Carbon capture and storage is a suite of technologies that can be used to prevent carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted to the atmosphere by safely capturing it at the source and securely storing it thousands of feet underground. CCS can help decarbonize industries like steel, cement, and refining by reducing their CO2 emissions while supporting jobs, creating new markets for products, and contributing to local communities. bp has an existing footprint in the Midwest, including the Whiting Refinery, and adding CCS would create an opportunity to help reduce emissions for the region.
bp is committed to the safety of our people and the communities where we operate, and we will bring that commitment to CO2 storage projects.
CO2 capture and transportation technologies have been operating across the U.S. for decades. In fact, there are more than 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines in the country already. Because the number of CO2 pipelines is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will soon put forward updated regulations to further guide the industry in building and operating the pipelines needed to safely transport and store CO2.
After transport, CO2 is injected into rock formations many thousands of feet underground. Overlying these formations are impermeable, non-porous layers of rock that securely trap the CO2 for permanent storage, far below usable water resources. These rock formations are similar to those that have held oil and gas underground for millions of years.
Storage sites undergo testing and monitoring required by governmental regulation to ensure their long-term safety.
Carbon capture and storage technology can safely and permanently store CO2 in the pore spaces of rocks deep underground – often more than a mile below the surface. CO2 injection wells and storage are strictly regulated by the U.S. EPA. The primary goal of these regulations is to regulate the location, design, and operation of projects to protect drinking water sources. A CCS project only uses a small amount of surface area – 3-5 acres for well pads and often less than 25 acres for pipelines – protecting local communities and farms.
Before developing a CCS project, the EPA requires such things as subsurface seismic testing and preliminary well drilling to verify the suitability of the geology for storage. If suitable, sites are then permitted through federal and state environmental agencies, which require regular monitoring.
As we explore CCS projects in the Midwest, bp is hosting community meetings to answer questions and engage with landowners and the community, providing information about assessment of potential projects and benefits for interested landowners.
Industrial sectors in the Midwest like steel, cement, and refining are often significant emitters of CO2. CCS can help reduce CO2 emissions by capturing them at the source, before they enter the atmosphere. When CCS projects remove CO2 from the air, other air pollutants in the captured CO2 stream also may be removed, helping to improve air quality in nearby communities.1
1 Source: Carbon Capture Co-benefits, Carbon Capture’s Role in Removing Pollutants and Reducing Health Impacts; Great Plains Institute, August 2023
CCS can support job creation, attract new investment, and open additional opportunities for the region’s manufacturers and farmers.
bp sees potential for a Midwest energy hub anchored in Indiana and already has significant infrastructure in place in the state – from the Whiting Refinery to the Fowler Ridge Wind farm. bp employs more than 1,800 people and indirectly supports more than 60,000 jobs across Indiana.
Indiana is home to geologic formations that may be ideally suited for securely and permanently storing captured CO2. The state’s thriving manufacturing industries make it a prime location for large-scale CCS investment to help decarbonize these sectors.
Access to CCS infrastructure may help attract new businesses, create new jobs, and further investments in Indiana. In addition to the job-creation potential of CCS, bp is also looking to develop hydrogen and decarbonization apprenticeship programs to help prepare local talent for quality jobs in this space.
Recently, bp worked with a coalition to support the passage of legislation encouraging future carbon storage projects in Indiana. This new law is a key step in unlocking Indiana’s potential for large-scale CCS projects.
bp hosted Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana legislative leaders and members of the business community for the ceremonial signing of HB1209
According to the Illinois State Geologic Survey, Illinois is one of a handful of states in the US that may have the geology to store CO2 in a safe, secure, and effective way. Illinois is also home to many hard-to-abate industrial sectors like steel and cement, and is one of the top CO2 emitters in the U.S. CCS technology can help decarbonize these industries and enhance their economic viability. Researchers from the University of Illinois estimate that CCS development could spur the creation of 14,440 jobs.
Crucial to the commercial development of CCS projects will be a legal and regulatory framework that provides clarity on key issues that are absent from existing state and federal regulations. bp is engaging with local stakeholders and Illinois state policymakers to advance this important technology and help Illinois meet its net-zero goals.
bp is a member of the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), which was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub designed to help decarbonize certain heavy industries and spur a low carbon hydrogen market across several states, including Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.