Texas Announces Offshore Carbon Storage in State Waters

April 13, 2021

In April, The Texas General Land Office made a bold move that created a massive opportunity for the oil and gas industry by issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for the lease of property for offshore carbon storage in state waters. 

The RFP for the lease of Permanent School Fund land in Jefferson County, Texas includes the establishment and operation of a geologic carbon dioxide storage repository under submerged land in a Miocene formation, including the construction of necessary transportation and storage infrastructure. In other words, the State waters off Jefferson County, which include major Texas cities such as Beaumont and Port Arthur, are ‘open for business’ for carbon storage projects.

This news is exciting for all scientists and engineers who have been working to bring carbon storage technology to state offshore lands. Many people, including scientists and engineers at the Bureau of Economic Geology in Texas, with funding from federal agencies and private industry, have been leading the charge to enable carbon storage projects in state waters.

What should you know to better understand this opportunity and what it means for corporate entities who are interested in carbon emissions and storage projects?

Federal vs. state rights as related to offshore property

In 1953, Congress passed the Submerged Lands Act, which gave coastal states title to natural resources within three nautical miles from their coastline. Because of historical reasons, some litigation ensued and Texas’ seaward boundary was eventually affirmed at 9 nautical miles (10.35 miles) by the United States Supreme Court. This means Texas has title to natural resources in its submerged offshore lands within the established boundary. 

Texas has a huge opportunity in carbon capture and carbon storage

The geology of Texas’ offshore waters provides a tremendous resource for storing manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) as a means for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Recent infrastructure developments (onshore CO2 pipelines) suggest this region could become a CO2 hub capable of receiving pipeline CO2 from other parts of the country, and indications are that the geologic storage resource could be viable for decades of utilization.

Currently, Europe is leading the way in offshore carbon storage with the soon-to-be-completed Northern Lights CO2 hub project in Norway, which features an ‘open storage’ facility concept. One entity builds and operates the storage facility, and many other customers can store their CO2 at the hub via pipeline or shipping transport. Northern Lights has a goal of serving as a hub-catalyst to seed the rollout of carbon capture and storage in Europe.

Could Texas serve in a similar capacity by creating a potential hub for CO2 storage in the Gulf of Mexico?

Our TOP notch Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Technology training course helps your team level-up


The new CCUS developments in Texas only further illustrate that energy production is an ever-changing and evolving field. Success in this market is dependent upon your ability to stay on top of emerging trends.

Many oil companies are aligning their emissions target to match the goal that governments set under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Although the most obvious way to reduce CO2 emissions is to reduce the consumption of CO2-producing energy sources, we have a long way to go to reach sustainable levels. In the interim, we must develop additional methods to curtail CO2 in the atmosphere. One solution is carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology.

The initial step is to capture CO2 and prevent it from entering the atmosphere. Next, we can use the CO2 and/or store it underground. CO2 has value as a commodity in a number of different industries, and revenue from selling this commodity can help defray the costs of capture and transportation of the gas. However, the current demand for CO2 is not significant enough to account for all of the gas we might target for capture. For the rest of the captured CO2, there is an elegant solution: put it back in the ground.

This is why the opportunity Texas has created for offshore CCUS is one not to be overlooked. Is your company ready to take advantage? Or do you need some help getting up to speed? 

Our team of industry professionals at TOP Energy Training has created a top-notch training course to help your team take advantage of the opportunity in Texas by understanding:

  • The basic applications of EOR within the oil and gas industry and how that same technology applies to underground storage of CO2. 
  • How recent establishment of a new class (VI) of injection wells, as well as a number of policy and tax incentives in the U.S., have created renewed interest and activity around CCUS technology. 
  • The general history and specifics of Class VI wells, the role of EOR in storage, misconceptions about carbon dioxide, protections for drinking water resources, and Class VI well considerations, such as storage capacity, injection rate, and storage mechanisms.
  • Issues of permanence and safety, various monitoring tools and programs, and an example monitoring case study.

Learn More Today!

Why Should Your Organization Choose TOP Energy Training?

TOP Energy Training Instructor Expertise

By enrolling in our courses, you receive training from industry, environmental, government, and legal professionals in the oil and gas industry through a course curriculum that is developed by professionals and faculty experts from the Colorado School of Mines, The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Texas at Austin. 

Our goal is to provide everyone who enrolls in our energy courses with a full spectrum of knowledge related to the petroleum industry. Our courses are fully comprehensive, including historical and scientific perspectives, environmental stewardship, and current industry trends.

TOP Energy Training is a highly efficient and cost-effective educational program to meet your training needs regardless of your experience. Our students come to us with varied backgrounds: municipal, state, and federal regulatory agency personnel, oil and gas attorneys, non-technical oil and gas professionals, university law and engineering students anticipating their entry into the profession, and high school STEM teachers.

Our Courses are Self-Paced and On-Demand

The oil and gas business can be complicated and is filled with numerous pieces of local, state, and federal legislation that date back over 200 years ago, which makes understanding your options in this ever-changing market challenging. That’s why we set out to design courses that break down complex subject matter into understandable concepts utilizing video, graphics, animations, and interactive elements. The courses can be accessed on desktop, tablet, or mobile devices and are designed to be taken at your own pace because we understand the day-to-day competition for your time.

We Level-up So Your Team Can, Too

When you’re ready to take advantage of the opportunity Texas has created with offshore carbon storage in state waters, we’re ready to help get your entire team up to speed with the best possible education for your money. TOP Energy Training’s online content is at the forefront of the latest developments, and new lessons are added to stay current. We take great pride in delivering high-quality, up-to-date courses so that you get incredible value. After all, we understand that this opportunity is hot and you need to strike swiftly — but smartly.

Find out More About Our Training Courses

If you have questions about our Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Technology training course, or our courses in general, contact us today by filling out and submitting our questionnaire. We have also put together a set of frequently asked questions that may be helpful. 

Check out our Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Technology training, which is part of our Emerging Trends course, and enroll today!

Images: “Residual_Storage” by EU ZEP Project, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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