National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB)

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jul 1, 2001 Jun 30, 2012 Outside Indiana, state
Director: John Rupp
Other Researchers: John A. Rupp
Funding: U.S. Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory
Issue: Current federal energy policy assumes that hydrocarbons will continue to be the primary source of energy for the United States and the world well into the 21st century. There is concern about increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and its possible role in global climate change. For this reason, it may become necessary to manage carbon dioxide (CO2). Sequestering CO2 in geological formations may be one way to safely trap carbon over long periods of time.
Objective: The purpose of NATCARB is to facilitate the evaluation of geological sequestration of CO2 in the United Sates and Canada by compiling all pertinent geological information useful for such evaluations into a database. When completed, the database will allow users to estimate the amount of CO2 emitted by various sources (such as power plants, refineries, and other fossil fuel consuming industries) and relate these volumes to geologic reservoirs that can provide safe and secure sequestration over time.
Approach: We will characterize, at the local and regional levels, the distribution of stationary sources of CO2, and the potential capacity of geological formations for CO2 sequestration. Potential CO2 sequestration targets include producing and depleted oil and gas fields, unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, uneconomic coal seams, and saline aquifers. These data will then be integrated into a linked system that accesses information from the five different states and presents them through a Web site.
Products: The NATCARB Consortium will continue to enhance an Internet map server (IMS) site and relational database management system. The goal is to increase the utility and scope of the online information pertaining to CO2 sequestration by improving the quality and the amount of material, and the ease of access.
Benefits: NATCARB will provide private- and public-sector decision makers online access to digital and hard copy information, digital databases, new cutting-edge scientific and policy studies, and geographic locations of CO2 sources and potential CO2 sequestration sites. Digital access to pertinent information will be critical to evaluating CO2 mitigation policies, directing needed research, and understanding the technical, economical, social, and environmental challenges of CO2 sequestration.