DOE Commits $2.3B in Funding for Carbon Capture and Storage Projects

Depleted Gulf of Mexico fields for carbon storage
DOE is funding CO2 storage projects such as at depleted offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico (file photo)

Published May 6, 2022 4:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Energy is committing more than $2.3 billion in additional funding to advance diverse carbon management approaches that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution by focusing on capture and storage technologies. Since January 2021, DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has invested more than $210 million in 45 research and development projects and front-end engineering design studies to advance carbon management approaches including CO2 capture, removal, and storage. Among the elements that they are exploring is the use of depleted oil and natural gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico for the transport and storage of CO2.

“This past month we saw the highest levels of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere in history, underscoring the fact that our efforts to tackle climate change will be inconsequential if we don’t act now to manage the greenhouse gas emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The President’s budget commitments coupled with the investments from his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will enable the U.S. to develop cutting-edge technologies to safely and efficiently capture, remove, and store CO2 while revitalizing communities that have powered this nation for generations.”

The DOE announced three specific efforts that it will be funding. The first is the publication of a Notice of Intent for $2.25 billion to accelerate geologic carbon storage projects each capable of permanently storing at least 50 million metric tons of captured CO2. This begins a process to inform stakeholders that will seek to participate in the CarbonSAFE Initiative, which is intended to help address the feasibility, site characterization, permitting, and construction stages of CCS project development, including project siting.

In addition, DOE issued two funding opportunities, totaling $91 million, to increase the number of available CO2 storage sites and to advance critical carbon management technologies. One project creates a $45 million funding opportunity designed to improve procedures to safely, efficiently, and affordably define and assess onshore and offshore CO2 storage sites at a commercial scale. The second creates a $46 million funding opportunity that will develop technologies to remove, capture, and convert or store carbon dioxide from utility and industrial sources or the atmosphere. 

According to DOE, the projects will examine commercial viability and technical gaps, while also examining the environmental impacts of the technologies. They noted that the progress is essential to swiftly ramp up manufacturing and deployment in the carbon management industries to ensure successful infrastructure is in place across the nation to support a net-zero GHG emissions economy.

FECM funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use.