Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Risks Related to CO2 Sequestration, - LOTS OF RISKS

This is a great link to a web page that has A LOT OF INFORMATION about the risks associated with CO2 sequestration, also referred to as Geosequestration or "GS" - scroll up and down... you will find it addresses things like - risks to workers, the public, ecosystem, microbes in the ground, drinking water and the contamination it is likely to cause, it is one of the most complete sources of risks that I have seen for CCS ( Carbon Capture and Sequestration)

Click below -

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Below -from the web site:
Click on the link to read the entire article... bold print is my emphasis.

"Chasing CCS is a money burner and an energy hog, and it may not deliver much carbon savings. The whole reactive proposition raises extreme security and liability issues for industry and taxpayers alike.

It Takes Energy to Bury CO2

The chief obstacle to CCS is cost. Right now, no country buries lots of CO2 because it is not economical. John Pavlish, a senior U.S. researcher on CCS at North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center, notes that CCS would raise the cost of a power plant by 35 to 100 percent which, in turn, would increase electric bills by 30 to 80 percent. Without a $40 to $80 price tag on a tonne of CO2, not much carbon will ever get buried.

It takes a lot energy to capture, compress and inject CO2 into the ground. In fact 30, percent of the power generated by a coal-fired facility or tar sands power plant would be cannibalized by a CO2 retrofit.

That’s great news for coal companies because CCS demands that utilities burn more coal instead of building windmills.

Storage problems

Security of storage is also a concern. Not too many places in North America are suitable for carbon burial due to earthquake risks or high density oil and gas drilling. Improperly sealed wells or faulty cement jobs could invite great volumes of CO2 back to the surface. Leaks could also acidify groundwater.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for example, dutifully notes that Alberta is a pin cushion. With more than 350,000 oil and gas wells, it is one of the most intensely drilled landscapes in the world. In other words, CO2 could find its way back to the surface and into people’s basements and wells.

CO2 injection may also cause man-made earthquakes. The rapid depletion of gas wells and the water flooding of oil wells have caused a series of documented earthquakes in Alberta, Texas and the Netherlands. Geologists call it “induced seismicity.” The largest earthquakes ever recorded in Alberta were triggered by oil and gas activity. Natural Resources Canada recently studied a series of earthquakes caused by sour gas removal at the Strachan gas plant in Rocky Mountain House.

Although the technology for capturing, compressing and piping carbon is doable, not much is known about rapid CO2 injection into old oil reservoirs or salty aquifers.

Independent research by University of Calgary engineer Minzghe Dong shows that each and every reservoir behaves differently and has to be carefully prepared. If most of the oil and water isn’t removed, the reservoir will chemically react with CO2 and limit the amount of disposal space. Scientists have yet to show that the rock cap sealing salt aquifers can actually safely contain CO2.

Liability is no small cross in the carbon cemetery either. Buried CO2 must be monitored for thousands of years, a task few regulators really want to undertake. Industry doesn’t want to invest in CCS until government (read taxpayers) assumes the liabilities of leaks and groundwater contamination. Wyoming, the largest coal producing state, wisely passed legislation that places the liability for the unintended consequences of CCS on the utility or oil company that injects it.

It is reactive program, not a proactive one. The technology costs too much and won't scale up in time to make a difference. It directly robs taxpayers and subsidizes the world’s wealthiest industry. And it steals dollars from renewable programs. What CCS does is give coal and oil companies taxpayer money to accelerate hydrocarbon consumption by nearly one third."