gas from overlying Antrim Shale formation. The CO2 is pipelined about 16 km to the injection wells and a central processing facility. The overall reef complex consists of more than 800 fields, but EOR started in a single field in the mid-1990s and has currently expanded to ten fields. In 2012, MRCSP started a comprehensive program of characterization, measurement, accounting, modeling, and monitoring to research all aspects relevant to CO2 utilization and storage in the complex with a goal of injecting at least 1 million metric tons of CO2. The reef complex includes fields which have undergone EOR (late-stage life cycle), those undergoing EOR (operational), and those where injection is underway sans production (new fields). This allowed MRCSP to deploy an evolving portfolio of characterization, monitoring, and modeling approaches, which could be customized based on individual field settings (geologic, size, production history, well configurations, and EOR plans) and incorporate lessons learned from initial reefs. The large-scale test and the MRCSP Phase II were concluded in 2020 and an extensive set of final technical and topical reports are available for future researchers and commercial CCUs developers. With the conclusion of the MRCSP Program, Battelle has started a new program to enable and accelerate CCUS deployment, called the Midwest Regional Carbon Initiative (MRCI, midwestccus.org), which covers 20 states across midwestern and northeastern US.
Keywords: MRCSP, CO2-EOR Michigan Basin, Large-Scale CCUS, CO2 Storage Potential, Monitoring, Modeling, Site Characterization
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