USA: The US Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Canada and the Mexican Ministry of Energy released the first-ever atlas mapping the potential carbon dioxide storage capacity in North America. According to the newly released North American Carbon Storage Atlas (NACSA), there is at least 500 years of geologic storage for carbon dioxide emissions in North America.
Created through the North American Carbon Atlas Partnership, a joint cross-border mapping initiative by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, NACSA included both low and high estimates for potential carbon dioxide storage capacity in North America. The low case estimated potential capacity of 136 billion metric tons for oil and gas fields; 65 billion metric tons for coal fields; and 1,738 billion metric tons for saline reservoirs, collectively representing over 500 years of storage.
In addition to estimating the storage capacity for North American oil and gas fields, coal fields and saline reservoirs, NACSA also noted the location of a total of approximately 2,250 large stationary carbon dioxide sources. Documenting the location of large stationary carbon dioxide emission sources and the locations and storage potential of various geological storage sites helps quantify the benefits and opportunities for potential carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects.
The new North American atlas shows an increase in potential storage capacity relative to previous estimates, primarily due to better geologic resolution and the identification of additional locations that could be used for EOR. By matching up EOR storage locations with specific sources of CO2, the atlas provides a more comprehensive view of the outlook and potential for carbon storage through EOR.