Friday, July 31, 2009

House Hearing On Carbon Sequestration & Drinking Water Protection

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July 2008

Jul 24: The House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, Chaired by Representative Gene Green (D-TX), held a hearing entitled, Carbon Sequestration: Risks, Opportunities, and Protection of Drinking Water. Witnesses testifying at the hearing included Benjamin Grumbles, Assistant Administrator Office of Water for U.S. EPA, and representatives from: Energy Resources Team U.S. Geological Survey National Center; Strategic Center for Coal of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); Oil and Gas Commission; American Water Works Association (AWWA); Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin; Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); and the Coal Utilization Research Council.

In opening remarks, full Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) said, "Water is critical to growth and economic development in many areas of the country, and will become even more so in future years. In pursuing the goal of carbon capture and storage, a system must be in place that protects the quality of drinking water sources and assures the public that this is a safe way to proceed. Approximately one week ago EPA released proposed regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act designed to achieve these goals [
See WIMS 7/15/08]. I look forward to EPA’s testimony and the views of our other witnesses on the adequacy of the proposed regulations and any gaps that remain to be addressed.

EPA testified that geologic sequestration associated with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a promising technology that provides an innovative solution for reducing emissions of (CO2) to the atmosphere, while safeguarding our country’s underground sources of drinking water. EPA said the UIC program is focused on protecting public health by preventing injection wells from contaminating underground sources of drinking water. EPA’s proposed regulations build on more than 35 years of experience in the UIC program of safely injecting fluids, either liquid, gas or slurry, including CO2, into the subsurface. Annually, billions of gallons of fluids are injected underground through wells authorized under State and Federal UIC Programs. This includes approximately 35 million tons of carbon dioxide that are injected for the purposes of enhancing oil and gas recovery.

The buoyancy of CO2, its potential corrosivity when in water, the potential presence of impurities in captured CO2, its mobility within subsurface formations, and the large injection volumes anticipated at full scale deployment, have all been considered in requirements tailored to the new practice of injecting CO2 for long-term storage. EPA’s proposal would create a new well type -- a Class VI UIC well. EPA said, "We believe we have developed a framework that will ensure safe injection in the present and safe storage in the future."

USGS testified that Section 711 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L. 110-140), enacted into law in December 2007, authorized the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the USGS, to develop an assessment methodology and conduct a national assessment of geological storage capacity in collaboration with the Secretary of Energy, the Administrator of EPA, and the State geological surveys. USGS will collaborate with DOE to incorporate the results of the assessment into future revisions of the DOE “Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada”. The cumulative advances from these earlier USGS studies and DOE-funded activities provide a basis for developing a methodology to assess the national capacity to store CO2 and understand the potential impacts of large-scale deployment of geologic sequestration.

DOE testified that the 2006 Carbon Sequestration Atlas contains information on major CO2 emission point sources, geologic formations with sequestration potential, and some terrestrial ecosystems that offer the potential for enhanced carbon uptake – all referenced to their geographic location to enable analysis of CO2 sources and storage sites. An interactive version of the Atlas is publicly available through the National Carbon Explorer (NATCARB) website [See below]. DOE is funding a network of seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships to help develop technology, infrastructure, and best practices/protocols for implementing CO2 sequestration in different geologies of the Nation. This approach includes engaging local organizations and citizens to contribute expertise, experience, and perspectives that represent their concerns and goals.

AWWA testified, "Our overarching concern regarding geologic carbon sequestration is the potential contamination of underground sources of drinking water (USDW) from such activities and the potential for other unintended, and possibly harmful, consequences. AWWA is particularly concerned about the potential for contamination of sole source aquifers and suggests that these aquifers be provided with special protective measures. An aquifer receives the designation of “sole source aquifer” if it is located in an area where there are few or no alternative sources to the ground water resource, and where if contamination occurred, using an alternative source would be extremely expensive. AWWA urges caution on the implementation of large-scale, commercial geologic carbon sequestration, as little data are available regarding the potential effects of this technology on drinking water resources. . . AWWA recommends that commercial-scale carbon sequestration not be deployed until the results of the large-scale Department of Energy pilot projects have been received and reviewed. . . "

AWWA also draws attention to the significant issue of long-term liability resolved. EPA’s proposed geologic carbon sequestration rule cannot address financial responsibility of the sequestration site after the formal period of post-injection site care has ended (default of 50 year length). AWWA says Congress must develop legislation that will address the issue of who has to assume financial responsibility of the sequestration site after the site closure requirements have been fulfilled and anticipates a means by which drinking water utilities could recover any costs incurred as a result contamination.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Public Interest Groups Oppose Carbon Capture Scam

Unproven technology, Ridiculous Risk, Exorbitant Cost
Oppose industry-driven plans for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to keep COAL burning. Read this article

The time to stop these projects is BEFORE COAL, and its friends, enter your community!

It's time to find alternatives - every dime spent on CCS is a dime spent on COAL and NOT Renewable Energy.
Not only does CCS keep the coal industry going, it requires up to 40% MORE ENERGY - MORE COAL !

Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration has taken a stand in our community to oppose Carbon Capture and Sequestration.

Our Community is opposing one of the 7 DOE large-scale CO2 sequestration demonstrations (experiments) targeted for our community - the MRCSP Phase III project. This grassroots movement of concerned citizens understands the risks and finds them unacceptable for our community - and yours.

700+ Opposition Yard Signs are up - with more on the way!

Darke County is an agriculturally strong community, ranking #1 and #2 in most areas. Our Farmers' Union has taken a stand to oppose CCS! (Thank you Darke County farmers!)

Protect health, safety and environment - Take A Stand AGAINST CCS

Fighting a CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration) project in your community?
Contact us.


Click Here to Access the Sierra Club Web Site

To Sign the Petition and Add Your Name to Oppose Coal

America needs more clean energy jobs and less pollution--and President Obama's EPA already has the power to act. Sign their petition to your Senators asking them to urge President Obama to create rules that regulate coal ash, mercury, soot and carbon pollution.

Evaluating Geological CO2 Sequestion Sites (Permanent Storage)

"This report describes a screening and ranking framework (SRF) developed to evaluate
potential geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites on the basis of health, safety, and environmental (HSE) risk arising from possible CO2 leakage. The approach assumes that HSE risk due to CO2 leakage is dependent on three basic characteristics of a geologic CO2 storage site: (1) the potential for primary containment by the target formation, (2) the potential for secondary containment if the primary formation leaks, and (3) the potential for attenuation and dispersion of leaking CO2 if the primary formation leaks and secondary containment fails. The framework is implemented in a spreadsheet in which users enter numerical scores representing expert opinions or general information available from published materials, along with estimates of uncertainty to evaluate the three basic characteristics in order to screen and rank candidate sites. Application of the framework to the Rio Visa Gas Field, Ventura Oil Field, and Mammoth Mountain demonstrates the approach."

The full report can be accessed here

CO2 Sequestration - Does NOT work

Ike Solem says:

Read the full story here

The reality is not quite as rosy as it looks. This same issue arose in 2007, when the nuclear industry tried to force $50 billion in loan guarantees through. Historically, nuclear and coal and oil have received giant federal subsidies in the form of loan guarantees, tax breaks, and direct subsidies via zero-oversight federal contracting deals. Despite popular pressure to roll back these subsidies and promises by politicians to do so, they largely remain intact – only gross expansions of these subsidies have been defeated – and according to reports, the $2 billion for the FutureGen “clean coal” project remains in the bill.

That’s $2 billion for one generation plant using an apparently failed technology. (The U.S. federal budget for ALL solar photovoltaic research is about 1/20th of that, $100 million) The technology is secret and proprietary and is controlled by a financial consortium of private coal interests (i.e. Southern, Peabody, BHPBilliton, etc.) and military government contractors (Battelle, the primary organizer). There are no published papers on the technology, which they refuse to talk about because it is proprietary. Try asking the technical advisers about it:

Battelle is the world’s largest private research corporation, who manages five National Labs for the Department of Energy and plays the leading role in the U.S. biological warfare program, as well as in many other areas of military and commercial R&D. They are the proprietary controllers of FutureGen technology, and they’ve never published anything on it either. Despite the public financing of the project, Battelle insists that only “non-proprietary performance data” can be released, whatever that means. Fraud is the most likely story here.

The fact of the matter is that carbon sequestration-based coal combustion does not work, and will never work, on simple physical arguments. There’s also no prototype – for example, a car that drives down the road while capturing all CO2 emissions in the trunk. Try sticking a potato in the tailpipe – that’s what all CO2 sequestration involves – massive power losses. It’s likely that if you could design a coal plant that captured 90% of its CO2 emissions, it would only produce 10% of the power (per ton of coal) that a dirty modern coal plant does. There’s no way around it, especially if the coal is loaded up with sulfur and mercury and arsenic, as is typical.

What we don’t see is $2 billion to build an integrated wind-solar power system with backup biomass generations in some city as a test case. They are doing this in Germany – but not here. The reason for that is that the Democratic politicians from the coal states are dedicated supporters of the coal industry, and yes, that does include Obama and Dick Durbin, as well as Jeff Bingaman.

The last thing the coal industry wants to see is a city anywhere in the U.S. that operates entirely on renewable power – but it can be done, and it would be the perfect example. $2 billion would be a good initial investment – but there would be howls from the fossil fuel industry, that’s for sure – and they own Congress, more or less. You don’t see oil executives and coal executives being hauled before Congress the way the auto and finance executives were, do you? And no one is asking financiers why they are investing their bailout money in fossil fuels and not in renewables, either. (Bloomberg reported that Morgan Stanley and Citigroup were buying oil up and storing it in supertankers – a way to drive up the price, or to reserve oil for when prices rise – and these banks are also invested in fossil fuels, thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall banking rules c.1999 – and that’s why those rules were put in place – banks should not be able to loan their customer’s money to firms that they hold shares in, period).

I would put the celebrations on hold – this stimulus package is the equivalent of a band aid on a shark bite. There’s a whole lot of work to be done still, and the issues are very complicated. This was not a defeat for coal interests – they lost nothing, and even gained a little something. It would be a lot easier if the press would honestly cover this story, but they haven’t.

Monday, July 27, 2009

German Grassroots Opposition Movement with local political support

Many citizens, on the other hand, are worried about the effects of the project. "If a CO2 storage site is built here, the tourists will stay away," says Werner Asmus. He is the unsalaried mayor of the community of Wallsbüll and the spokesman for a citizens' initiative that already claims to have recruited 2,500 supporters. Local politicians are calling it a "real grassroots movement." In addition to Green Party members, conservative Christian Democratic mayors of local towns are calling upon their citizens to refuse to allow the employees of electric utilities to set foot on their property. In the Weser River region, entire counties have blocked RWE's exploration activities.

Many fear that the storage sites will not be leak-proof. Besides, they are seen as a green fig leaf, the sole purpose of which is to extend the operating life of coal-fired power plants, thereby delaying the development of renewable energy sources.,1518,632620,00.html

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Midwest feasibility study for possible long-term CO2 pipeline

Denbury has initiated a comprehensive feasibility study of a possible long-term CO2 pipeline project which would connect proposed gasification plants in the Midwest to the Company’s existing CO2 pipeline infrastructure in Mississippi or Louisiana. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has provided financial assistance for the feasibility study for the Illinois portion of the pipeline. The feasibility study is expected to determine the most likely pipeline route, the estimated costs of constructing such a pipeline, and review regulatory, legal and permitting requirements. It is estimated that the study will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, following which, the Company will evaluate external market conditions, the state of financing and construction of the proposed gasification projects, and make a decision as to whether or not they will take initial steps to build such a pipeline.

Read the rest of the story here

Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration - Parade

We were invited to ride on Doug Harmon's Coldwell Banker float - and we never miss the opportunity to show up in our hot yellow-green shirts and promote our cause - STOPPING CO2 Sequestration in Darke County - while some of our crew sold yard signs, Tshirt, buttons and window clings!

Photo by Jason Aslinger (

CO2 Sequestration Poll for Darke County on

Thank you, Darke Journal for conducting this poll - and many thanks to our residents who voted in the poll against the proposed CO2 sequestration project in Greenville, Ohio.

As you will recall, The Daily Advocate, did a poll prior to our Call to Action Meeting the end of June.... results below

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Click here to be taken to the poll

PLEASE NOTE: This poll was conducted prior to the past month’s concerted effort to educate and inform the public regarding the proposed sequestration.


Published July 1, 2009

Recently, The Daily Advocate sent out a Reader’s Poll to online newsletter subscribers about the proposed carbon sequestration project in Greenville. The poll consisted of 10 questions based on concerns the newspaper was receiving from local residents.

The poll was sent out to 2,268 subscribers and received 161 responses.

Of the 161 responses, 73 percent felt that there should be a public vote on the proposed project.

“How do we stop this project? The people of the county should decide what happens,” wrote on respondent.

“A public vote is the best way to go. Why? Because the co2 sequestration affects all our properties, all our jobs, and all of our community not just a select few government leaders who ‘should’ be representing the county,” wrote another.

“This project should be voted on by the public.We the public and our children will be the ones who will have to live with the after effects for years and years to come,” said another.

Many others (40 percent) felt that the project needed local government approval to move forward.

Concerns were other big issues. Fifty-nine percent said that local farmers should be concerned about the impact of the project.

And, 36 percent said that the project would impact their property’s value. Fifty percent said that the project was dangerous.

“I do not feel this project is in the best interest of OUR community! It’s an experiment with too many risk factors, especially when it’s messing with our fresh water supply,” states one individual.

“This is a threat to our lifestyle and our community and me and my family are strongly opposed to anything to do with this project. Battelle can take this project back to the city with them,” another person strongly stated.

The majority did not feel that the project was a good idea for the community (59 percent) or that it would make our community more ‘green’ (50 percent).

Respondents strongly agreed that they needed more information about the project (55 percent) and that Battelle, the company proposing the project, did not seem very committed to the well being of the

community (44 percent). Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that the project should provide a reward to the community for taking the risk.

Read more comments from the respondents on the Web site at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

CCS Guidelines from WRI

These excerpts come from this link

Principles for Meaningful Community Engagement

(1) Identify stakeholders early. X
(2) Define the intended outcomes of community engagement. X
(3) Determine whether to inform, consult, or negotiate. X
(4) Engage communities throughout the project cycle. X X X X X
(5) Allow communities to raise grievances. X X X X
(6) Promote internal and external monitoring. X X X X

SOUR C E : HE R B E R T SON 2 0 0 8

(note - allowing communities to raise grievances - interesting that there is no conflict resolution mentioned or considered)

Water Use
"Power plants, with or without CO2 capture, use large amounts of water."

"Note that water use for PC power plants more than doubles with the addition
of capture equipment."

"The impacts of increased water use associated with CO2 capture are related to the increased need for system cooling. As an alternative to wet cooling, facilities could use dry cooling technologies. There is a trade off between energy use and water use when dry cooling is employed. As a facility reduces water use, it increases energy use, which creates an additional energy penalty."
(Note- since the ethanol plant has been operating, we have had water issues and many wells go dry in the area close to it and now this calls for even MORE water, our most precious resource)

Seismic Activity (Page 74)

" The presence of seismically active faults does NOT exclude a site from either holding CO2 or being considered for storage, although a strong demonstration must be made that there would
be no risk of leakage resulting from seismic activity. There are many places in the world where large volumes of buoyant fluids (e.g., oil, gas, and CO2) are trapped indefinitely in the presence
of seismic activity, including California, Wyoming, Alaska, Turkey, Western Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Iran. After the injection of almost 9,000 metric tons of CO2 in the
Nagaoka CCS demonstration, operations were disrupted by the Mid-Niigata Chuetsu 6.0-magnitude earthquake. Following careful evaluation, it was determined that the wells, the
reservoir, and the facility were intact and undamaged, and injection resumed (RIITE 2008)."

" Many aspects of a fault affect its ability to trap CO2 at a site. These include the geometry of the fault, its complexity, the orientation of the fault relative to regional stresses, the amount
and distribution of fault goug e, and the occurrence of either elevated or reduced pressure nearby (Yielding 1997). In some cases, it is relatively straightforward to obtain key pieces of
information that can be used to understand the potential risks presented by a fault or network of faults. Recently, Chiaramonte et al. (2007) gathered information to estimate the potential for
faults within one oil field to transmit CO2. In their calculation, one fault had a very low chance of becoming transmissive, and would require injections well above reasonable operational
pressures to act as a leakage conduit. In contrast, another fault network in a different part of the field would act as a conduit for CO2 in the presence of even a small injection. If this were an
operational site, the southern part of the field would be a good zone of storage, while the northern part would not because of the possibility for transmissive faults at operational pressures."

"This example highlights the need for careful site characterization in selection and the importance of high-quality data. The presence of large, active faults should not necessarily preclude prospective sites from selection as storage sites. Rather, the complex nature of faults in and associated with potential injection sites must be characterized, considered, and managed as part of a risk assessment and MMV plan. Hazard identification should focus on faults that could be transmissive within the injection reservoir or confining zone and expected project footprint, as faults only represent a substantial hazard if they can transmit large volumes of CO2."

(Note - the people who plan and conduct these risky experiments do not live in these communities nor do they have plans to live in them - In our community residents have been told that once CO2 injection enters the picture their homeowner's insurance will not cover man-made earthquakes.

CO2 Pipelines - from WRI

Although CO2 pipelines are classified as hazardous, CO2 is not defined as a
hazardous substance. It is a Class L, highly volatile, nonflammable/nontoxic
material (CFRg, CFRe, Appendix B, Table 4).

CO2 pipelines are treated as hazardous and are reviewed as high-risk hazardous pipelines when they have a diameter greater than 457mm(18 in) or when they pass through High-Consequence Areas.

States certified to regulate intrastate pipelines are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia,Washington, and West Virginia.

49 CFR § 195.2 defines low-stress pipeline as a hazardous liquid pipeline that is
operated in its entirety at a stress level of 20 percent or less of the specified minimum-yield strength of the pipeline (CFRf).

49 CFR § 195.2 defines rural area as an area outside the limits of any incorporated or unincorporated city, town, village, or any other designated residential or commercial area, such as a subdivision, a business or shopping center, or community development. The rural areas are considered to be the nonenvironmentally sensitive areas (CFRf).

An easement is a limited perpetual interest in land that allows the pipeline owner
to construct, operate, and maintain a pipeline across the land. An easement does
not grant an unlimited entitlement to use the right of way. The rights of the
easement owner are set out in the easement agreement.

Eminent domain is the power of government to take private land for public use.
Under current law there is no federal eminent domain power granted for the
construction of CO2 pipelines. A number of states, however, do allow the use of
eminent domain for CO2 pipeline construction under certain conditions.

The information above comes from the link below -

From WRI - World Resources Institute CCS Guidelines - this information is found on page 52

A System Model for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Read the full article here

In this paper we describe CO2-PENS, a comprehensive system level computational model for performance assessment of
geologic sequestration ofCO2. CO2-PENS is designed to perform probabilistic simulations of CO2 capture, transport, and injection in different geologic reservoirs. Additionally, the longterm fate of CO2 injected in geologic formations, including
possible migration out of the target reservoir, is simulated. The
simulations sample from probability distributions for each
uncertain parameter, leading to estimates of global uncertainty
that accumulate through coupling of processes as the simulation time advances. Each underlying process in the systemlevel model is built as a module that can be modified as the simulation tool evolves toward more complex problems. This approach is essential in coupling processes that are governed by different sets of equations operating at different timescales. We first explain the basic formulation of the system level model, briefly discuss the suite of process-level modules that are linked to the system level, and finally give an in depth example that describes the system level coupling between an injection module and an economic module. The example shows how physics-based calculations of the number of wells required to inject a given amount of CO2 and estimates of plume size can impact long-term sequestration costs.

Research for Deployment: Incorporating Risk, Regulation, and Liability for Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Read the full article here
Slide 1

Research for Deployment: Incorporating Risk, Regulation,and Liability for Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Slide 1

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) has the potential to enable deep reductions in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, however this promise can only be fulfilled with large-scale deployment. For this to happen, CCS must be successfully embedded into a larger legal and regulatory context, and any potential risks must be effectively managed. We developed a list of outstanding research and technical questions driven by the demands of the regulatory and legal systems for the geologic sequestration (GS) component of CCS. We then looked at case studies that bound uncertainty within two of the research themes that emerge. These case studies, on surface leakage from abandoned wells and groundwater quality impacts from metals mobilization, illustrate how research can inform decision makers on issues of policy, regulatory need, and legal considerations. A central challenge is to ensure that the research program supports development of general regulatory and legal frameworks, and also the development of geological, geophysical, geochemical, and modeling methods necessary for effective GS site monitoring and verification (M&V) protocols, as well as mitigation and remediation plans. If large-scale deployment of GS is to occur in a manner that adequately protects human and ecological health and does not discourage private investment, strengthening the scientific underpinnings of regulatory and legal decision-making is crucial.

Slide 1

Potential Groundwater Quality Impacts from Metals Mobilization.

Groundwater merits special attention because it is a precious resource, and it is subject to current regulation. While there are several ways in which large-scale injection or leakage might affect water supplies, most attention has focused on CO2−brine−rock interactions. While processes in this system could affect both organic and inorganic geochemistry of aquifers, only the mobilization of inorganic compounds, chiefly metals, through dissolution and transport will be considered here.

South Liberty (Frio) Pilot, TX.

In 2004, a DOE pilot field experiment in South Liberty, TX injected 1800 t of CO2 into the Frio saline formation (29). This injection was designed to validate simulations of CO2 transport and fate in one of the largest saline formations in the United States. A monitoring well located 100 ft. from the injection well collected direct fluid samples using a U-tube apparatus (30). This tool and others detected arrival of a CO2 plume in the monitoring well 7 days after injection.

Of note, a substantial amount of dissolved metal was recovered in the U-tube (31). Initially, workers thought that the well casing was reacting to carbonic acid in the reservoir. However, laboratory studies and geochemical analyses confirmed that a substantial fraction of the metals were the product of mineral dissolution, specifically the oxide and hydroxide coatings of mineral grains that represent <2%>31). The rapidity of mobilization and the high concentrations suggested strongly that carbonic acid formed from dissolved CO2 in formation brines might quickly and dramatically alter groundwater chemistry.

The Frio was the first saline formation analyzed in this way. Ultimately, this result is not unexpected, yet it is not clear whether this effect of metal mobilization is common or significant at depth. It is also not clear what fraction of metals would be transported with CO2 should it leak to other formations. However, it raised the concern that should CO2 leak into a shallow freshwater aquifer, there could be consequences that could negatively affect groundwater quality, potentially impacting public health and acceptance of CCS deployment.

Carbonate and Siliclastic Systems.

To a first order, both injection targets and shallow aquifers can be divided into siliciclastic or carbonate systems. This division reflects the primary composition of the reservoir rocks. Carbonate systems chiefly comprise calcite, aragonite, dolomite, and other carbonate minerals that form limestones and dolostones, whereas siliciclastic systems chiefly comprise frag ments of quartz, feldspar, and other siliceous minerals that form sandstones, siltstones, and shales.

This compositional difference greatly affects the response of carbon acid. Silicate minerals react slowly with CO2, which means that there is little change in porosity and permeability over the duration of injection; however, the brines with dissolved CO2 will remain acidic. In contrast, carbonate rocks react quickly with CO2 and could change permeability and porosity quickly; however, the rapid kinetics will result in rapid increase of brine pH and buffering of the brine−CO2 system, reducing reactivity over time. Because of these competing effects, it is not clear which fundamental rock composition is more prone to leakage or to mobilizations of metals, and little work has focused on direct comparison of these two primary aquifer compositions.

Key U.S. Freshwater Aquifer Settings.

Given the distribution of CO2 point sources and potential GS reservoirs, it is likely that CO2 storage will be concentrated in a small number of basins. To understand and appraise the potential for metal mobilization in shallow aquifers, it would be helpful to understand the composition and acid-reaction response near the surface of these basins. Table 2 provides a subset of key shallow aquifers in these basins and some issues around their geology.

From National Commission on Energy Policy- CCS

Read the full article here -
Below are a few excerpts from the National Commission on Energy Policy -

Although the theoretical carbon-storage capacity of underground geological repositories in the United States is plentiful, large-scale deployment of CCS would nevertheless require significant investments in infrastructure, possibly including thousands of miles of dedicated carbon dioxide pipelines.

In addition, under optimistic deployment scenarios, many thousands of wells could be required to inject carbon dioxide into underground repositories.

Whether this type of infrastructure would be likely to encounter significant obstacles related to siting and public acceptance is an open question. The limited research available on this topic—most of which has focused on general perceptions of CCS, rather than on likely public reaction if new wells and reservoirs are proposed for a specific community— suggest that CCS is not well known or understood by the public. When introduced to CCS along with a range of other options, most respondents prefer what they consider to be alternatives such as energy efficiency or renewable energy for reducing emissions.45

In sum,efforts to educate the public about CCS and to provide for public input on related siting and other decisions are likely to be critical to advancing this technology.

No provisions are in place, however, to regulate the long-term storage of carbon dioxide which—because it would require measures to prevent venting back to the atmosphere—could involve
new provisions for risk assessment, for monitoring the performance of wells, for assuring the permanence of the carbon stored, and for managing long-term liability if a reservoir leaks.

Large-scale CCS projects would likely also require the assessment of additional risks, including
the risk of large releases of carbon dioxide to nearby population centers, risks to groundwater quality, and risks from reactivity with underground minerals and solutions.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Carnegie Mellon team makes sequestration recommendations

Carnegie Mellon team makes sequestration recommendations

Shared via AddThis

These might look like good suggestions, UNLESS you happen to live where they plan to inject it.
I believe we'd be more comfortable with this if the same scale CCS project was first implemented under the state capital

As with anything that changes and/or impacts the environment, the people living there should have a vote!

CO2 Sequestration - A Ticking Time Bomb?

Many thanks to the unknown photographer who took, tweaked and sent this photo -

Darke County Ohio is speaking out AGAINST CO2 - please see the Daily Advocate and its CO2 blog for many related articles.

Please see our web site to order "No CO2 pins, T-shirts, Yard Signs or Car Window Clings"
Look for us downtown during the Annie Oakley Parade

Well Construction and Mechanical Integrity Testing

Synthesis, Evaluation and Assessment of
USEPA Technical Workshop on Geosequestration:
Well Construction and Mechanical Integrity Testing
Jerry Thornhill, P.G.
Consultant to Shaw Environmental, Inc.
Randall Ross, Ph.D.
Steven Acree, P.G.

National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Prepared under contract to Shaw Environmental, Inc.
Contract Number 68-C-03-097

Injection and monitoring wells employed for the geologic sequestration of CO2 may be
required to operate for timescales that go beyond the operating lifespan traditionally
considered by the oil and gas industry. Lessons learned from pilot studies and
conventional injection practices may provide some general guidance for the geologic
sequestration of CO2. However, the special problems related to the unique properties of
supercritical CO2 and proposed massive injection volumes may ultimately require the
development of new materials and tools to reduce the risk of failure and, possibly, new
regulations to manage the risks.
Several key issues regarding well construction and MIT with respect to geological
sequestration of CO2 were identified during this workshop.
Well Completion
Although well integrity is the cornerstone for successful injection well projects, an
integral part of a successful project is the initial well completion program (i.e., drilling
the hole, setting and cementing casing, setting tubing, etc.). This is vital to the successful
operation of any injection well project. The choice of casing and tubing material, cement
type, amount, and proper emplacement is the starting point for the success of the injection

During the workshop, it was stated that,
“Wellbore integrity problems do exist in oil and gas operations and are often due
to cementing practices.”

This statement was apparently based on information from meetings of the International
Energy Agency (IEA) Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme. Key findings from the IEA
March 2006 meeting (IEA, 2006) included, “Well integrity may be a current issue within the oil and gas industry. A detailed study on production wells in the Gulf of Mexico indicated that up to 60% of wells had casing pressure problems, which could indicate that the integrity of the wells
had been compromised.

Experience from the Permian basin in the USA indicated that when fields were changed over to CO2 floods that significant remedial work was needed to pull and re-cement wells that had not seen exposure to CO2. It was considered that many of the problems in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Permian basin resulted from poor well completions at the outset.”

An injection well must be completed in such a manner that underground sources of
drinking water (USDWs) are protected initially, during long-term injection operations,
and following the period of injection. This includes well completion to provide protection
of ground water from naturally occurring salt-water zones; well completion to keep the
injectate in the proposed injection zone and capability to detect any equipment failure
resulting from such things as corrosion, inadequate or unsuccessful cement emplacement,
channeling around an initially successful cement sheath, or mechanical failure.

A specific concern of the participants in the Well Construction breakout session was the
casing metallurgy/coatings in view of the corrosive nature of the CO2. This is especially
critical for the long string casing, tubing and packers that would be in contact with the

Participants in the Well Construction breakout section generally felt that the
Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class I requirements “may” be sufficient for CO2
geologic sequestration. It is recommended that Class I requirements be the minimum
standard considered for CO2 injection.

It has been determined that Portland-based cements react with CO2, leading to cement
degradation. Research has indicated that interaction between cement and CO2 follows a
three-step process - carbonic acid diffusion, dissolution/carbonation, and leaching. This
generally leads to loss of density and strength and an increase in porosity.

From the Los Alamos National Laboratory
Key issues identified by the Network include:
• Wellbore integrity problems exist in oil and gas operations and are often related to
cementing practices.
• Research is needed on reactivity of CO2 and cement to reconcile effects of key
• Methods for determining performance of new CO2-resistant cements are needed.
• Corrosion of tubulars and casing can be more rapid than cement degradation.
• More sensitive field monitoring tools for diagnosing well integrity are needed.
• Numerical models of wellbore geochemistry and geomechanics are needed.
• Numerical models incorporating realistic well permeability distributions are
needed to evaluate leakage potential.
• Evaluation of existing fields with long term CO2 exposure are needed to develop
more effective methods for logging/monitoring for evaluating mechanical
• Mining of existing data from private companies and regulatory authorities should
be a priority for development of a statistical basis for evaluating wellbore

CO2-Cement Interaction: From the Lab to the Well
Matteo Loizzo, Schlumberger Carbon Services Engineering
The presentation summarized research on CO2/cement reactions and the development of CO2-resistant cement. The interaction between Portland cement and CO2 is a 3-step process:
• Carbonic acid diffusion,
• Cement (portlandite) dissolution and carbonate precipitation, and
• Leaching (calcium carbonate dissolution).
Cement sheath defects would cause acceleration of the degradation process. Potential
defects include:
• Inadequate placement of cement resulting in channels or mud films,
• Channels caused by gas migration during cement hydration,
• Cracks caused by cement failure in compression/traction, and
• Microannuli caused by lack of bonding at the interfaces with casing and/or rock.

Research is being conducted on a CO2-resistant cement formulation. It was concluded that sound cement design is required, both for the placement and post-placement phases.

Selecting Sites for Geological Sequestration: Wellbore Integrity and Other Criteria Jason Heath, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
The presenter, representing the Southwest Carbon Sequestration Partnership, described the efforts of the Partnership regarding selection of sites for geological sequestration. One of the key aspects for site selection is the identification of the best sink for each CO2 source.The presenter provided an example of the well integrity analysis at a test site, the Aneth Unit in southern Utah, where well construction deficiencies may potentially affect a pilot test of CO2 injection.
Analysis of well construction deficiencies included:
• Calculation of the top of cement,
• Temperature and cement bond logs, and
• Information on the depth of surface or intermediate casing.
Wells vulnerable to interformational migration of fluids were identified by the screening analysis described above. However, no monitoring has been performed in wells identified as vulnerable.

Well Construction
• Industry has developed recommended practices and protocols for well
construction. However, much of the research upon which the protocols are based
is confidential.
• Experience from EOR and acid gas operations provides a good working basis for
well construction.
• Pilot tests with real-world volumes of CO2 are needed.
• Performance-based construction standards may be appropriate.
Research Need: Development of lower cost materials that perform as well as high-cost materials.

• Abandonment procedures may need to be more stringent for geological
• Casing specifications depend on possible impurities, formation brine, pressure,
temperature, and operational conditions.
• Casing options include chrome tubing, expandable tubing, titanium casing,
fiberglass casing, and inhibited packer fluid for additional protection.
Research Need: Study the impacts of injection at varying depths.
• Cement specifications depend on CO2 impurities; formation brine; and pressure,
temperature, and operational conditions.
• Cement should run the entire length of the wellbore.
Research Need: Alternative (non-Portland) cements.

The research needs determined from this group primarily centered on a review of
laboratory, field, and modeling studies concerning:

• Cement-related microannuli self-enhancing (enlarging) vs. self-healing (sealing),
that have been conducted by the industry,
• Impact of CO2 phase changes on mechanical integrity testing of wells,
• Impact of injectate impurities on the mechanical integrity of wells,
• MIT failure rates for new vs old wells,
• The phenomenon of a cold injection fluid opening up or enlarging gaps within the well system,
• Impact of large temperature differentials between injectate and well system/formation on
pressure tests,
• Monitoring methods/MITs that could detect rates and volumes of fluid movement along the
casing, and
• Time frames of MI changes and necessary MIT frequency.

Mr. Kobelski noted that EPA is currently assessing options for a management framework for
CO2 injection for the purposes of GS. GS presents many technical challenges that go beyond
those associated with CO2 injection for enhanced oil and gas recovery (EOR/EGR). For
example, GS will involve a variety of geologic settings apart from oil and gas reservoirs (e.g.,
saline aquifers and unmineable coal seams). In addition, the CO2 from coal-fired power plants will contain impurities (i.e., sulfur and nitrogen oxides, and metals such as mercury) that are not typically found in the CO2 used in EOR/EGR operations, and GS will involve significantly greater volumes and longer storage times.

Schlumberger Carbon Services - Schlumberger Public
CO2 reaction effects on well integrity
• Carbonation
• Matrix reacts: Portlandite/CSH → Calcite
•Water release
• At an early stage, may affect marginally matrix permeability (10-4→10-3 mD)
• May lead to mechanical instability (Calcite molar volume increase) •
¾” in 7-10 months, 1 m in 2000 years
•CO2 diffusion in water: ¾” in 3 days, 1 m in 20 years
• Leaching
• Strong dependency on local Ca2+ concentration gradient
Cement effectively dissolves

Cement sheath defects – effects on scale
• Fluid flow vs. matrix diffusion
• Preferential path of fluid flow bridges the scales
• Issue not limited to CO2: 15%-20% of wells may show hydraulic communication to surface
• Carbonation healing/plugging may be effective only at small scales
• Karst
• Positive feedback effect from enhanced leaching on defect walls

Assuring cement integrity over the well life
• Risk factors and scales
• Casing corrosion
• Leakage to shallower formations or to surface
• Multiple layers of risk mitigation
• Especially when repair is difficult
• Cement system selection and optimization
• Minimize or eliminate cement sheath defects
• Minimize or eliminate cement degradation
•Not necessarily cement reaction!

Well Construction: Potential Effects on Pilot Test
Potential impact of construction deficiencies:
Construction deficiencies could “provide a potential pathway for fluid migration between aquifers where there exists a differential in hydraulic head between aquifers.”
“Because the De Chelly aquifer hydraulic head exceeds the Navajo aquifer head in much of the Aneth Field area, saline water from the De Chelly Aquifer could potentially migrate upward into the Navajo aquifer through the partially cemented wellbores.”

How “risky” for CO2 migration are the wells that are vulnerable to communication between the Upper Paleozoic Aquifer and the Navajo Aquifer?
We think that the integrity and reactivity of the cement at/above/below the target reservoir (e.g., at the Paradox Formation in this case) is very important. If CO2 can leak through these “vulnerable” cement zones (e.g., the Paradox Formation here), then superjacent groundwater reservoirs may be impacted. Well cements must be sampled and characterized, and the conditions recorded and implemented in associated reservoir models for quantifying potential risk.

Notes about mechanical integrity testing:
The current portfolio of Regional Partnership pilot tests are small enough, in terms of injection rates, that special mechanical integrity testing is not necessary. Only “routine” mechanical testing is being done for these tests.

For Phase III, which will involve injection of over 1,000,000 tons/year in relatively few wells, plans are in place to include in situ tiltmeters and strain gauges (San Juan Basin). Water
injection pressure transient tests will be carried out prior to CO2 injection to characterize state-of-stress and response.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bees, Balloons and CO2 Sequestration

Carbon sequestration buzz: Bees and balloons looking for leaks


By Jeff Kart

You've heard of the canary in the coal mine as an indicator of a toxic

The U.S. Department of Energy is using bees and helium balloons to
make sure carbon dioxide is staying put in sequestration sites.

How? Researchers at the National Energy Technology Lab are using
chemical tracers to fingerprint CO2, then comparing it to pollen
collected by the bees.

“Researchers will determine if pollen collected by bees contains
measurable quantities of tracer or if bees bring back tracer from
direct contact with foliage. They will use balloons to determine
atmospheric variations in tracer content to assess the effectiveness
of CO2 storage sites,” the DOE reports:

The agency is working with researchers from Michigan State University,
which by the way, makes its own honey.

Michigan is home to a carbon sequestration test site in Gaylord, part
of a larger project called the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration

Monday, July 20, 2009

Earthquakes - one of the dangers of CCS

The IMPACT OF Geosequestration on WATER SUPPLIES

April 17, 2009

America's Climate Choices
The National Academies
500 5th St. NW, W603
Washington, DC 20001

RE: Summary of Submission to the Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future
Climate Change

Dear Committee Members:

The American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Association of Metropolitan
Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Water Research Foundation (Foundation) are
submitting these joint comments to the America's Climate Choices Panel on Limiting the
Magnitude of Future Climate Change. AMWA and AWWA together represent drinking
water utilities of all sizes that serve more than 90% of the U.S. population. The
Foundation sponsors research to enable water utilities to provide safe and affordable
drinking water to consumers. In 2008 the Foundation established the Climate Change
Strategic Initiative – a research program focused on impacts of climate change on water

AWWA, AMWA and the Foundation are very concerned with the effects of climate
change on water resources as many of the most critical impacts of global climate
change will manifest themselves through the hydrologic system. Because the exact
effects of climate change on water resources are uncertain and will vary by region, the
drinking water, wastewater, flood management, and stormwater utilities responsible for
managing water resources for local communities face daunting challenges. These
water utilities are already preparing to mitigate, adapt and plan for climate change in the
midst of the uncertainties about the potential ranges of climate change impacts.

This joint letter summarizes the three documents we are submitting for consideration
during the study process. The documents include:
 Comments on the Sub-Questions: We have reviewed the final four key
questions to be addressed by the Committee and provided responses to each.
The responses include suggested short and long-term actions and technological
advances that can help the water sector address its needs related to the impacts
of climate change on water resources. We submit these suggestions for the
Committee to consider as recommended future actions.

The Authoritative Resource on Safe WaterSM
 Water Embodied in Bioethanol in the United States: This article, which was
recently published in Environment Science and Technology, addresses the
continually increasing amount of water used during the production of bioethanol
in the United States. The energy sector and the water sector are becoming more
and more interdependent, and the implementation of new climate change
mitigation technologies could have significant impacts on the availability of our
water resources. We submit this article for consideration during the discussion of
limiting the magnitude of climate change.

 Comments developed for EPA on Geologic Carbon Sequestration: In 2008,
AWWA and AMWA developed comments on the Environmental Protection
Agency’s proposed rule on geologic carbon sequestration injection under the
Underground Injection Control Program. These comments are submitted for
consideration because they provide more detail on our specific concerns
regarding the use of carbon sequestration as a large-scale greenhouse gas
mitigation technology.

AWWA, AMWA and the Foundation are also submitting detailed joint comments to each
of the other three panels within the America's Climate Choices Study and to the
Committee on America’s Climate Choices.

Diane VanDe Hei Tom Curtis
Executive Director, AMWA Deputy Executive Director, AWWA
Robert C. Renner
Executive Director, Water Research Foundation

Read the full article with attachments here

So Thirsty: Corn Ethanol Uses Up to 300% More Water than Previously Thought

The CO2 for the proposed Battelle-lead large-scale CO2 project in Darke County, Ohio will come from TAME (The Andersons Marathon Ethanol plant) - not only do we face all the risks that go with Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration, now that farmers are planting more corn for the ethanol factory, our most precious resource, our water is at risk......

already wells in our area have gone dry, new wells have been dug ..... as we use tons of corn for ethanol production .......

Reasons Why Corn Ethanol is Bad for the Environment!

Reasons Why Corn Ethanol is Bad for the Environment!

Another reason why Corn Ethanol is bad for the community = attracted Battelle-lead large-scale MRCSP CO2 sequestration EXPERIMENT to our community - our community does NOT want or support this risky experiment - we are NOT GUINEA PIGS!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vulnerability Evaluation Framework for Geologic Sequestration of CO2

• Identifies and evaluates vulnerabilities that could
result in adverse impacts to human health and the

Is not a probabilistic risk assessment
• Focuses on geologic sequestration (does not include
capture, transport)

• May inform but does not include well construction
and operation

• Attempts to provide flexibility by identifying multiple
options to reduce vulnerability

Get the complete link here

What's a Life Worth?

Click here to read it on the Washington Post site

Ever wonder how corporations and governments assess risks to our health, safety and lives?

It's all based on the dollar.... click on the link above to read what a life is worth. Often it is less expensive to pay for damages, wrongful deaths, etc than it is to be proactive with our best interest in mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CCS - Not safe for urban areas ?

Excerpts on this page come from the report below.
To read the entire abstract please click on the link below -

The Role of Social Factors in Shaping Public Perceptions of CCS: Results of
Multi-State Focus Group Interviews in the U.S.

Judith Bradbury1* Isha Ray2 Tarla Peterson3 Sarah Wade4 Gabrielle Wong-Parodi2
Andrea Feldpausch
"Over the last decade, many of the experts and advocates working in climate change have recommended further research into whether carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration (CCS) may be a viable and important technological response to climate change. However, all new technologies face challenges with respect to social acceptability, especially those that may involve new risks, large-scale infrastructure, and significant government involvement—all features of CCS. Some of the most critical challenges to social acceptability may come from theperceptions and preferences of communities near whom CCS infrastructure may be located. Thus, it is important to evaluate what might explain and influence the views of communities that may be directly impacted by the siting of this technology."

"Public acceptability is recognized as an important aspect of the program; outreach activities and research into public perceptions of the technology are a funded component. This paper reports on a collaborative social research effort among three partnerships—the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, (WESTCARB), Southwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SWP), and the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP).
Researchers from these three partnerships conducted a series of focus groups in the states of California, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico and a test interview in Washington, D.C. The results were considered for their insights into particular concerns within each region, and they were also compared to see if common themes emerged from the multi-state effort."

"In all cases, social factors, such as existing low socioeconomic status, desire for compensation, benefits to the community and past experience with government were of greater concern than concern about the risks of the technology itself."

"MRCSP selected a community that would be unlikely to host a sequestration project because of population and urban density but was located in a state with significant sequestration potential and historically dependent on coal for electrical power generation. MRCSP conducted two focus groups in Columbus, Ohio."

"The focus group communities differed in demographic characteristics. The WESTCARB and SWP communities were rural; MRCSP’s was urban".
It should be noted that MRCSP's study was done in a urban area with well-educated individuals- a "community that would be unlikely to host a sequestration project because of population and urban density", I question how these individuals could speak for, or reflect,the values of acommunity that must deal with the reality of a CCS project as these projects are clearly put in community's that are rural and have a much different demographic composition.

Additionally, as one who lives in a community that has been selected for a Phase III, large-scale CO2 sequestration experiment, I find it very offensive to suggest that an urban area would be an unlikely host because of "population and urban density" - suggesting their lives, health, safety, environment and economy should have a higher priority than those of us who live in the communities in which these risky experiments are conducted!

Read the entire article here

Friday, July 10, 2009

Over 1,000 Darke County Residents Protest Proposed Large-Scale CO2 Sequestration DEMONSTRATION (EXPERIMENT)

CALL TO ACTION MEETING - 1,000+ Residents Oppose CO2 Sequestration

Thank you for answering our call to action!

The photos speak louder than words!

The Residents of Darke County, OH DO NOT WANT THIS IN THEIR COMMUNITY!

Darke County is the proposed bulleye for one of the 7 large-scale CO2 Sequestration "demonstrations" -
1 MILLION tons of Supercritical CO2 is scheduled to be injected into this agriculturally strong farming community 32 miles NW of Dayton, OH. The residents are fighting back, showing their opposition.

We agree with the Sierra Club's coal initiative - Companies and governments that impact the environment should NOT allowed in communities without the vote by the people who live in that community.

and MAYBE 2 or 3 jobs!

As Julie Monnin said, "Folks, if this were a good thing, Greenville would NOT be getting it."

Carbon Capture & Sequestration is an UNPROVEN technology with risky consequences that endanger our lives, health, safety, environment, & economy.

One of the potential consequences -
man-made earthquakes

by most homeowners insurances

Thank You to our Speakers:

Kerwin Olsen, Indiana Citizens Action

Kathleen Boutis - Green Environmental Coalition

Jim Surber - Darke County Civil Engineer

Judge Julie Monnin - Municipal Court

Representative Jim Zehringer

Nachy Kanfer, Sierra Club

& our own, Anne Vehre!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Risk Assessment for Future CO 2 Sequestration Projects

"This paper is the first of a series that attempts to assess the possible health and safety risks associated with large scale CO2 sequestration in deep brine reservoirs. The approach is based on analysis of available data on the operational track record from CO2 transportation and injection associated with enhanced oil recovery (CO2 -EOR) in the US.

Some of these risks are based on the oil and gas industry and enhanced oil recovery - which is not the same thing as Carbon Capture and Sequestration for geologic storage. According to Stephen

Connolly, (Health and Safety Executive) “There is relatively little experience worldwide in managing the risks associated with CO2, compared with oil and gas.”

This information comes from -

Risk assessment for future CO2 Sequestration Projects

Based CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery in the U.S

presented at the

9th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies

(GHGT-9), Washington, D.C., November 16-20, 2008

Ian J. Duncan, Jean-Philippe Nicot, Jong-Won Choi

"This paper is particularly concerned with identification of the main business risks facing a company engaged in geological sequestration. Such risks include: (1) the operational risks of capturing, compressing, transporting and injecting CO2 ; (2) the risk of blowouts or very rapid CO2 release from wells; (3) the risk that CO2 put into long term geologic storage will leak into shallow aquifers and contaminate potable water by lowering pH and increasing dissolved metals and other components; and (4) the risk that sequestered CO2 (and possibly associated methane gas) will leak into the atmosphere reversing the climate change benefits of sequestration and perhaps requiring repayment of CO2 sequestration credits."

“On the Free State pipeline, two leak incidents occurred soon after pressurizing the line and were caused by manufacturing imperfections in welds. Both these leaks were too small to be detected by the flow measurement imbalance. A landowner called the toll-free number on the pipeline signage to alert the control room of unusual white smog emerging from the ground where the pipeline was located on his property, triggering a response from Denbury’s Operations group. The third incident on the Tinsley 8” line, occurred when an excavator accidentally cut the line. Company personnel were onsite for immediate dispatch to isolate the system. On the Barksdale 6-3 #1 flowline incident (cement lined pipe rupture due to inadequate weld pre-heating), automatic shut-downs and alarms worked as designed. In the fifth incident at a pump station was minimal and observed by on-scene personnel. On the Free State pipeline, each leak caused minimal release but a controlled release of 75 MMCF (each) was required to depressurize the pipeline segment for repair.”

CO2well blowouts

The blowout of a well occurs when the operator of the well loses control of the pressure in the well resulting in fluid flow out of the well. Damen et al. [10] have suggested that the largest risk associated with CO2 injection for sequestration in deep brine reservoirs is well failure. Such failures result from a failure to adequately control pressures in the injection system. This is typically due to mechanical failure of a component or an external event directly affecting the well. This results in temporary loss of control of the process and the pressure of the reservoir drives CO2 and other entrained fluids upwards out of the well.

In most cases blowouts are caused by mechanical failures beyond human control, for example the failure of a back-flow preventer. This loss of containment immediately results in the pressure release vaporizing the supercritical CO2.In this context a blowout is driven by the high expansibility of the released gas resulting in a vigorous eruption of the vapor up the well bore (with the likely entrainment of particles of solid debris). If this occurs during drilling into a CO2 reservoir the rapidity of this phenomenon may make it a challenge to activate manual Blowout Prevention devices (BOPs) in time to prevent a blowout. Adiabatic cooling of CO2 during this rapid expansion leads to the gas being cooled below the freezing point (the triple point for CO2 being at -63°F and 76 psi). This results in the nucleation of dry ice and/or solid ice-like CO2-hydrates. These solids

can result in a blowout becoming a spray of solid particles. Such icy particles could damage pipes and other infrastructure in the path of the spraying particles. Whether this phenomenon is less risky than the CO2 irrupting as a fountain of dense CO2remains to be determined. If much of the CO2in a large blowout is in a frozen form then the risks posed by the initial blowout to the local are probably lowered.

Blowouts of oil production wells within CO2-EOR reservoirs are a known hazard (Lynch et al. [11]; Skinner [13]). In 2003,Skinner in a paper in “World Oil” focusing on blowouts in the CO2-EOR industry in the US suggested that there had been an “increased frequency of CO2 blowouts in injection projects.”

Read the full article -