$318m for CO2 projects

The US Department of Energy have announced the first three large-scale carbon sequestration projects in the US, doubling the amount of volume CO2 storage demonstrations worldwide.

Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction; Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration; and Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon sequestration will conduct large volume tests for the storage of one million or more tons of CO2 in deep saline reservoirs.

The projects will perform tests before during and after injection to evaluate the permanent storage capability of geological sites such as the Alberta basin and the Entrada Sandstone formation between Colorado and Wyoming. The Alberta basin test will also investigate the effect of hydrogen sulphide on co-sequestration.

In one to two years, each site will undergo modelling, monitoring and infrastructure improvements before a large amount of CO2 is injected. Local power plants are being used to capture the CO2 and the US hopes these projects will allow it to continue to use coal as a major energy source.

Carbon sequestration can also be used to enhance oil recovery at depleted sources such as the Williston basin, which is in the Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction project.

‘Successful demonstration of large volume carbon capture and storage technology plays a key role in achieving President’s Bush’s goals for a cleaner energy future,’ said deputy secretary of energy Clay Sell. ‘Coal is vitally important to America’s energy security and this technology will help enable our nation, and future generations, to use this abundant resource more efficiently and without emitting greenhouse gas emissions.’

Involved in the project are 27 US states and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The combined value of the projects, including partnership cost share, is $318m.