Southeast Offshore Storage Resource Assessment (SOSRA)

Ken Nemeth: nemeth@sseb.org
Kimberly Sams Gray: gray@sseb.org
Patricia A. Berry: berry@sseb.org

The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) is leading a coalition of southern universities and technical experts to assess prospective geologic storage resources for carbon dioxide (CO2) in the State and Federal waters of three planning areas:

  • The Mid-Atlantic
  • The South Atlantic
  • The eastern Gulf of Mexico

The goal of the Southeast Offshore Storage Resource Assessment (SOSRA) project is to develop a high-level approximation of the amount of CO2 that might be stored utilizing key geologic and environmental factors that influence the storage potential. The research includes significant advances in knowledge and technology that can facilitate assessment and quantification of offshore CO2 storage resources in the SOSRA region and provide a pathway toward commercialization.

SSEB will serve as the overall lead for the project. To perform the work, SSEB is partnering with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University’s Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, the University of South Carolina, and Oklahoma State University for local management of the three planning areas. Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, South Carolina Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Alabama, Advanced Resources International, Inc., and Gerald R Hill, PHD, Inc. also will provide technical expertise to the project.

A proposal to support the SOSRA project was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in March. SSEB received notification of selection for award negotiations in June. The SOSRA project will be underway for three years, beginning on October 1, 2015.

The University of Texas at Austin is leading a sister project funded under the same DOE program entitled the Offshore CO2 Storage Resource Assessment of the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Upper Texas-Western Louisiana Costal Areas). The University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with Southern States Energy Board, will study the inner continental shelf portions of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf of Mexico coastal areas in order to assess the CO2 storage capacity of depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs. This work also will assess the ability of regional saline geological formations to safely and permanently store nationally-significant amounts of CO2. The results of this work will improve the current understanding of CO2 storage potential for a large area of the Gulf of Mexico adjacent to significant industrial emissions sources. SSEB will provide regional education and outreach support for the project.

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