DOE's latest CCS funding includes EOR project in West Texas

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 9 -- The US Department of Energy will provide $350 million to support a project designed to capture carbon from a proposed electric power plant near Midland-Odessa, Tex., and transport it to the Permian basin where it will be used in enhanced oil recovery, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced.

The Texas Clean Energy Project, which will be led by Summit Texas Clean Energy LLC of Bainbridge Island, Wash., was one of three efforts receiving $979 million of federal support under the third round of DOE’s Clean Coal Initiative. The other two will involve carbon capture from existing coal-fired power plants and storage in deep saline formations in West Virginia and Alabama.

“By harnessing the power of science and technology, we can reduce carbon emissions and create new clean energy jobs,” Chu said Dec. 4 as he announced the funding. “This investment is part of our commitment to advancing carbon capture and storage technologies to the point that widespread, affordable deployment can begin in 8-10 years.”

The award came nearly 2 years after the Midland-Odessa area lost its bid to become the site of Future Gen, the country’s first fully integrated commercial power plant and CCS system, to Matoon, Ill.

STCE plans to integrate Siemens’s gasification and power generating technology with carbon capture technologies to effective capture 90% of the carbon dioxide (2.7 million tonnes/year) at the planned 400-Mw plant near Midland-Odessa, DOE’s Fossil Energy office said.

The captured carbon dioxide will be treated and compressed, then transported by pipeline to Permian basin oil fields in West Texas for use in EOR operations, it said. The University of Texas’s Bureau of Economic Geology will design and assure compliance with a state-of-the-art sequestration monitoring, verification, and accounting program, DOE said. The project is expected to take 8 years.

A second project, led by Southern Co. Services Inc., will receive $295 million of federal funding over 11 years to retrofit CO2 capture equipment on an existing Alabama Power Co. plant north of Mobile for ultimate sequestration in deep saline formations. SCS also plans to explore potentially using this captured CO2 in EOR applications, DOE said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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