Tuesday, March 19, 2013

NETL Highlights Montana Carbon Storage Projects

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) formed seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships to study the deployment of carbon storage technologies in various parts of the United States. Today, the RCSP Initiative comprises more than 400 organizations in 43 states and four Canadian provinces. These groups are testing CO2 storage potential and investigating best practices for CO2 storage in a variety of storage types and geologic formations.

Over the past 10 years, the RCSP Initiative has implemented a three phase approach...(1) Characterization, (2) Validation and (3) Development. In the first two phases, scientists characterized each region’s geologic and terrestrial storage potential, and then conducted small-scale field projects to validate that storage could be conducted safely. Now the RCSPs are conducting large-scale field projects, demonstrating the capability to safely store and account for the injection of one million metric tons of CO2 in various storage types and formations. These field projects will provide the foundation including best practices for future commercial scale projects. 

Projects currently are underway in Michigan, Illinois, Mississippi and Alabama. Three others are scheduled to begin in 2013 and 2014 in Texas and Montana. The Montana field demonstrations are described below...

Bell Creek Field Project (Bell Creek, MT): This large-scale CCS field project is being conducted by the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR). Led by the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, the project is monitoring the injection of at least one million metric tons of CO2 over two years into Bell Creek Oilfield, which is owned and operated by Denbury Resources Inc. The CO2 for this test is sourced from ConocoPhillips’ Lost Cabin natural gas processing plant located in Wyoming, and is a byproduct from natural gas processing. It’s being transported through a newly constructed 232-mile long, 20-inch diameter pipeline to Belle Creek Oilfield, where it will be injected into the Muddy Sandstone, over 4,000 feet deep. This project is also conducting an extensive monitoring plan including gathering information from over 70 wells throughout the field to understand the behavior of CO2. Injection is expected to start in April 2013.

Kevin Dome Project (Toole County, MT): This large-scale field project is being conducted by the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership (Big Sky). Led by Montana State University, the project is working on producing CO2 from a natural source (Duperow Formation) from the top of Kevin Dome (Pronounced Kee-vin) and re-injecting it at a different location as part of a strategy to demonstrate the capability to monitor a potential regional CO2 storage hub. The project is anticipated to start in 2014 and will monitor the injection of one million metric tons of CO2 over four years into a structurally lower section of the Duperow, with injection levels between 4,000 and 4,500 feet.

Source: NETL

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