What is CCS?

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the proven process of safely capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes and transporting and permanently storing it underground. CCS is recognized as a key technology in reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the world by many national and global organizations such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the International Energy Agency (IEA), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). CCS is one of the best positioned technologies to mitigate climate change by offering both immediate decarbonization benefits and a long-term solution to reach and maintain carbon neutrality. In fact, according to a report by Energy Futures Initiative and Stanford University, CCS in California could reduce emissions in the state by as much as 15%.

CCS involves three major steps: 1.) capturing CO2 at the source, 2.) compressing it for transportation and 3.) injecting it deep into a rock formation where it is safely and permanently stored and monitored.

Capture: Multiple technologies have been developed to separate CO2 from industrial flue gases and other gases produced at facilities such as power plants, refineries, and processing plants. These facilities are commonly retro-fitted, capturing up to 95% of the targeted CO2, and enabling them to continue operating with significantly lower CO2 – with the goal of net-negative emissions.

Transportation: After CO2 is captured, it is transported for permanent underground injection. Transportation is commonly done by truck or pipeline. In some cases, existing oil and gas pipelines and existing pipeline corridors can be used to minimize surface disturbance and impact. CO2 transport is a safe and well-established process using proven technology. More than 50 pipelines stretch 4,000 miles across the US, transporting more than 60 million tons of CO2 annually.

Illustration of geologic formations up to 8,000 feet underground

Storage: CO2 is injected into deep underground rock formations at depths of more than a mile. These storage-capable formations include depleted oil and gas reservoirs as well as deep saline aquifers, and are defined by permeable "injection zones" capped by thick impermeable rock to permanently store the injected CO2. Permanent storage is assured via long-term measurement and monitoring with oversight by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.

California Resources Corporation’s (CRC) Carbon TerraVault is a series of CCS projects that inject CO2 from industrial sources into depleted underground oil formations and permanently store CO2 deep underground. CCS provides a real solution for reaching and maintaining carbon neutrality, and helping California meet the emissions reduction goals under the Paris Climate Accord.

Carbon TerraVault Logo