CO2 sequestration ‘splodes in Saskatchewan

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From the “nobody could convince them it was a bad idea in the first place” department…

UPDATE: More details now emerging – see below the read more line

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION
Carbon injected underground now leaking, Saskatchewan farmer’s study says

By: Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

A Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies over the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases that were supposed to have been injected permanently underground are leaking out, killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken-up soda pop.

Cameron and Jane Kerr, who own nine quarter-sections of land above the Weyburn oilfield in eastern Saskatchewan, released a consultant’s report Tuesday that claims to link high concentrations of carbon dioxide in their soil to the 8,000 tonnes of the gas injected underground every day by energy giant Cenovus in its attempt to enhance oil recovery and fight climate change.

“We knew, obviously, there was something wrong,” said Jane Kerr.

Cameron Kerr, 64, said he has farmed in the area all his life and never had any problems until 2003, when he agreed to dig a gravel quarry.

That gravel was for a road to a plant owned by EnCana — now Cenovus — which had begun three years earlier to inject massive amounts of carbon dioxide underground to force more oil out of the aging field.

Cenovus has injected more than 13 million tonnes of the gas underground. The project has become a global hotspot for research into carbon capture and storage, a technology that many consider one of the best hopes for keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

By 2005, Cameron Kerr had begun noticing problems in a pair of ponds which had formed at the bottom of the quarry. They developed algae blooms, clots of foam and several colours of scum — red, yellow and silver-blue. Sometimes, the ponds bubbled. Small animals — cats, rabbits, goats — were regularly found dead a few metres away.

Then there were the explosions.

“At night we could hear this sort of bang like a cannon going off,” said Jane Kerr, 58. “We’d go out and check the gravel pit and, in the walls, it (had) blown a hole in the side and there would be all this foaming coming out of this hole.”

Read the entire story here

UPDATE: The Winnepeg Free Press has far more details in this story here

He said provincial inspectors did a one-time check of air quality. Eventually, the Kerrs paid a consultant for a study.

Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.

Lafleur also used the mix of carbon isotopes he found in the gas to trace its source.

“The … source of the high concentrations of CO2 in the soils of the Kerr property is clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir,” he wrote.

“The survey also demonstrates that the overlying thick cap rock of anhydrite over the Weyburn reservoir is not an impermeable barrier to the upward movement of light hydrocarbons and CO2 as is generally thought.”

It reminds me of this 1965 sci-fi movie:

h/t to WUWT reader AnonyMoose

Update: Reader _Jim finds the trailer:

188 thoughts on “CO2 sequestration ‘splodes in Saskatchewan

  1. Obama approved the Future Gen Coal plant in Illinois for his friends. It has both carbon sequestration and incredible cost overruns. Let see how that “experiment” plays out. Surely they will have to drive trucks past a picketing james Hansen.

  2. “I really hate it when the R&D Dept makes for the front door.”
    Old- cartoon.
    Then people wonder why there is little confidence in the whole scheme…

  3. As a Canadian, I can’t help but laugh.

    “Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.”

    and


    The Alberta government has committed $2 billion to similar pilot projects in Alberta. The United States has committed $3.4 billion for carbon capture and storage.

    Norway has been injecting carbon dioxide into the sea floor since 1996. There are carbon capture and storage tests planned in Australia, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, China and Japan.

    “I would like to see it stopped,” Jane Kerr said. “I don’t think it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    I don’t think I’m supposed to laugh, but I can’t help it.

  4. Thing is that ‘they’ want to do the same stupidity here in The Netherlands. Pump CO2 underground hoping they can resolve the climate challenge (change or whatever term comes next…).

  5. See now the problem here is the government just likely went with the lowest bidder for CO2 Sequestration. If only they had contacted me, I would quote them a more honest price and do a truly high-quality job if sequestering their CO2. I’m sure the Canadian government doesn’t want to be caught looking like the big destroyers of earth letting all that CO2 run wild, so I’ll submit my new quote to them post-haste.

  6. The plants and algae are blooming from the increased CO2 concentration… but the animals are dying!

    CO2 accumulation in your basement is much worst than Radon. They will need to put in CO2 detectors in their houses now and use those badges that change color when they take a walk outside.

    I prefer my CO2 diluted in the atmosphere rather than at high concentration at ground level.

  7. On the plus side trees are growing like crazy.

    Anyway, the leaking ought to be detectable at the injection wellhead. It would seem that there is a “challenge” with the local geology. That does not mean that sequestration will not work elsewhere. Flooding with CO2 is not new and can be successful.

  8. I’m skeptical that CO2 could kill any animals as the effect would be logarithmic and would amount to very little effect even at high concentrations. I would look toward solar or ocean influences…it’s natural variation.

    REPLY: You also aren’t very good at looking beyond your nose:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/27/quote-of-the-week-36-carbon-sequestrations-fatal-flaw/

    CO2 is of course heavier than air, the gravel pit makes a perfect trap for small animals and unsuspecting humans.

    Read up on Lake Nyos and Lake Kivu. Note the pictures of the dead animals here.

    Then tell us again how CO2 in high concentrations leaking out of the ground aren’t a problem. CO2 bubbling out of the ground from any source, be it natural or sequestered, will find any low spots on the surface, and any living things in that low spot have the potential to be killed by asphyxiation. Even something as simple as making wine can kill you if you allow the CO2 to collect around you. It only takes 8% air concentration to kill you in about 10 minutes. See this hazmat source.

    However, I predict you’ll try to save face and come up with some lame excuse as to why your version of “no worries” is right and we are wrong to be concerned.

    -Anthony

  9. Interestingly, part of the research that I have been involved in deals with measuring fugitive emissions such as CO2. We had actually contacted these people at Weyburn Saskatchewan with a proposal to monitoring possible escaping gases. They never gave us the time of day.

    Another interesting tidbit…David Suzuki (the off-the-wall enviro-nut) even slammed the nonsensical idea of burying CO2 underground as we don’t have any idea of what its effects may be.

  10. This is exactly the sort of lunacy that ensues when one has people thinking up solutions to non-existent problems.

    What percentage of global CO2 emissions is pumped down that pipe? I bet it is measured in less than a second of global man made emissions. It is doing absolutely nothing on a global scale yet probably costs a considerable amount of money to operate and maintain.

  11. OMG–I remember that movie; great for getting a kid’s imagination going. Thanks for the trip back to early youth!

  12. Bad news for the cows (if confirmed), BUT the farmer’s crop yields ought to fantastic.

    Growing things are the only sensible “carbon sequestration”, not that it really matters. CO2 doesn’t drive anything (except the head on your beer).

    But at least adding CO2 to agriculture has a positive benefit.

  13. Dead animals may have been killed by sudden hypoxia due to high concentrations of heavier than air CO2.
    I seem to remember a tragic incident in Africa in which several people died near a lake which discharged dense gas – ? CO2, CH4 or CO – memory fails me.
    Checked Wiki Lake Nyos 1700 people killed by CO2 asphyxiation.

  14. Here are a couple quiz questions for people who still believe in carbon sequestration under habitable lands:

    How do you know when the chosen substrate (which you have carefully tested/validated) is unsuitable?

    How long does the carbon have to be sequestered?

    This situation looks like it has answered both questions: you know you have failed AFTER you have already sequestered your full design capacity of CO2.

    It seems that there are only 2 options left at this time:

    1. Immediately vent the CO2 into the atmosphere.

    2. Wait until someone is killed and then vent the CO2 into the atmosphere.

  15. I enjoyed the movie trialer…I recall seeing that movie as a teenager. pretty well done and a message…………..Don’t mess around with God (mother earth, nature, etc)!

  16. “The survey also demonstrates that the overlying thick cap rock of anhydrite over the Weyburn reservoir is not an impermeable barrier to the upward movement of light hydrocarbons and CO2 as is generally thought.”

    Light hydrocarbons are explosive. Would that be methane? The increased pressure underground due to the CO2, is likely responsible for this possibly horrendous environmental disaster. Will o the wisps anyone.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o%27-the-wisp.

  17. In the next sci-fi thriller the windmills will stop the earth’s rotation and we will become like mercury. One side will always face the sun the other side will freeze.

  18. Fizzy water from Sask. Someone could market that stuff to the latté-drinking alarmists. Talk about a carbon shift.

  19. Well, if it was just a bad 1965 movie, who cares?

    But it is in fact the official policy of the Norwegian government to “sequester” and bury underground CO2. Here, from the 2007 New Year’s speech by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, quoted from the official Norwegian Government website (translation below):

    http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/smk/aktuelt/taler_og_artikler/statsministeren/statsminister_jens_stoltenberg/2007-4/statsministerens-nyttarstale-2007.html?id=440349

    “store deler av landet har vi hatt de varmeste høst- og vintermånedene på over hundre år. Vi merker det i det daglige nå: Skiene har fått stå i fred. Barn lager ikke snømenn. Forskerne varsler om at isbjørnen er truet.

    I England brukte de før i tiden kanarifugler som varslere for gruvearbeiderne. Når kanarifuglene sluttet kvitre, var det et varsel om dårlig luft i gruvegangene og arbeiderne måtte komme seg ut.

    I vår tid er det ikke gule kanarifugler som varsler at noe er galt, men gule hestehov der snøen skulle ligge. Avisen Nordland kunne i desember fortelle om en forvirret vårblomst som var funnet i en grøftekant. Dette er et varsel vi må ta på alvor. Vi frykter at noe er galt med været.

    Vi må ta vårt ansvar. Klimautslippene må ned. Norge påtar seg en pionerrolle når vi har bestemt at gasskraftverket på Mongstad skal ha rensing av klimagassen CO2. Vi skal gjøre dette mulig.

    Da president Kennedy sa at amerikanerne skulle lande på månen innen 10 år, hadde ikke amerikanerne vært ute i verdensrommet. De kom til månen innen 10 år. De satte seg mål. Og de nådde målene.

    Vår visjon er at vi innen 7 år skal få på plass den teknologien som gjør det mulig å rense utslipp av klimagasser. Det blir et viktig gjennombrudd for å få ned utslippene i Norge, og når vi lykkes tror jeg verden vil følge etter.

    Dette er et stort prosjekt for landet. Det er vår månelanding.

    Utslipp av klimagasser kjenner ingen landegrenser. Derfor kan heller ikke løsningene styres av landegrenser. Vi skal både redusere våre egne utslipp og bidra til å redusere utslippene i andre land. Det skal vi gjøre på mange forskjellige måter.

    Regjeringen har besluttet at når ansatte i staten reiser med fly internasjonalt, så skal vi kjøpe klimakvoter for de utslippene reisen forårsaker.”

    Google translation (with a little help), of the Jan 2007 speech:

    “Large parts of the country have had the warmest autumn and winter months of over a hundred years. We notice it daily now: The skis have got to rest. Children do not make snowmen. The scientists warning that polar bears are threatened.

    In England they used in the past canaries as detectors for the miners. When the canary birds stopped chirping, there was a warning of bad air in the mine and the workers had to get out.

    In our time it is not yellow canaries warning that something is wrong, but yellow coltsfoots [? a spring flower] where the snow would lie. Nordland newspaper in December could tell about a confused spring flower that was found in a ditch. This is a warning we must take seriously. We fear that something is wrong with the weather.

    We must take our responsibility. Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. Norway assumes a pioneering role when we have determined that the gas power plant at Mongstad will be purification of the greenhouse gas CO2. We will make this possible.

    When President Kennedy said that Americans would land on the Moon within 10 years, Americans had not been out in space. They came to the Moon within 10 years. They set goals. And they reached the objectives.

    Our vision is that within 7 years we must have in place the technology that makes it possible to clean the emissions of greenhouse gases. There will be an important breakthrough for reducing emissions in Norway, and when we succeed, I think the world will follow.

    This is a major project for the country. It is our moon landing.

    Emissions of greenhouse gases know no national boundaries. Therefore, no solutions are governed by national borders. We must both reduce our own emissions and help reduce emissions in other countries. It will do in many different ways.

    The Government has decided that when employees in the state travel by air internationally, we will buy quotas for the emissions.”

    This is referred to as Stoltenbergs “moon landing speech”. Somehow, it is suspected he will some day regret it.

  20. I think that the most ironic thing is that in the movie “Crack in the World”, the United Nations is involved in this hairbrained scheme to drill through the earth’s crust into the mantle and allow molten magma to reach the surface intentionally!

    Seems as if the UN has been meddling for a long time into natural processes to try to control them – or control us!

  21. R. Gates says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am
    I’m skeptical that CO2 could kill any animals as the effect would be logarithmic and would amount to very little effect even at high concentrations. I would look toward solar or ocean influences…it’s natural variation.

    REPLY: You also aren’t very good at looking beyond your nose:
    _____

    Thanks, but some did catch the fact that I was being sarcastic.

    REPLY: Yeah, sure. Then use the /sarc tag so people don’t waste time with you, some of your statements here are so off the wall we can’t really tell what you might be thinking.

    24 hour penalty box for you – bye

    -Anthony

  22. for R. Gates,
    You might want to visit Horshoe Lake, Mammoth, California but if you love your pet dog keep him on a leash otherwise he/she might be joining the other animals killed by the non-existent CO2

  23. R. Gates says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I don’t normally read your posts but that one was very witty!

    Pity Anthony did not recognize your humor.

    REPLY: Like I said, many of his statements in the past have been way out there. This didn’t seem any different from some of his past missives.

    This is why it is important to use the /sarc tag. Satire delivered onstage and in person has cues we pick up on, writing, not so much. I’ve given him a time-out for wasting my time believing he was sincere.

    – Anthony

  24. How many pounds of carbon will be launched into the atmosphere designing, manufacturing, installing, operating, maintaining, and decommisioning a CO2 sequestration project versus how many pounds of carbon will be sequestered?

    Answer,……. anyone?

  25. Six Stages of a Research Project:
    1) Enthusiasm;
    2) Euphoria;
    3) Doubt;
    4) Search for the guilty;
    5) Punishment for the innocent; and,
    6) Praise and honor for the non-participants.

    Been there; done that; wore out the t-shirt.

  26. I was struck by this comment;

    “Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.”

    Are those concentrations correct? Would we expect to see typical concentrations in other field soils to average around 8000 parts per million?
    Tonyb

  27. I understand that Anthony feels pissed, but banning R. Gates for a rather funny remark is unfair, IMHO. Anthony, please let him in again! [snip. This was not a contest. ~dbs, mod.]

  28. sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken-up soda pop
    ===================================================
    I suppose in an odd twist of irony, they could bottle it and sell it back to the same wack jobs that buy that stuff………

    sarc/off

  29. I would have thought a lawsuit by the landowner would be quite effective in this case. Including of course asking as part of the remedy for all sequestered carbon to be removed from under the land.

  30. I know people whose work depends heavily on the carbon capture scheme here in Canada. Oh my. They weren’t very convinced to start with but hey, the proverbial gravy train has been rolling steadily for them…

  31. RE: animals dying. Physiologically, CO2 stimulates breathing as the partial pressure in the bloodstream rises (try rebreathing from a paper bag for illustration). This mechanism is the body’s way of dealing with the higher than normal CO2 concentrations (hypercapnia), and will blow off excess CO2 under normal conditions. However, there is a true tipping point. Beyond a certain bloodstream concentration, CO2 becomes lethally toxic, producing narcosis through asphyxia (lack of oxygen) as well as causing the blood to become acidic. Thus, breathing high concentrations such as could be found in the bottom of the gravel quarry could rapidly cause unconsciousness and lead to death.

    Unintended consequences, anyone?

  32. In Alberta they are doing it as well. Here is my plan! Give away trees and shrubs to all the people in Alberta & Saskatchewan. CO2 sequestration solved! It would be money better spent.

  33. Just a point worth exploring! before we all get too excited!

    Methane leaks into the soil have the same effect as CO2 and it kills the trees as well.

  34. I have followed the AGW issue for many, many years. I didn’t believe in it back then and I believe in it less today but I have an idea to clean up exhaust from coal fired power plants. First of all, the cheapest elec. is from hydro. The second cheapest is coal. The US has a 300 yr supply of coal & coal plants are indispensable to keep rates low for average people.

    So here’s the idea: make the smoke stack square section and angle a portion of it at, say, 30 or 45 degrees (an engineer could figure this out). At the bottom of the angled square section install numerous trays across it so as to catch water from rainfalls above. The exh. gases would have to pass through those rainfalls. Gases enter and leaves water easily which is why one can have a gold fish bowl. The rainfalls would accept the gases & we all know how clean the air feels after a rainfall. I don’t know how this would deal with mercury although I suspect it would enter the water and a chemist might come up with something. I suspect sulfur dioxide would enter the water & that would easily be dealt with by a buffering agent. The water would certainly take up CO from the exh. & being unstable it would recycle into CO2 & of course it would pick up the CO2.

    The water would be cycled through several holding tanks outside the powerplant & the high CO2 content should spawn luxuriant algae growth. Individual tanks could be periodically drained, the algae harvested & turned into compost as a fertilizer. People wouldn’t like the idea of this for food crops so use it for industrial crops such as soybeans.

    I don’t know if this idea is viable but I believe it may have legs. I think it could be patentable but on disability & with an uncertain lifespan I determined to make it available & this seemed the channel to do so. As I’ve said, I don’t believe in AGW but if they push the issue this may make low cost elec. from coal plants viable. Plus there are certain genuine pollutants that this may clean up.

  35. IanPJ said on January 11, 2011 at 11:56 am:

    .. and what, ultimately, is all this captured carbon for?

    It’s part of an ongoing series of experiments in Modern Alchemy, which is a subject routinely taught in today’s schools and institutes of higher learning.

    Since lead is now an environmental hazard too dangerous to work with, they’ve had to resort to transmuting carbon dioxide into gold.

  36. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “How many pounds of carbon will be launched into the atmosphere designing, manufacturing, installing, operating, maintaining, and decommisioning a CO2 sequestration project versus how many pounds of carbon will be sequestered?”

    Very good question which I have yet to see an analysis of – not surprisingly. I sure hope someone out there does know of one.

    In the meantime, we must recognize the critical difference between good CO2 and bad CO2, of course.

    P.S. Yes, Anthony, that last line was a (lame) attempt at sarcasm.

  37. Re Charles Opalek,
    According to an AEP source I spoke with a couple of years ago, it takes about 30% of the power produced from coal to sequester and bury the CO2. I forget whether that was 30% of the gross or net power produced.

    We’re lucky, in a way, that the Saskatchewan well blew up in the first decade. How many will erupt after a century or a millenium?

  38. Paul Deacon says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    “I would have thought a lawsuit by the landowner would be quite effective in this case. Including of course asking as part of the remedy for all sequestered carbon to be removed from under the land.”

    In Alberta, and presumably Saskatchewan, land owners rarely own more than the surface rights so that will be tricky if not impossible.

    More likely they will suddenly ‘discover’ that CO2 is plant food and try to charge farmers for this ‘enhanced fertilization.’ [lame sarc]

  39. “What was wrong with it …. before you tried to fix it?”

    I worked as a mechanic, many years back, before college and the ensuing engineering career. Folks would bring in vehicles that others had tried to ‘fix’ but still weren’t operating correctly. We would ask them “What was wrong with it …. before you tried to fix it?”, in an attempt to discover the original root cause of the concern or problem. The attempted ‘fixes’, based on prior incorrect diagnoses, did not correct the original problem and often had created new ones.

    It seems to be the appropriate question to ask about CO2 capture and sequestration.
    Q: “What was wrong with it …. before you tried to fix it?”
    A: “Uhhhmmmmmm – I guess, nothing really. We were told that CO2 was bad so we tried to ‘fix’ it.”

    Also – Thanks Anthony, for your response to R. Gates. Those of us that have worked with odorless industrial gases (CO2, Argon, N, He, etc.) in mechanics, welding, heat, treating, Hot Isostatic Pressing, laboratory cryogenic applications, and installation of cryo-cooled interference fit fasteners know that asphyxiation from insufficient oxygen is a reality that cares little for theoretical logarithmic effects touted by the gullible or inexperienced.

    Even farm silos, used to store silage or haylage for animal fodder, present a threat to the farmer, if adequate ventilation is not maintained. Oxidation of the silage in the silo consumes available oxygen until it is depleted. If an unwary farmer climbs into his silo, to clear a jammed silo unloader for example before the silo has been properly ventilated, they may be asphyxiated.

  40. Dr T G Watkins

    Yes, Lake Nyos. The conventional explanation is CO2 but they are wrong. CO2 does not cause boils on the skin or cause damage to the lining of the throat NOR does it destroy vegetation as was observed. Also people didn’t die from asphyxiation. They died from lung damage. Asphyxiation is just the party line. Both hydrogen and sulphur are present in volcano emissions. Since the event was discovered in the morning it had to have taken place the evening before. The only significant event in nature is the DEW POINT. Therefore it is not only likely but 100% certain that Lake Nyos outgassed a short time before dewpoint was reached. It wasn’t CO2 but far far more likely sulphur dioxide in conjunction with hydrogen sulfide. Once the dewpoint was reached voila instant tiny droplets of SULPHURIC ACID. This properly explains the observations NOT CO2. This is just another example of what happens when science becomes politicized. Oh and why did it happen? Lake Nyos is the caldera of an extinct(is it?) volcano.

    As to “sequestration”. Now we have the first recorded environmental disaster caused by the Great Carbon Fraud. That grown men with apparently working brains would assume no cracks, fissures or varying porosity. Or that a heated gas expands? These people have effectively poisoned the land and the water. How long will it take for the better part of 13 million tons of CO2 percolating up from below to dissipate back to normal? Oh thats right they are still pumping. Similar unforseen problems may start to crop up elswhere.

  41. Somehow I don’t think we will hear this story on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.). The CBC will do it’s censoring by omitting this story and I suspect their current affairs program “The Fifth Estate” will do the same !

  42. John Kehr says: “This is stupid, but the orbitting mirrors to reflect sunlight away from the Earth still remains the number 1 stupid idea of all time.”

    I thought the mirrors were a fantastic idea compared to lacing the atmosphere with gigatons of extra sulfur.

  43. I have a vague recollection that there are examples of near-surface gas accumulations in Saskatchewan and Alberta that can be trapped under clay layers in surficial (glacial) materials, so digging a gravel pit might just release some of that gas. I’d be interested in seeing some stable isotope evidence that would help determine if what is leaking is some of the “sequestered” (aka “oil recovery enhancing”) CO2 that was injected underground, or if it is pre-existing near-surface gas that was released by digging the pit. Just wondering if there is another explanation …

  44. UK John @ January 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Natural gas is routinely re-injected into and stored in depleted natural gas wells to meet winter peak demand. The gas originally in the well was there for millions of years at whatever pressure existed in the well when it was first drilled. Gas can be safely re-injected into the well at up to the original wellhead pressure without risk of leakage.

  45. Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.

    As well, Lafleur used the mix of carbon isotopes he found in the gas to trace its source.

    “The … source of the high concentrations of CO2 in the soils of the Kerr property is clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir,” he wrote.
    =======================================================
    and the numbnuts wrap it up with this gem……………….
    =====================================================
    The gas is not poisonous, but it can cause asphyxiation in heavy concentrations

  46. I think carbon sequestration and capture (CCS) is stupid: it is both pointless and expensive.

    That said I have two points to make.

    Firstly, pumping CO2 down oil wells to increase the total oil obtainable from them is tried and tested technology that is used because it is economic.

    Secondly, I worked at the UK’s Coal Research Establishment (CRE) in the 1980s and 1990s when CCS was researched at CRE.

    When CRE’s CCS research was first suggested I expressed severe doubts about underground storage of CO2: the vast literature on underground coal gasification proves that few geological structures other than spent oil wells would contain the CO2 for long periods. Despite that, much work was done on the possibility of underground storage. The article above describes the predictable result of such storage.

    And I suggested that the collected CO2 should be frozen to form blocks (of ‘dry ice’) then dropped into deep ocean. Little CO2 would be lost as the blocks sank to the bottom where they would melt. At the temperatures and pressures at ocean bottom the CO2 would exist as pools of liquid CO2 which would take millenia to dissolve in the ocean water. We tested whether the solid blocks would survive the descent to ocean bottom in a water tank. The blocks obtained an insulating layer of ice and survived for weeks.

    So, the disaster reported in the above article reports a result of pointless CCS that was conducted in a manner which was likely fail as it did and when a cheaper option for the storage exists and would probably work.

    But I suppose some politicians fell for the boondoggle. I hope somebody will tell me who those politicians are because I would like to them to fund a project I have for obtaining energy from ‘hot rocks’.

    Richard

  47. Carl Bussjaeger @ January 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Here, all this time, I thought the orbiting solar collectors combined with a microwave generator and antenna to beam microwave energy to a ground station for power generation was the #1 stupid idea of all time. Little did I know!

  48. If the CO2 could be liquefied using pressure and then turned to ‘dry ice’, insulated at enormous extra cost – then there might be a chance of containing it (wouldnt drive out the depleted oil of course but maybe was never intended to). These ridiculous projects get the go ahead from politicians clutching at straws having been fed the myth of global warming by a load of self seeking charletans.

  49. I’m not holding my breath on this one, as the CO2 levels in my blood will climb. Honestly my BS meter is wiggling, I’ll need additional corroboration before believing it.

  50. A mad idea expecting any gas under high pressure not to find its way up to the surface.

    What we observe as solid crustal rock is not solid at all. The whole of the Earth’s crust contains large voids and a massive connected fractal array of fissures from large crevasses to hairline cracks which were caused as the molten rock fractured on cooling and from subsequent impact shocks from earthquakes and other tectonic activity. Instead of crust, this fractured mass of interlocking pieces should be renamed the schisosphere.

    Only in very few areas of the world would CO2 sequestration be viable and only then at great depth and low pressure. The guy who came up with this idea deserves the Darwin award for services to mankind… :-(

  51. As a geologist, I am of the opinion that safe CO2 sequestration should be achievable, the same as nuclear waste disposal, etc, etc.
    However, as with all these ideas, very careful analysis (not models ! – I mean real analysis of the ground conditions) is required. The trouble is that doing ‘pilot’ schemes – say in a small zone of rock – do not necessarily reflect the real life effect of a bigger zone. So, there is alwys the element of risk.

    Having said that, I cannot for the life of me see how CO2 capture and storage is a worthwhile effort using the carbon dioxide emitting energy to do it! Maybe, just maybe, if doubled CO2 is eventually found to be seriously detrimental to the climate(though I strongly doubt it) and maybe if we have found alternative energy sources, then it may just be worth looking into – but trying it today is a waste of time and valuable resources.

  52. Let’s all have a decent carbonated beverage while we watch the hazmat team clean that one up.

    Someone should be fined for doing all of that polluting.

  53. For Economic Geologist, from the article–As well, Lafleur used the mix of carbon isotopes he found in the gas to trace its source.

    “The … source of the high concentrations of CO2 in the soils of the Kerr property is clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir,” he wrote.

  54. There was also a bison kill at Yellowstone in 2001 due to gas in low areas near the Norris Geyser Basin. Hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide were blamed at the time.

    Sounds like the reservoir guys blew it. Reinjection of natural gas back down producing oil wells is a common way to repressurize the reservoir and maintain production. It is widely used in the oilpatch and is common on the Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

    The problem is that reservoirs are not completely tight, as there are always some sort of leaks – which is one of the ways they were discovered in the old days (take a look at the discussion of oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore California during the BP Macondo spill). Oil comes out. So does natural gas, hydrogen sulfide and water.

    The GTL guys are discussing reinjecting CO2 into the Prudhoe Bay fields as a way to maintain / enhance production in a declining field they are taking natural gas out of.

    But you have to have your act together regarding the reservoir. Sounds like these folks didn’t. Cheers -

  55. @Economic Geologist says: January 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    They already applied carbon isotope …

    “As well, Lafleur used the mix of carbon isotopes he found in the gas to trace its source.
    ‘The … source of the high concentrations of CO2 in the soils of the Kerr property is clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir,’ he wrote.”

  56. LATEST:
    Tuesday 11th January 2011
    Krakatau Volcano, Indonesia
    Eruptions from Krakatau volcano, Indonesia have forced the evacuation of tens of thousands residents. Seven districts affected are Kalianda, Rajabasa, Katibung, Sidomulyo, Ketapang, Sragi and Palas. On Monday ash from Anak Krakatau continued to cover residential areas in parts of Banten province and South Lampung. Visual observations showed ash emissions reaching a height of 600 m and drifting east. Ashfall has affected the operation of seismometers on the volcano. Fisherman and tourists are advised to stay at least 2 km from the volcano.

  57. Since CO2 is heavier than air I wouldn’t recommend standing in any low areas, ditches or holes in the vicinity of this experiment.

  58. From Anthony’s REPLY to R. Gates above, January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    It only takes 8% air concentration to kill you in about 10 minutes. See this hazmat source.

    Leave it to the CO2CAGW geniuses to find a way for CO2 to actually do some real damage. We never should have doubted them!

    From above, Vorlath says: January 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.”

    110,000 ppm = 11% vs ~56,000 ppm ballpark average human body CO2 concentration = 5.6%*, adjusted to that level by “ventilation”/breathing to get rid of excess CO2 produced by metabolism necessary to staying alive, and obviously impossible to accomplish at atmospheric CO2 = 11%; where you’d almost certainly get a deadly CO2 narcosis/coma and acidosis regardless of what the Oxygen concentration was. [CO2 at high levels is “narcotic” all by itself, at least as far as I’ve ever read.]

    *I’m calulating % using pCO2 human body = 40-44/760 atmospheric pressure.

  59. I would be very surprised if it were solely CO2 that was injected into the Weyburn oilfield to enable the recovery of untapped crude oil. It is far more likely that compressed air was the major driver.
    How was the CO2 (from whence, unknown) collected and compressed, in order to discharge it underground?
    BTW, ‘explosions’ normally require substantial amounts of O2.

  60. My apologies, only this sentence was Anthony’s in my post: “It only takes 8% air concentration to kill you in about 10 minutes. See this hazmat source.”

  61. Someone needs to alert the Hopi and Navajo tribes in Arizona about these poisonous effects to the land and water.

    The DOE is contracting with several energy cos and a few members of the Hopi tribe to sequester carbon dioxide in the Black Mesa Basin area. I think the DOE is on the make here. They pay the tribe and the tribe is in a contract; if they back out, they must pay the 5 million dollars for losses to the DOE. The Navajos whose land is also affected were not consulted.

    The area is incredibly rich in energy reserves, and pumping co2 is one way of recovering those. What is the Dept of Energy doing?

    http://www.navajohopiobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=795&ArticleID=12711

  62. @Ray: “I prefer my CO2 diluted in the atmosphere rather than at high concentration at ground level.”

    Nonsense. Everybody knows CO2 is hideously dangerous, poisoning the planet!

    So it should be treated like radioactive waste, encased in silica and/or in a pool of neutralizing liquid.

    Like, say, a sealed green glass bottle filled with India Pale Ale. Cheers!

  63. Probably worth note that with a Conservative federal government nationally and in Alberta that the carbon sequestration gambit has been all about avoiding hard reductions in greenhouse gasses produced by industry.

    This is much an own-goal as not for those of us hoping to see the madness and damage stopped or limitted.

    And apparently, the world benefits from Canada’s forests effects on the atmosphere but according to Euro-world we can’t get credit for having them, but daren’t cut too many like Europe did. Which in itself smacks of the imperialist hypocrisy behind all this eurocentric BS. We that haven’t levelled our forests like europe has or populated as densely as they have better take notice, we are not to grow as they did.

    If it insults those of us developed enough to have modern economies and standards we wish to maintain and grow imagine how it feels to those living much less developed lives. I guess we ‘developed’ nations better start shipping out our money, our bankers and politicians are hungry and the people we are appointing to keep the third-world living in the Dirt-Cookie-Age will need lots of money to defend themselves against their publics when they realize who is to blame.

    Foolishness! We can’t get Haiti back onto its knees, but we’re going to provide ‘salvation’ to all the world’s poor with an invented global economy based on crippling humanity’s innovators.

  64. “Carl Bussjaeger says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    John Kehr says: “This is stupid, but the orbitting mirrors to reflect sunlight away from the Earth still remains the number 1 stupid idea of all time.”
    I thought the mirrors were a fantastic idea compared to lacing the atmosphere with gigatons of extra sulfur.”

    Hang on you guys – don’t I remember reading somewhere that the sun wasn’t the *real* cause of global warming?

  65. To have this alarmist Bob Weber from the Canadian Press reporting about a disaster directly linked to the global warming hysteria policies is sweet irony…

  66. IanPJ said:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    .. and what, ultimately, is all this captured carbon for?

    To save us from… something, I think.

  67. This seems like a good near-term solution as fossil-fuel power plants are phased out and eventually replaced by renewables, but as with all large scale engineering projects, we have to keep our eye on regulations and safety. Is this problem a single case study, or is this part of a trend?

    The CO2 injection would likely have been done anyway, regardless of sequestration concerns, in order to support Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Oil companies can pump large quantities of steam, natural gas, carbon dioxide, nitrogen or chemical surfactants into the ground in order to obtain higher yield from a mature oil field. Now, I would be more comfortable with steam injection, but I don’t know if that is as viable or productive as the other (seemingly more dangerous) injection techniques.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_oil_recovery

    The Energy Return On Investment (EROI) is probably not nearly as good for EOR versus a new oil well. Renewable solutions like wind or solar may have a better EROI than EOR techniques (and I have heard close to natural gas hydraulic fracturing, but don’t quote me on that one).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EROEI

    Granted, EROI isn’t everything. A form of energy should be usable and storable. For now, the transportation sector isn’t set up to use lots of renewable energy, but that can change with time. Also, we would need to do a bit of work to set up water reservoirs and compressed air storage facilities to save the renewable energy for peak load times.

    Bottom line, we ought to (cautiously) try to sequester CO2, but it may be vastly more effective to not burn the fossil fuels in the first place.

  68. Thanks to those who pointed out the quote from the article that says that Lafleur looked at the carbon isotopes and from this concluded that it was “clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir”. I’d still be interested in seeing the results, and if Lafleur, or anyone else, has fingerprinted any of the near-surface gas reservoirs.

  69. Up is down, and black is white and CO2 increase and/or temperature increase are bad.

    You cannot tell these particular lies (the last two) without serious damage to the biosphere.

    BTW, 23 000 ppm is only 2.3%. That amount would be harmless/beneficial, but if the average is that high, and variance is high enough (as in this example) you will have places/ occasions where the [CO2] is over 40%, and that will be lethal.

  70. Sequestration is a completely viable process. An oil or gas well that once controlled the releasing of the resource can surely control the imprisonment of C02 so long as they don’t exceed the fracture pressure of the receiving formation, the well casing and cement is in good condition. There are regulatory requirements that determine how these wells are to be checked to ensure casing and cement integrity. Doubtless, something has gone wrong with the fundamental integrity of the injection wells.

    I won’t argue that the sequestration is worthwhile. Personally, I believe Alberta’s proposed $2 billion investment would be better spent researching a cure for diabetes.

  71. Richard S Courtney says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Richard, I’d suggest you need to know about this item. Then (depending on your proposed slant) you can quote or ignore!

    http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/andrewbolt/index.php/couriermail/comments/flannerys_investment_cools/

    Getting “green” power by pumping water onto hot rocks deep below the surface will be not just a blessing but a doddle, claims Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery:

    “The social licence of coal to operate is rapidly being withdrawn globally… We’ve seen it with asbestos. We’ll see it with coal… There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run Australia’s economy for the best part of a century. They are not being fully exploited yet but the technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively straightforward.”

    What Flannery rarely disclosed when praising geo-thermal power was that he was an investor in that very technology

    Bolt: You’re an investor in geothermal technology, aren’t you?

    Flannery: Yeah, I am. Indeed.

    But never mind. With the well-connected Flannery spruiking the technology, the Rudd Government gave $90 million of your money to Geodymanics, and promised to make coal-fired power so much more expensive with some form of “carbon tax” that geo-thermal power might even start to make financial sense.

    Trouble is, alas, that the technology was not so “straightforward”, for a start, as Geodynamics discovered:

    On April 24 (2009), shortly after applying for the Fed Govt grant, the high-strength steel inside the Habanero 3 well broke allowing briny “reservoir fluid” and steam to gush to the surface. ASX releases reveal the 4221m-deep well was only 2 months old. It was to supply the pilot plant, now delayed.

    Dissolved carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide in the “reservoir fluid” caused the steel to become brittle. Two other wells were also damaged. Fluid and steam continued to flow from the wells for at least 3 weeks before they were plugged with cement.

    All three wells are now on hold indefinitely and the pilot plant is delayed by up to 9 months, according to ASX releases. The company is claiming it on insurance.

    And even all the Government’s help hasn’t stopped the Geodynamics share price from going south, along with Flannery’s investment – and his credibility.

    Warwick Hughes has some thoughts about the folly of governments trying to pick winners. “

  72. CO2 injection has been used for many years in Alberta and Saskatchewan, there is nothing new here. (Used in Texas in the early 70’s so the technology is now nearly 40 years old.)

    Drilled water wells in both these province (Alberta and Saskatchewan) often outgas subsurface gases including CO2, methane, and other natural gases. Some wells contain enough natural gas that you can “light” your water tap, often non-flammable gases outgas from water wells only a few 10’s of metres deep. I have a 50 metre deep water well on my farm that has been outgassing a non flammable, non poisonous gas for 8 years.

    Nothing new in this area except perhaps the volume.

    I will wait for volume two of the story as it is not unusual for large natural “gas” leaks to occur … and on the other side of things, what I (and every other civil engineer) learned in geotechnical classes, is that there is no such thing as a completely impermeable natural membrane. All soils/rocks leak, it is just a matter of the rate of leakage and the size of the molecules/atoms and electrical properties.

  73. For the record, at concentrations of 5% in an inhaled gas mixture , CO2 stimulates respiratory rate in humans and other mammals. At a concentration of 30%, CO2 produces anesthesia with suppression of respiration. This occurs even with the remainder (70%) of the inhaled gas being O2 (oxygen). The ordinary concentration of O2 in air is approximately 20% so the anesthetic effect of CO2 is not due to lack of oxygen. CO2 at a concentration of 30% is used to humanely kill (I will not use the term euthanize) animals such as chickens or rats.
    CO2 is quite different from CO (carbon monoxide). The latter is harmful in minute amounts because it strongly binds to hemoglobin, so interfering with the ability of hemoglobin to carry oxygen and thus produces hypoxia.

  74. This reminds me of a recent news about a CO2 capture-and-sequestration project in Norway close to a coal power plant, which was halted (2008 ? 2009 ?) due to health worries ; indeed by products of such process seem to increase risks of cancer for the population.

    This reminds me as well of a recent news in the UK of same kind of project going to receivership due to cost overrun.

    Just bad fate ?

  75. May i be so bold to suggest a vigourous study be done by our most eminent climate scientist’s,large grant and no computer models on the spot phyiscal study.
    Then we sceptics/deniers could video the results “it would quick 8 minutes ”
    and post our own climate advert a la 10;10 style with the slogan: “we told you so”
    along with dumping nuclear waste in the oceans this was one the dumbest ideas sceince has come up with.

  76. You guys are missing the point, first you create a fake disaster, then you suggest a solution.. then you spend billions and billions cleaning it back up after you figure out you’ve created a toxic mess with your solution. Come on! Get with the program here. Hows a guy supposed to get rich off of others stupidity? /sarc off

  77. Carbonated water is acidic and will leach all sorts of nasty minerals out of the rock – toxic things like arsenic that we’d rather just stayed put. The result is going to be an environmental hell; a toxic bubbling mess that will contaminate groundwater for millenia to come.

    Who ever thought this was a good idea. The CO_2 would do a lot less harm in the atmosphere where CO_2 usually goes, and where the ecology can easily deal with it.

  78. About two para. before the end of the full article (on the link) the author states “Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, . . .”

    Hmmm . . . . gotta love environmental journalists. Their enthusiasm outweights their knowledge to the point of being dangerous, and they are more than happy to exhibit their ignorance at every opportunity. Would it really be so difficult for a journalist to determine the veracity of that statement? Lazy.

  79. The same people who assert that deep geological disposal of vitrified nuclear waste, contained in layers of steel and concrete, bitumen etc, is unsafe and will inevitably escape … happily pump a GAS underground and argue that it will stay put forever.

    We live in a moronocracy.

  80. We should believe scientists. In fact, we have to, because they have studied this stuff much longer than we ever could. We’re going to either have to believe the scientists that work for the universities or the scientists that work for the energy companies.

    Why would a university scientist have our best interests in mind any more or less than a BP scientist, a Koch Industries scientist or an Exxon scientist?

    What would they have to gain from trying to convince everyone that the fuel that everyone including them depends on is running low and is changing our atmosphere for the worse?

    It would take a conspiracy theory bigger than a faked moon landing, a covered up alien invasion and a fake 9/11 combined to solve this question on a global scale.

    Or it could just be that the money the fossil fuel companies like Koch Industries give to scientists is enough to make them say what they want. Would you say that the Earth is flat for $5 million?

  81. Luckily enough , I need some CO2 for my new Sodastream pop maker , I’ll be right over to save you Weyburn! Only a nine hour drive.

    Brent in Calgary

  82. Anthony, Re: “It only takes 8% air concentration to kill you in about 10 minutes”
    Weyburn field is a sour oil field. It contains oil, natural gas, and Hydrogen Sulfide.
    8% CO2 is 80,000 part per million (ppm).As little as 500 ppm H2S can kill you before you finish inhaling.
    CO2 is not a deadly poision gas, H2S very much is. Which one do you think was the more likely culprit to kill some little critters?

  83. Well so we know where to go, when we run out of Oxygen; just sidle off to Saskwatchikan and dig up some of the Oxygen that is stored there along with some good clean carbon fuel that we can extract while we are getting at the Oxygen.

    Is everybody familiar with that Franz Kafkar tale about the two towns that are on each side of this river. Everybody that lives on one side of the river works at the only factory in town; which makes marbles; clay marbles to be specific, and they have the finest precision Swiss, or maybe Swedish molding machines in the world to make these perfectly spherical marbles out of finely powdered clay.

    Now on the other side of the river, everybody there works at the only factory in that town.
    And this factory has the world’s finest rock crushing equipment; and they produce exquisitely uniform finely powdered clay with those machines; taking in their raw material in the form of spherical pellets of compressed fine clay powder; that has been stripped of any form of contamination, so it yields the most uniform grade of fine powdered clay in the world.

    It really is a thriving industrial region, and a few entrepeneurs run a fine business freighting raw industrial materials from one side of the river to the other. Most of their shipments consist of either drums of finely powdered clay, or sacks of spherical clay pellets. They do about the same volume in each of those valuable commodities.

    They need something like that in Saskwatchikan.

  84. Why can’t they just put the CO2 in a can and bury the cans? After all, we could shield our kids from the fat causing cold drinks while at the same time bottling and storing the bad stuff …

  85. Eduardo Ferreyra says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:54 am
    Nobody has ever thought that if gases as radon seep up from the bottom of Earth, CO2 would do the same thing? Don’t they having working brains?
    ——
    Err, yes they do. Radon is a product of igneous rocks which have fractures that allow migration. Oil and gas on the other hand collect in sedimentary “dome” shaped structures which have an impervious cap. If it was otherwise the oil or gas would not collect as a deposit.

    On the other hand if you take out stuff and then push stuff back in you might get a few cracks in the capping layer.

  86. Ed Reid January 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm says: Here, all this time, I thought the orbiting solar collectors combined with a microwave generator and antenna to beam microwave energy to a ground station for power generation was the #1 stupid idea of all time. Little did I know!

    I actually made money from microwave power transmission. Buncha cash prizes for a science fair entry back in the ’70s (don’t tell anyone, but I did that — mandatory in my high school — science fair project as a joke). But orbiting power stations are great for radio pirates: http://www.bussjaeger.org/dj.html

  87. And now our childrens children will have to be concerned about CO2, pools of CO2 lying around the planet, so who’s going down in history for this great enviromental idea.

    And whats cheaper to clean up an oil spill or a CO2 spill? like someoen mentioned I guess you pull the plug and run.

  88. As an asthmatic I have an interest in the CO2 levels in the body.
    While high concentrations can kill, so can low ones. As I understand it, a CO2 level around the 5% mark is necessary for the haemoglobin chemistry to work in transporting oxygen to the blood and its subsequent release to cells around the body (ref: Buteyko). Asthmatics (who often breathe through their mouth) vent too much CO2, stopping the release of oxygen from the blood and causing that familiar (to asthmatics) sensation of suffocation leading to panic and hyperventilation leading to further reduction in their CO2 levels etc. This knowledge and simple breathing exercises have helped me enormously.

  89. I am irritated. It’s that list of “small animals” killed. To my reckoning, a goat is not a small animal. They’re about the size of a young child, which means this nonsense has gone far enough.

    Someone go wake up the WWF. They don’t need another reason to demonize coal as absolutely incompatible with the environment and completely useless, however now that wildlife is being killed and local ecosystems are being disrupted, well, maybe we can put them to a good use for once and stop this madness. Heck, I’d settle for a complaining press release from PETA.

    And if this garbage ends up killing a human, now that this evidence of the dangers is out there, there better dang well be at least manslaughter charges filed, maybe even for murder. This sounded risky when proposed, and we shouldn’t have to wait for the subsequent funerals for confirmation. We’ve already seen enough.

    Of course, if it fits their agenda(s), this might be a situation where the assorted Green groups, for once, decide that the Precautionary Principle should not apply, it’s worth taking the risk. In that case, I have a question: How do we trick them into locating their headquarters above the carbon sequestration sites?

  90. Henry chance says:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:39 am
    Obama approved the Future Gen Coal plant in Illinois for his friends. It has both carbon sequestration and incredible cost overruns.
    ———-
    Being a bit deceptive there are you Henry?
    FutureGen was started by George Bush, canceled by George Bush due to cost and then restarted by Obama. At this stage version 2 is probably just in planning.

    So Henry no agenda driven spin thank you very much.

  91. Ed Reid,

    Thanks from UK John, the affair needs a bit more detailed investigation, lots of opinions, but few facts.

  92. Ed Reid says:
    “Here, all this time, I thought the orbiting solar collectors combined with a microwave generator and antenna to beam microwave energy to a ground station for power generation was the #1 stupid idea of all time.”

    Actually, that will work. Just horribly expensive, inefficient, and dangerous. Which has never been a problem for “those who don’t have to do it themselves.”

    CO2 will liquify at about 900 psi (60 bar) and room temperature. Probably need more pressure at depth. So either you need a lot of space to put the stuff or you build a powerful time bomb. CCS. See comment above.

  93. Brian W says
    ——–
    instant tiny droplets of SULPHURIC ACID. This properly explains the observations NOT CO2. This is just another example of what happens when science becomes politicized
    ——–
    While I enjoyed you reanalysis about lake nyos this has zero to do with supposed politicization of science.

  94. @R. Gates says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Anthony replied in part that “It only takes 8% air concentration to kill you in about 10 minutes. See this hazmat source.” According to the same source, adverse symptoms such as drowsiness begin at 1% and progressively increase in type and severity up to the lethal dose of 8% or more.

    I have a question for which I would appreciate an answer from anyone except an alarmist:

    Suppose an accepted safe level of CO2 is 0.1% (i.e. 1/10 of the symptomatic level). If the current atmospheric concentration is around 0.039% and emissions continue cumulatively at about 2 ppm or 0.0002% p.a. then, in the hypothetical absence of other influences, CO2 levels would be unsafe in about 300 years. My question is: Are mitigating factors, such as ocean draw down, sufficient to ensure that CO2 levels in fact will never threaten respiration? If so, disregarding imagined dangers of warming, while accepting the confirmed dangers of localised CO2 concentrations, is it a monumentally stupid idea to spend more than one red cent on CO2 sequestration?

  95. What goes up must come down, and what goes down must come up. The first refers to solids, the second to gases.
    Pumping of CO2 in geological cavities and expecting it to stay there for centuries and millenia is madness gone worse. One day, many people will die when a sudden massive outburst of CO2 will envelop a town or part of a town, suffocating the lot. It has already happened in Cameroon but from a natural CO2 source. Imaging all that CO2 gas pumped in empty oil wells, cavities etc…..

  96. R Gates CO2 concentrations of 7.5% by volume in the atmosphere is toxic to animals. They were measuring soil concentrations as high as 11.06%. Under those conditions small could easily enter toxic CO2 zones low to the surface.

  97. Another Ian slimes
    ————
    What Flannery rarely disclosed when praising geo-thermal power was that he was an investor in that very technology
    ————
    Ian your spinning this to discredit someone. It’s not honest.
    Flannery was enthusiastic about the potential of the technology and he risked his own money in an investment.

    It’s also unwise to parrot Bolt. You should think for yourself. He is an entertaining journalist, but his self proclaimed intellectual and moral superiority is pretentious.

    I also notice that you got shifty and “relatively straight forward” became “straightforward” when you quoted it.

    Also the plant is a pilot plant. Pilot plants are meant to pick up failure modes and a corrosion failure mode is a straight forward thing to deal with. It does not affect the feasibility of the idea.

  98. I skipped a lot of comments so apologies if this has been mentioned already, but that area is known for radon gas emissions. Lots of coal seams in the area and so on, measurable radon gas in basements as a result….

    So I would be curious if all that CO2 bubbling its way to the surface is forcing radon gas out at the same time…

    that oughta get a whole bunch of lawyers all in a twist now….

  99. Well, if my interpretation is right, this is a really foolish thing to do. But, fracking has to be orders of magnitude worse. Let’s not lose sight of the important things. If it’s bad to inject a benign gas underground, it has to be worse to inject hazardous byproducts of a process that has marginal energy benefits.

    Be honest.

  100. Bob Kutz scoffs:
    January 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    About two para. before the end of the full article (on the link) the author states “Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, . . .”

    Hmmm . . . . gotta love environmental journalists. Their enthusiasm outweights their knowledge to the point of being dangerous, and they are more than happy to exhibit their ignorance at every opportunity. Would it really be so difficult for a journalist to determine the veracity of that statement? Lazy.
    ————
    Gotta luv climate skeptics: they share the same propagandizing tricks with
    Econuts.

    Bob, the journalist was correct. You’re the lazy one.

    Let’s get this clear: poisonous is not a synonym for dangerous.

    E.g. Water is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But water is not poisonous.
    E.g. CO2 is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But CO2 is not poisonous.
    E.g. Pure nitrogen is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But N2 is not poisonous.
    E.g. A truck is dangerous because it will run over you. But Truck is not poisonous.

    I hope this clears things up for you.

  101. The folly of one man is the fortune of another.
    Author: Francis Bacon

    Folly is a good way to describe this undertaking.

  102. The most depressing part of this story is that …”The United States has committed $3.4 billion for carbon capture and storage.” $3.4 billion!!! For something that will have NO impact on climate (or anything else). Taxpayers – please remember this when government officials state that we must raise taxes to fund “essential programs”…

  103. Another Ian:

    At January 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm you report to me:

    “http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/andrewbolt/index.php/couriermail/comments/flannerys_investment_cools/
    Getting “green” power by pumping water onto hot rocks deep below the surface will be not just a blessing but a doddle, claims Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery”
    etc.

    Yes, my point was that ‘hot rocks’ trials and underground coal gasification trials are scams that politicians fall for repeatedly. And that was why I concluded my post at January 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm by saying;

    “So, the disaster reported in the above article reports a result of pointless CCS that was conducted in a manner which was likely fail as it did and when a cheaper option for the storage exists and would probably work.

    But I suppose some politicians fell for the boondoggle. I hope somebody will tell me who those politicians are because I would like to them to fund a project I have for obtaining energy from ‘hot rocks’. “

    Richard

  104. This is most alarming! It seems as if the proponents of the project are not taking this serious enough. This area of Saskatchewan has a high concentration of gravel deposits formed during the last glacial period. The gravel deposits will act as a conduit for the migration of the CO2.

    If the farmers discovered dead animals associated with a CO2 seep, doesn’t it follow that CO2 can seep into basements with the same results on humans? Are the area residents going to have to keep a canary in the basement as a CO2 detector? I would be very afraid!

    I put the following together last November as a possible solution to the problem:

    CO2 Sequestering Simplified (sarc on)
    Recently released (Oct 2010) was an alarming study by Duke University which indicates that the greatest hope of sequestering CO2 produced by coal fired power plants, the injection of CO2 into underground formations, has a high likelihood of leaking from the formations and contaminating aquifers. That kills what seemed like a good idea, but there is another approach.

    Some folks have suggested that since the oceans quite naturally sequester vast amounts of CO2 already, if one could find a way to speed up the process just a little, you might keep up with the human combustion of fossil fuel.

    The same natural sequestration of CO2 is also true for shallow fresh water ponds with their prolific algal growth in the summer. I see a huge potential for a green, sustainable (not to mention utopian) lifestyle growing up around coal fired power plants. Infrastructure costs to establish such communities are minimal. All that is required is that shallow fresh water pools be installed with piped in CO2 from the power plant for accelerated plant growth. Warm water containing the waste heat from the power plant would also be injected into the pools to maintain a constant warm temperature during the colder months.

    Seed the water with the most prolific and nutritious algae species. For floral diversity and as a human habitat construction resource, plant willows around the shore. Within two years you will have a Garden of Eden.

    Willows are easily woven so could be used to make both the rafts and paddles to be used by the inhabitants for recreation, exercise and food gathering. The first two of those activities will have to become an essential element of the culture of the inhabitants since agitation of the water is needed to accelerate algal growth. Willows will also be used to make the structural skeletons of the wattle and daub dwellings for the inhabitants. The architectural concepts conceived of by J.R.R. Tolkien could be adapted to the wattle and daub technology to provide very cozy living spaces. Young willow shoots can also be woven into baskets and sandals.

    The staple food for the inhabitants will be the algae collected from the pond. It can easily be gathered and set out in mats to dry in the sun. The dried mats would be cut up into convenient sized biscuits for later consumption. Thus, the use of fire for food preparation is not needed thereby avoiding generating any CO2 from cooking. The use of fire to provide personal warmth is also not needed since there is the immediate availability of the warm pond as a refuge in the cold winter months just as the Japanese Macaque monkeys have learned to do.

    The power plant sponsoring each pond community should grant half acre or acre homesteads to the pioneers who come to live there. This will imbue a pride of ownership in the inhabitants and encourage them to be good custodians of the environment in which they live.

    For those who are of a spiritual bent, a single oak or cypress tree could be planted in each community to provide a focal point for worship and social events. To prevent backsliding or succumbing to the temptations of the material world, each community should have an enclave set aside and inhabited by a cadre of spiritual leaders. The minimum qualification for such leaders is that they be bona fide AGW proponents, having published at least one peer reviewed paper on the subject. Subaltern ranks of the spiritual leader class could be filled by environmental reporters who have kept the faith and been martyred by skeptics.

    Immigration into the communities should be limited to those who are young and idealistic and can be expected to have children to sustain the community in coming generations. Aging hippies should be discouraged from homesteading in the community – they are the class of people most likely to introduce mind altering plants and animals to a clear headed population. The community could not survive with half the population licking cane toads and soaking in the warm pool. It needs a vibrant young population out on the pond paddling around, agitating the algae and gathering the fruits of the earth.

    By the turn of the century such communities would be in their third or fourth generation and have developed such diverse and quaint customs that they would necessarily attract a considerable tourist trade. The associated power company could profit from the tourist trade and as a consequence provide electricity to their customers at a reduced price. This is a win-win solution for all concerned with the issue. The first coal fired power plant in Britain, Australia or California in many years would surely be quickly permitted if such a plan were proposed. If necessary, we may have to compromise and not exclude the aging hippies and cane toads. The hippies’ horticultural skills at growing hemp could be an asset in providing the community with a source of fiber for clothing, floor mats and rope for sale to tourists.

    This idea is a patentable invention but I, like Benjamin Franklin and his lightning rod invention, am here-by donating the invention to the world for the benefit of all mankind. Feel free to forward my invention to anyone you know who is as concerned about the problem as I am.

  105. I mapped the Weyburn oil field during its CO2 injection beginnings. It is not “sequestration”, by the way, but a CO2 gas-flood, intended to dissolve into the remaining oil to increase reservoir pressure and recover more oil. It is a tertiary recovery scheme: the first or “primary” is by present gas/water-drive energies, the secondary is by injection of water to push more out, and the tertiary is a gas-injection scheme. Other times a low-weight liquid hydrocarbon is injected to reduce viscosity and increase reservoir pressures (a miscible flood, as opposed to a water, immiscible flood).

    The Weyburn oil field is not a simple, one layer or one zone oil reservoir. There are about 6, stacked carbonate layers that have their own lateral porosity limits and updip depositional limits. To think that we knew where the CO2 would go in detail is nonsense; all technical people knew that only with time would we know where the gas would go. This is standard: some areas get huge pressures, and others, none. Pressures are monitored – in theory – for efficiencies and subsequent modification. In practice, once the field is producing approximately what is expected, the engineers in charge have a hands-off approach. Requests for pressure info or redesign falls on unhappy ears: the desire is to move on and do something else. It is a human nature problem, not a technical one, and not really a bureaucratic one, though no department head wants to admit his decisions of the past need review and changes.

    The area is known to have small faults that can be seen seismic to come to, or near to, the surface. The faults are generally sealed, ie. nothing goes up them, but when you push a lot of high energy CO2 into a small area, the gas will head for the lowest pressure point it can. Again, pressure work in the area would identify this – or could. Like climate scientists, oil and gas engineers (and geologists) don’t like to talk about the actual uncertainties in their work. There are a lot. Also, the idea that fluids move vertically is anathema in this business: modelling for 3D movement would be very difficult, and it would alarm the government agencies who want to avoid zone-to-zone contamination and cross-flow. Fact is, there is not a lot of cross-formation flow. But it exists.

    The CO2 story is not necessarily from the Weyburn injection, anyway. The fellow dug a gravel pit. The Weyburn area has little glacial cover in general, so he is probably in an outwash valley (or on the side of it). A lot of plant material lies buried in the post-glacial muds, sands and gravels. Also there are thin coals in the upper rock layers. Any of these could be producing his gas. A C14 isotope test would identify an injection/swamp gas differnce. A compositional gas analysis would identify if coals were the result.

    The oil and gas industry immediately gets blamed when there is a problem in the vicinity of their operations. There are often good reasons for this. But not always. I’ll bet we don’t hear what the outcome of this story is, and then you’ll know that Big Bad Oil is not to blame.

  106. Re: Engchamp says:

    How was the CO2 (from whence, unknown) collected and compressed, in order to discharge it underground?
    BTW, ‘explosions’ normally require substantial amounts of O2.

    Or just pressure. Volcanos manage to explosively outgas with some very loud bangs. What sorts of pressure would injected CO2 be at though in typical enhanced recovery or CCS applications? Neat example of bursting the big oil bubble though. Get paid to sequester ‘harmful’ CO2 and get paid again for the oil it helps extract. Can’t think why oil companies may be keen on promoting CO2 as a threat when they stand to gain by helping solve the problem, even if the solution may have a few flaws.

  107. LazyTeenager:

    At January 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm concerning yet another failed ‘hot rocks’ trial you say;

    “Also the plant is a pilot plant. Pilot plants are meant to pick up failure modes and a corrosion failure mode is a straight forward thing to deal with. It does not affect the feasibility of the idea.”

    Oh, goody! You are the chap I have been looking for.

    You see, as I said above, I have this idea for yet another ‘hot rocks’ trial and I need somebody to fund it. Since you think there is no doubt about “the feasibility of the idea” perhaps you would be willing to put your money into it?

    And while you are about it, perhaps you would like to contribute to my plan to conduct yet another trial of underground coal gasification, too?

    If you and your chums were willing to get together and put up the monies then it would avoid governments using tax-payers money for these trials. And the record indicates that many, many more are likely.

    Richard

  108. Frank K. said:
    January 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    The most depressing part of this story is that …”The United States has committed $3.4 billion for carbon capture and storage.” $3.4 billion!!! For something that will have NO impact on climate (or anything else). Taxpayers – please remember this when government officials state that we must raise taxes to fund “essential programs”…
    =========

    The United States committed $250 BILLION for a high-speed rail system from Tampa to Orlando, that won’t support itself, and leave the tax payers to foot the bill for the employees pay and upkeep of the train unless a private investor takes it over.
    If they have an ounce of sense they’ll know it won’t make a profit.

  109. Oil and gas fields commonly leak – surface oil seeps are used as an initial indicator of oil at depth in new untested areas. Seismic profiles of gas-rich fields can show disruption of the overlying rock units due to escaping gas plumes. The faults don’t have to be major structures, just enough to breach the seal. The seal can be as small as a few metres or tens of metres and may not show up on seismic sections.

    G

  110. Re:
    Vorlath says:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    “…Norway has been injecting carbon dioxide into the sea floor since 1996…”

    Wait a minute… Norway? Sea Floor? Carbon dioxide injection?

    I presume that they have taken the potential consequences of that into consideration. From the Wikipedia entry on the Storegga slides (considered to be amongst the largest known landslides, the latest was around 6100 BC)

    “Earthquakes, together with gases (e.g. methane) released from the decomposition of gas hydrates, are considered to be the likely triggering mechanisms for the slides. Another possibility is that the sediments became totally unstable and failed perhaps under the influence of an earthquake or ocean currents.”

    Now… if Norway has a sequestration issue similar to the Saskatchewan problem… what could be the consequence?

  111. FYI on parasitic losses to run CO2 capture equipment on a coal plant:

    Up thread Hu was discussing how much power it takes to operate the sequestering equipment. I work for AEP at their nuke site. For the record I speak for myself NOT AEP. We have a successful pilot project operating at our Mountaineer Plant on a small flue gas slipstream injecting CO2 into local geology. We are attempting to upscale this to a larger portion of the total plant output while limiting parasitic losses to 10-15% of output. Just today I read something on our intranet that said we are having challenges achieving this 10-15% goal. Just an update but the clear moral of this story is that if we choose to do this we will burn A LOT of fossil fuels to sequester CO2.

  112. In defence of R. Gates, let me suggest he is more to be pitied than censured, ignorant of fluid-layering by density, the role of oxygen in respiration, etc. Let us just hope that that he never hears the voodoo that CO2 has a significant effect on atmospheric temperature. He might be the type to fall for it, despite 800,000 of highly resolved phase evident in ice cores and the general decline of temperature since the Holocene optimum, even as CO2 has continually risen for the last 8,000 years.

  113. @BioBob
    January 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Good one. Maybe this before your two? It clarified the connection – for me at least.

  114. LazyTeenager says:
    January 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm
    Bob Kutz scoffs:
    January 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    About two para. before the end of the full article (on the link) the author states “Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, . . .”

    Hmmm . . . . gotta love environmental journalists. Their enthusiasm outweights their knowledge to the point of being dangerous, and they are more than happy to exhibit their ignorance at every opportunity. Would it really be so difficult for a journalist to determine the veracity of that statement? Lazy.
    ————
    Gotta luv climate skeptics: they share the same propagandizing tricks with
    Econuts.

    Bob, the journalist was correct. You’re the lazy one.

    Let’s get this clear: poisonous is not a synonym for dangerous.

    E.g. Water is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But water is not poisonous.
    E.g. CO2 is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But CO2 is not poisonous.
    E.g. Pure nitrogen is dangerous because it will asphyxiate you. But N2 is not poisonous.
    E.g. A truck is dangerous because it will run over you. But Truck is not poisonous.

    I hope this clears things up for you.

    Hey Lazy T,
    I’m afraid you’re wrong on this, CO2 IS a poison:

    http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4695252_carbon-dioxide-poisoning-kill-human_.html

    http://www.spaceacts.com/Apollo_13_CO2_filter.htm

    Try these out if you can get up the energy.

  115. Doug Badgero says:
    January 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm (Edit)

    FYI on parasitic losses to run CO2 capture equipment on a coal plant:

    One other electrical generating plant (at the pilot project stage right now) is under construction in the US to also provide high pressure CO2 for a nearby oil field recovery: Roughly 1/3 of its final electrical output will be required to run the CO2 separation and CO2 pressurization processes.

    Granted that the actual purpose of the plant is to generate HP CO2 for the oil recovery, it is noteworthy that so much power is required (wasted really at any commercial power plant built for power generation!) for the CAGW-popularized sequestration.

    Now, the “good” news is that the CO2 process train in a commercial power plant can be “turned off” and that power used for useful energy once the CAGW scam is revealed. (If the media ever decides to reveal it. ) Unfortunately, the CAGW-dominated DOE/EPA/NASA-GISS/NOAA/etc still have control of the regulatory strings, and will require the waste of the extra equipment and wasted design and wasted material and energy building it.

  116. There are a couple of subthreads above concerning toxicity. Some numbers:

    400 parts per million (0.04%) current concentration
    2000 parts per million (0.2%) estimated result if we burned all fossil fuel at once
    8000 parts per million (0.8%) US Navy’s limit for atmosphere in submarines
    40,000 parts per million (4%) concentration in your breath, toxic environmentally

    We have little to fear from this particular plant food. Just don’t hang around in pits where this relatively heavy gas collects…

  117. Doug Proctor says:
    January 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm
    Doug nice piece of real intelligence on the post. Thank you. pg

  118. Hopefully this project will be shut down with the lesson learned. I fear that instead they will look for a better, more impervious geological structure. This is likely to be even more dangerous. Pump in enough CO2 and every structure will break. Hopefully a slow leak that allows the the gas to diffuse. A really tight structure is more likely to blow catastrophically and could fill an entire river valley with CO2. The faster the gas escapes the colder it will be. I wonder if we well see a huge mound of CO2 snow if there is a massive blowout.

    Question. If you are the manager of a CO2 site that has been operating for 30 years, what evidence would you have that the site is nearing the maximum capacity? How much pressure would there be to keep operating even if the pumping pressure shows a slight increase or drop? Its time for a remake of “Crack in the World.” Can I play the character, Dr. Ted Rampian, trying to warn the world of the danger?

  119. Matt says:
    January 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm (Edit)

    We should believe scientists. In fact, we have to, because they have studied this stuff much longer than we ever could. We’re going to either have to believe the scientists that work for the universities or the scientists that work for the energy companies.

    Why would a university scientist have our best interests in mind any more or less than a BP scientist, a Koch Industries scientist or an Exxon scientist?

    What would they have to gain from trying to convince everyone that the fuel that everyone including them depends on is running low and is changing our atmosphere for the worse?

    It would take a conspiracy theory bigger than a faked moon landing, a covered up alien invasion and a fake 9/11 combined to solve this question on a global scale.

    Or it could just be that the money the fossil fuel companies like Koch Industries give to scientists is enough to make them say what they want. Would you say that the Earth is flat for $5 million?

    Er, uhm, no. I would NOT take 5 million to create a lie.

    And neither have any of the scientists you blindly accuse of taking oil money to create a skeptical position against the CAGW propaganda. And you can find NO evidence ANYWHERE worldwide at ANY time to show that ANY skeptical position or paper or study has been influenced by “oil money”.

    To continue.

    However, if YOU confidently accuse skeptics of fabricating lies with NO evidence of either any oil money payoffs or falsifying research by taking money, then I can confidently state that YOU do believe “scientists” DO take money to falsify reports and falsify research to further their own interests and to reward those who pay them. Further, by making the accusation based on your “beliefs” in CAGW so confidently and so stridently, then I am led to believe you actually have evidence that scientists have falsified research to reward those who pay them.

    So, since you know scientists change research based on who pays them how much money, who has falsified research and slanted scientific claims when over 80 billion is paid to the GAGW “scientists” and political groups BY those who get rewarded by grants and political power (1.3 trillion in proposed taxes, control of the House of Representatives, control of the White House, and control of the Senate was paid for by a CAGW-induced energy recession starting in 2007!) … and THAT buys a “lot” of political power!

    So – Put up. What evidence do you have that CAGW-paid-off scientists have falsified their research for political power and grants and publishing privileges? What evidence do you have that ANYONE paid off scientists to have falsified their research for skeptical positions? Please note: Merely receiving money from an oil company one time does NOT “prove” any one falsified their results for that oil company.

    When ten oil companies each give 100 million each year to environmental groups (to pay them off for their silence?), do you complain about the enviro groups being “bought off”? Big Business and Big Power (Exelon, BP, GE, GM, Siemens, Duke Energy, etc.) has to use their power and money to influence CAGW legislation to stay in business by aiding the democrat/liberal/socialist government CAGW schemes – or face being shut down and taxed to death. And, by the way, power companies in democrat-controlled districts face different Cap-and-Trade taxes and penalties than do those using the same technology in republican districts. (Only those who are in republican districts are paying – the others are exempt.) See anything wrong with that?

    Oh … ““It would take a conspiracy theory bigger than a faked moon landing, a covered up alien invasion and a fake 9/11 combined to solve this question on a global scale.”

    No – It would take only the twenty members on the “Team” who supported the Hockey Stick Illusion, who co-authored each other’s papers, who co-reviewed each other’s papers anonymously and who fired editors and rejected unbiased writers on six “scientific” journals. Those twenty co-chaired and railroaded each other through the IPCC “process” and used their government-paid jobs to maintain private blogs and propaganda efforts/riots/protests worldwide to further their CAGW agenda.

  120. The small dead animals site has an interesting post by a “Doug Protor”.

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/015787.html#c566475

    It’s worth the read for additional information.

    *********************

    I am a geologist who mapped the Weyburn field at the time it was undergoing CO2 injection. There are multiple, layered reservoirs of dolomite, separated vertically by thin, non-permeable rock and limited laterally by facies changes and local erosional events. Where the gas goes cannot be predicted with any detail. It is possible that a portion has been jammed into one pod and built up pressures greater than the caprock could stand. There are also small faults that rise to the surface or near-surface, visible in seismic: an unsealed fault could be the problem here.

    etc.

    ********************

  121. Follow the money … through Obama’s democrat/liberal Chicago connections for this hometown scheme, then ask who “might” falsify research for a few billion dollars?

    Following from http://www.futuregenforillinois.com/

    PRESS RELEASES:
    Department of Energy Takes Another Step Forward on FutureGen Project in Mattoon, IL

    U.S. Department of Energy, July 14, 2009

    Washington, D.C. – The Department of Energy today issued a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Record of Decision to move forward toward the first commercial scale, fully integrated, carbon capture and sequestration project in the country. The Department’s decision is based on careful consideration of the proposed project’s potential environmental impacts, as well as the program goals and objectives.

    “The carbon capture and sequestration technologies planned for this flagship facility is vitally important to America and the world,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This step forward demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to developing clean energy technologies, creating jobs, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    The Record of Decision and a cooperative agreement signed by DOE and the FutureGen Alliance allow the Alliance to proceed with site-specific activities for the project. Over the next eight to ten months, the Alliance will complete a preliminary design, refine its cost estimate, develop a funding plan, expand the sponsorship group, and, if needed, conduct additional subsurface characterization.

    Following these activities, which will be completed in early 2010, the Department and the Alliance will decide whether to continue the project through construction and operation. Both DOE and the FutureGen Alliance agree that a decision to move forward is the preferred outcome and anticipate reaching a new cooperative agreement for the full project. Funding will be phased and conditioned based on completion of necessary NEPA reviews.

    The Department of Energy’s total anticipated financial contribution for the project is $1.073 billion, $1 billion of which would come from Recovery Act funds for carbon capture and sequestration research. The FutureGen Alliance’s total anticipated financial contribution is $400 million to $600 million. The total cost estimate of the project is $2.4 billion, consequently, the Alliance, with support from DOE, will pursue options to raise additional non-federal funds needed to build and operate the facility, including options for capturing the value of the facility that will remain after conclusion of the research project, potentially through an auction of the residual interests in the late fall.

    When fully operational, the facility will use integrated gasification combined cycle technology with carbon capture and sequestration into a deep saline geologic formation. It will be designed to capture 90% of the carbon emissions by the third year of operations but may be operated at 60% capture in the early years to validate plant integration and sequestration capability. This technology should sequester one million tons of CO2 annually when it reaches full commercial operations.

    Download the press release

    The Record of Decision can be found online at: http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen/futuregen_rod_071409.pdf
    LATEST NEWS:
    Exelon Joins Illinois ‘Clean-Coal’ Demonstration Plant

    CNNMoney

    (Adds comments from the FutureGen Alliance’s CEO and government officials.)

    By Mark Peters

    Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)-The biggest U.S. nuclear-power generator joined the federal government’s flagship initiative to clean up coal-fired electricity generation in the face of climate change, signing onto a project other utilities have abandoned.

    Chicago-based Exelon Corp. (EXC) said Saturday it intends to join the FutureGen Alliance, a U.S. government-backed project to capture and store greenhouse-gas emissions from a coal-fired power plant planned for Mattoon, Ill. The company’s participation could serve as a shot in the arm for a project that’s already collapsed once before and suffered the defections of key corporate members even after being rejuvenated under the Obama administration last year.

    Exelon has moved away from coal-fired generation in recent years, but the company sees the large role the fuel plays in producing electricity in the U.S. and says it wants to support efforts to cut emissions. Comprehensive federal legislation to fight climate change is stalled in the Senate, but Exelon’s heavy reliance on nearly emissions-free nuclear power leaves it poised to thrive if nationwide rules to curb emissions are put in place, making it more expensive to emit carbon dioxide.

    “It is critical that we explore the most promising technologies for reducing– and even eliminating–harmful emissions at coal-fired power plants,” John Rowe, chairman and chief executive of Exelon, said in a statement.

    The company’s participation comes after American Electric Power Co. (AEP) and Southern Co. (SO), two of the nation’s biggest coal-burning utilities, pulled out of FutureGen to pursue their own projects to capture and store the CO2 emissions from coal-fired generation. Their exit left FutureGen without a U.S. utility among its members, leaving only large coal companies and foreign power companies. Alliance members include coal companies Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) and BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), and utilities E.ON AG (EOAN.XE), which has operations in the U.S., and China Huaneng Group.

    The Obama administration has worked to revive the project, committing more than $1 billion. This came after the Bush administration in early 2008 backed out of funding plans after costs almost doubled. Although it’s a government- backed project, FutureGen still requires considerable private funding, with American Electric Power last summer saying its exit was a financial decision. FutureGen has indicated it would like to add several more partners to the project.

    “Today’s announcement will help to further discussions that the Alliance is having with other companies who have expressed interest in FutureGen membership,” FutureGen Alliance CEO Michael Mudd said in a press release.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) noted in the same release that the company’s backing comes ahead of a pending announcement from the Department of Energy on the next stage of the project, with final go-ahead dependent on the alliance bringing in more members and cutting costs. Final approval will release $1.1 billion of federal stimulus funds to restart the project.

    FutureGen envisions the construction of a power plant that would capture and permanently store underground CO2 emitted in combustion. The plant would test the technology on a commercial level, a critical step for an approach that hasn’t been tried on a large scale. Coal-fired plants provide nearly half the nation’s power while having the highest CO2 emissions among various generation sources. Developing a commercially viable means to clean up coal-fired power generation is seen by many as a vital–and politically expedient–way to limit climate change.

    Quinn, Durbin and Rowe in their statements nodded to project’s location in the company’s home state, where it owns both generation and a large power-delivery utility.

    “Exelon is very familiar with the needs of our state,” Durbin said. “Because of that connection to Illinois, they bring a lot to the table as the FutureGen Alliance and the Department of Energy enter into the final stage of negotiations. I am confident that this is the first of many new members–from Illinois and around the world.”

    -By Mark Peters, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2457; mark.peters@dowjones.com

    (Mark Long and Jane Hexham in New York contributed to this article.)

    (END) Dow Jones Newswires
    01-30-10 1658ET
    Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    Link to the article.
    OFFICIAL STATEMENTS: July 14, 2009

    Senator Dick Durbin’s Statement Regarding Release of FutureGen Record of Decision

    Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley reacts to DOE’s issuing of Record of Decision
    OFFICIAL STATEMENTS: June 25, 2009

    Senator Dick Durbin’s Statement Regarding FutureGen Alliance
    OFFICIAL STATEMENTS: June 12, 2009

    To read official statements from Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Tim Johnson, Congressman Jerry Costello, Congressman John Shimkus and Director Warren Ribley, please view the links below:

    (Download PDFs):
    Senator Dick Durbin’s, Congressmen Tim Johnson’s, Congressman Jerry Costello’s and Congressman John Shimkus’ Statements

    Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley reacts to FutureGen announcement

    To read the official statement from U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, please view the link below:

    Secretary Chu Announces Agreement on FutureGen Project in Mattoon, IL
    U.S. Department of Energy, June 12, 2009
    OTHER ARTICLES:

    Caterpillar joins backers of power plant project
    Associated Press, Forbes, February 8, 2010

    Caterpillar joins in FutureGen Alliance
    Herb Meeker, Journal Gazette and Times-Courier, February 8, 2010

    Caterpillar announces plans to join FutureGen project
    Tim Landis, The State Journal-Register, February 8, 2010

  122. If I may, I nominate:

    “We knew, obviously, there was something wrong,”

    for Quote of the Week. I realize there have been many good ones this week, what with the Met brouhaha and all, but that one is so universal that I think it deserves special commendation.

  123. They’ll probably come up with an idea soon where they float a giant platform in space and run a massive hose down to the ground and siphon off carbon dioxide directly into space.

  124. I have a better idea. Instead of underground sequestration, give any unneeded CO2 to companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola that need it for their products anyway.

    But it won’t be sequestered! Well, it will be for days, weeks, maybe even months. And there won’t be unexpected deaths due to fractured layers of rock.

  125. Doug Proctor and Economic Geologist seem to have the best take on this odd phenomenon.

    I have read about the Weyburn project and believe it is feasible, I also understand the CO2 is injected as a liquid and the pressure in the formation is high enough that it will remain a liquid.
    The Weyburn project is really an enhanced oil recovery scheme and not simply a CO2 sequestration project, which makes it in my opinion the only useful reason to inject CO2 into geological formations. The quantity of extra oil recovered due to CO2 injection is truly amazing, the pool was considered nearing depletion before CO2 injection started.

    I am fairly certain that the CO2 eruptions in the gravel pit on the Kerr’s farm has not come from the oil pool, which lies about 1.5 kilometres under the surface, and the anhydrite bed mentioned in the article is not the only impermeable barrier between the oil pool and the surface. If it was the CO2 that was injected into the oil pool and then escaped through fissures to the surface, why are there no hydrocarbons associated with it at the gravel pit seep? It is possible that a leak in the injection well somewhere above the intended target is the source of the CO2 because Mr LaFleur (presumably somewhat biased towards the Kerrs) has somehow correlated it with the injected CO2 using isotope ratios.

    There is a slim chance that the animals were poisoned by toxic algae from drinking the water, they should have been autopsied, and if more are found they likely will be.
    Something odd has happened on the Kerr’s farm and it should be thoroughly investigated. At the moment, however, it is only another strange story in the well-known plucky little guy versus Big Oil genre, much like many of the fracking and seismic stories of muddied water wells. some may have merit, but so many seem to be opportunistic.

    By the way, the source of the CO2 is the Dakota Coal gasification project, which I believe was a Jimmy Carter era boondoggle, uneconomic until they started selling the CO2 to the Canadians, who built a pipeline from North Dakota to Weyburn and used the CO2 to produce more oil, which I believe has made them quite a bit of money. Maybe there will be a bit to compensate the Kerrs if their fizzing flows can be proven to come from the Weyburn CO2-flood project.

  126. It’s hard enough to contain gas in welded line, let along fractured formations.
    What did they think would eventually happen? You have a massive volume of gas & oil alread evacuated and then to put in a gas that wants to find it’s way out of the cheesecloth. Duh.

  127. Vorlath says: January 11, 2011 at 10:43 am
    . . . The Alberta government has committed $2 billion to similar pilot projects in Alberta. The United States has committed $3.4 billion for carbon capture and storage.

    AusieDan says: January 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm
    . . . This is getting far too dangerous.

    You gotta expect losses in a big operation.

  128. Time for a Saskatchewan joke?

    Two women are having drinks in a bar when they look over and see two very attractive men sitting at a table on the other side of the bar. Then one of the women decides to go and attempt to start up a conversation with these men.

    “So where are you gentlemen from?”, the lady asks. To which one of the men replies “Saskatoon Saskatchewan.” The woman immediately leaves to return to her friend.

    Her friend asks “What happened?”. She says, “It’s no use, they don’t even speak English.”

    More here.

  129. explosions’ normally require substantial amounts of O2.

    A little learning is a dangerous thing;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
    Alexander Pope

    Tell it to a volcano, or TNT, or Ammonium nitrate, or lots of other nitrated substances.

    “Evian” spelled backward is “naive”

    There are massively hare-brained schemes to produce energy and rid the planet unnecessarily of CO2. Mad or bribed scientists and crooked politicians at work, along with great amounts of yellow journalism.

  130. Yes, indeed, Netflix has that movie on DVD and streaming.
    My popcorn will be emitting water vapor tomorrow night.

  131. California’s Mammoth Mountain is next to a volcanic caldera and there are fumaroles that are regularly covered with snow.

    In 2005, 3 members of a ski patrol team died from CO2 poisoning, and 7 others were injured.

    CO2 coming from the ground has also caused extensive tree kills from too much CO2 to the roots. The area around the north end of Horseshoe lake is particularly hazardous.

    http://www.mammothlocal.com/news/3_ski_patrollers_die.php

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo/activity/monitoring/co2.php

  132. Barry L. says: “Reminds me of the dead village:
    http://www.neatorama.com/2007/05/21/the-strangest-disaster-of-the-20th-century/

    According to the article, the Nyos volcano seeps 700 million CF/year of CO2. A little math shows that that’s 36,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. If we assume that there are 200,000 subsurface volcanoes in the ocean with similar output:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

    then world wide there would be 7.22 x 10^9 tons per year of CO2 released by volcanoes. Correcting to tons of Carbon (multiply by 12/44), we’d have 2 Gigatons of Carbon from volcanoes. Compare that to the NASA “Carbon Cycle” figure:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/carbon_cycle4.php

    BTW: The victims at Lake Nyos showed no signs of death agony or other sign of death by poison gas. SO2 is soluble in water at low pressures and would not cause the lake to turn over. There may likely have been traces of both SO2 and H2S present, but the fatalities were CO2 caused.

  133. Flask is right: the CO2 comes from the States, from a big CO2 pipeline that was put in place for this sort of project. I forgot.

    The coincidence of digging the pit and finding the gas – and it collecting in noticeable quantities in a pit, is suspicious. I’ve dealt with a number of supposed oil or gas well leaks, and though I know there are some bad ones, the little ones I’ve had to deal with have always been questionable. Swamps, coal, and bacteria give up methane and CO2, and the carbon isotope will reflect its source, not its age of production.

  134. Coming soon to a theater near you: “Crack in the Climate!”, because that’s what you’re smoking if you’re afraid of CAGW.

  135. The oil companies couldn’t care less about the CO2, it’s just a gas they can pump in to enhance the oil recovery from the field. It’s just an added bonus for them that someone wants to pay them for something that they might have done anyway and it makes them look like they are environmentally friend too.

    With regards to the thick Anhydrite not being an effect[ive] barrier that’s a load of tosh. Evaporite minerals are the best sealing rock you can get, that’s while they use them from gas storage all around the World.

  136. SSam says:
    January 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Now… if Norway has a sequestration issue similar to the Saskatchewan problem… what could be the consequence?

    ————————–

    Don’t worry, the Norwegians are injecting CO2 into the oil fields deep under the sea bed to enhance oil recovery. These oil fields have been there for millions of years and they inject the gas to maintain the pressure so they can squeeze or flush more oil out. It’s more worrying if they don’t inject as the amount of hydrocarbons they remove can lower the sea bed and would more likely cause a submarine landslide.

  137. “Are those concentrations correct? Would we expect to see typical concentrations in other field soils to average around 8000 parts per million?
    Tonyb”

    Yes. CO2 concentrations at shallow depths in soils are typically in the 1000-10000 ppm range, increasing with depth.

  138. In remote Central Australia, the Habanero #3 well was put down to 4,200 metres before the steel casing gave way in 2009 and the well was plugged. Seeking geothermal energy, an earlier drill hole in this region was rendered useless when someone dropped a wrench down it.

    Now, it is expensive to drill deep holes. In 2003 UD dollars, the estimate for 4,200 m is about $30,000,000 (see http://pangea.stanford.edu/ERE/pdf/IGAstandard/SGW/2006/augustin.pdf )

    Cost, of course, varies with purpose, diameter, rock type and so on, but these are indicative figures, though they do not include the cost of the wrench.

    If one can use an existing drill hole to pump compressed CO2, then on paper the sequestration scheme has a chance of success.

    The big unknown is the quantity of CO2 that can be stored. In the article quoted, 13 million tonnes of CO2 had been sequestered, at least for the time being. Now, uranium comes from mines a lot more shallow than these, perhaps a tenth as deep. By the time it is completely fissioned, one kilogram of U235 can have produced about 20 trillion joules of energy which is as much energy as in 1500 tons of coal, which produces over 5,000 tons of CO2 when burned for electricity.

    So the question is not really sequestration of CO2, when the answer is nuclear. The uranium discoveries of my former colleagues, a team of about 50 people, have already displaced more than a billion tonnes of CO2 that would have been emitted into the atmosphere from coal.

    What volume of old oil reservoirs would it take to store a billion tonnes of CO2? Seems to me, that the old oil fields are going to be full of sequestered CO2 if it eventually works, long before we stop burning coal and oil. And for mobile engines like in aircraft, we don’t have much alternative at the moment.

    The logic of all this is decades old. The clarity of the logic is inescapable. All we are fighting is past propaganda, zealotry and vested interest.

  139. >>In Alberta they are doing it as well. Here is my plan! Give
    >>away trees and shrubs to all the people in Alberta &
    >>Saskatchewan. CO2 sequestration solved!

    No it would not, tree planting does nothing for CO2 levels.

    What do you do with the trees after they have grown? Burn them? Use them as lumber? Let them rot? Whatever the case, the CO2 will find its way back into the atmosphere one day, so at most they are a temporary storage medium, and not a cure for high CO2 levels.

    .

  140. >>John Kehr says: “This is stupid, but the orbitting mirrors to reflect sunlight
    >>away from the Earth still remains the number 1 stupid idea of all time.”

    I seem to remember that Arthur C Clarke made a novel about these devices, and he called them Solar Clippers, and they were used as solar yachts, sailing the solar wind through to Jupiter and beyond.

    As far as I know, the physics of this is sound, so how does anyone propose to keep these mighty sails in place?

    .

  141. @ R. Gates & Anthony

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

    Poe’s Law
    Poe’s Law states:
    “ Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing. ”

    Poe’s Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism (or, more generally, any crackpot theory) from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he’s a “deep cover liberal” trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.

    This was an interesting situation. It can be interpreted two ways.

    1) Gates was parodying “natural variation” explanations for excess CO2.

    2) Gates was parodying himself.

    Since both Gates and natural variation explanations are both insane it’s difficult to determine which one of these applies in this case.

    I too thought Gates was being serious.

  142. Re Richard S Courtney says:
    January 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    LazyTeenager:

    At January 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm concerning yet another failed ‘hot rocks’ trial you say;

    As Lazy Teenager apparently doesn’t see quotes and doesn’t read links

    (“Trouble is, alas, that the technology was not so “straightforward”, for a start, as Geodynamics discovered “- Andrew Bolt , http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/andrewbolt/index.php/couriermail/comments/flannerys_investment_cools/ (re-checked just now) )

    you might be on a winner, depending on whether LT has read the following or not

    Rudyard Kipling “Certain Maxims of Hafiz IX

    If He play, being young and unskillful, for shekels of silver and gold,
    Take His money, my son, praising Allah. The kid was ordained to be sold.”

  143. It’s very hard to believe that these grotesque projects and experiments are actually going ahead. It is also very disheartening. It confirms that our collective stupidity is probably unmatched in nature.

    Jpeden above is right: “Leave it to the CO2CAGW geniuses to find a way for CO2 to actually do some real damage.” EXACTLY. We have an antmospheric gas that is harmless, essential, and likely beneficial at concentrations slightly above current levels. That’s bad news. We need to find a way to make it really dangerous. Therefore, let’s spend a lot of money and effort to concentrate this gas in vast pools underground, so that when (not if) it leaks out, it can wreck havoc with ecosystems, and kill animals and people by asphyxiation.

    It’s not like the risks are not known. The Environmental Protection Agency has a document titled “Vulnerability Evaluation Framework for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide”

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads/VEF-Technical_Document_072408.pdf

    quote:
    Section 4.1 discusses potential human health and welfare receptors and impacts.
    • Section 4.2 presents potential impacts to the atmosphere.
    • Section 4.3 covers potential ecosystems receptors and impacts.
    • Section 4.4 presents potential groundwater and surface water receptors and impacts.
    • Section 4.5 considers potential impacts to the geosphere.
    ———–
    But despite the very real risks, and despite the fact that these projects are hugely expensive and have zero effect on global climate (or maybe because of all these things) we must go ahead with them.

  144. Back in the 1960s, my family went on a road trip through the American southwest. On the highway south of Moab, Utah, we stopped at a roadside attraction, the “cold-water geyser”. Yep, it was an actual geyser, issuing from a pool about the size of a small civic water fountain. I can’t recall what the periodicity was, but we saw it gush up about 10 feet or so. The driving mechanism was accumulation of subterranean carbon dioxide gas, not steam. Since then, I’ve wondered where that CO2 was coming from…and whether such sources are accounted for in the carbon budget. (Isn’t there a lake in sub-Saharan Africa noted for accumulation of carbon dioxide, to the point where the destratification of the lake released suffocating levels of the gas? And haven’t we discovered pools of liquid carbon dioxide quescent at the bottom of the ocean?)

  145. Having read some of the comments, for those that have not seen the movie, I strongly suggest it. It is a fun movie with lots of special effects (for the time, pretty good), and a premise that will not cause nightmares – even for a 10 year old (my age when I first saw it).

    And Dana Andrews always plays a good clueless scientist.

  146. Flask says:
    January 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm
    ….
    The Weyburn project is really an enhanced oil recovery scheme and not simply a CO2 sequestration project, which makes it in my opinion the only useful reason to inject CO2 into geological formations. The quantity of extra oil recovered due to CO2 injection is truly amazing, the pool was considered nearing depletion before CO2 injection started.

    It’s ironic that this CO2 sequestration project has the side effect of increasing petroleum production and therefore consumption. I wonder if the net effect on CO2 is positive or negative, even if all the CO2 stayed in the ground?

    A project in Ohio is having a similar (if unintended) effect of petroleum production, I am told by a source at AEP.

  147. >>
    Here are a couple quiz questions for people who still believe in carbon sequestration under habitable lands:

    How do you know when the chosen substrate (which you have carefully tested/validated) is unsuitable?

    How long does the carbon have to be sequestered?
    <<

    These are just silly, naive questions. The politicians and bureaucrats who approve and fund these projects are doing so for political and ideological reasons, not for economic ones. What counts is that the project get started and runs long enough for every player to enjoy his share of the good press reviews. Let a few years lapse beyond that and people will have moved on to some other urgent problem for pols to solve, and half of the pols and bureaucrats will be working elsewhere. At that point, nobody will really care how CO2 much leaks out. The only thing that counts is how much was put in!

  148. The Buckwheat clearly is not a technically oriented person, certainly not familiar with how his house gets heated and his car from point A to B. The CO2 flood – not sequestration – is a huge economic project, and the tax base of Saskatchewan is greatly assisted by it. The project, in fact, got a fair amount of push-back politically from greenies afraid of things they didn’t understand and didn’t want in their backyard. And he is unfair to the pols and bureaucrats who, just like the rest of us, want to be able to go home at night with a reasonably clear conscience. Reasonably, I say, as only God and the angels can do things without some sort of collateral effect someone doesn’t want or we wish could be avoided. The world isn’t really made up of Bad Guys (everyone who isn’t Us) and the Good Guys (Us).

  149. These issues in CCS in Saskatchewan are only to be added to a long list of prior recent issues which came to light recently :

    California : natural CO2 leak

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo/activity/monitoring/co2.php

    Norway : CCS project postponed due to health (cancer) worries

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6410YM20100502

    http://www.zero.no/ccs/uforstaaelig-aa-utsette-mongstad-til-2018-en

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-05/norway-considers-alternatives-at-mongstad-ccs-amid-health-risks.html

    UK : CCS project in receivership

    http://www.captureready.com/en/Channels/News/showDetail.asp?objID=2073&isNew=

    Netherlands : CCS project cancelled due to unsettled health issues

    http://www.captureready.com/en/Channels/News/showDetail.asp?objID=2030&isNew=

    Finland : CCS project canceled due to cost

    http://www.captureready.com/en/Channels/News/showDetail.asp?objID=2023&isNew=

    Germany : CCS project halted due to legal uncertainty

    http://www.captureready.com/en/Channels/News/showDetail.asp?objID=2108&isNew=

  150. Doug Proctor keeps insisting that it’s “not sequestration” it’s “a flood”. Here’s the Cenovus description :

    [Weyburn] has produced for more than 50 years due to technology advances, most recently CO2 flood. Since the start of CO2 injection in 2000, more than 15 million tonnes of CO2 have been sequestered at Weyburn. It is recognized as the world’s largest geological CO2 sequestration project.

    The Weyburn project is the site of a world-scale research initiative operated under the auspices of the International Energy Agency, which studies the sequestration of CO2 in an oil reservoir. The goal for the final phase of this research initiative is to document best practices to guide future CO2 storage projects.

    They’re not mutually exclusive. It’s “sequestration” using “a flood”.

  151. Well last night, I watched a very intriguing, and very spooky PBS program, about the “Plinian” eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD that wiped out the cities of Pompei, and Herculaneum.

    Evidently it was called a Plinian Eruption because the slow motion horror of the whole thing was evidently well documented by Pliny (would that be the elder ?) At one part of the eruption event, sometime in the first 18 hours or so, the mountain belched forth a sea of CO2 that asphyxiated thousands of people in Pompei. This was long before the several Pyroclastic flow episodes, simply evaporated the people, and replaced their bodies with volcanic ash “quickcrete” replicas, contorted into all sorts of grotesque protection seeking poses.

    How Pliny managed to stave off his own demise for many hours, by putting to sea in the Bay of Naples, was itself remarkable; but watching the slow motion entrapment and demolition of both of those cities, is a horror story for the ages.

    The event started with a blast, and a towering cloud of ash, that hung in the troposphere for hours, before the nucleation by ash particles started a rain fall, which along with the volcanic ash clouds, synthesized the Kafkaesque clay marbles (ash), that then started to rain on the city of Pompei. Well who is going to complain about a few ash marbles clattering down on one’s roof from the towering cloud of the volcanic plume. Well eventually when that clatter of ashcrete marbles has reached tens of metres on top of your roof, and your roof has become an epitaxial layer on your marble floor; with you and your house guests in between; then aany reasoinable person would complain.

    That NOBODY had any idea what exactly was in store for them; nor the inevitability of their doom, simply adds to the creepiness of this famous incident from history.

    Those who store up noxious anything in large storage areas; no matter how well intentioned; have themselves to blame, when Mother Gaia decides to move all that junque to some other place; where you would rather it not be.

    That PBS show is one you should watch if you get the chance. Sorry, I have no idea what the name of the show was.

  152. The CO2 itself ain’t wuts bad when the injected stuff goes in and then under pressure finds itself comin’ back out again. It’s wut comes along for the ride to the surface that can cause problems. Not everything in our crust is harmless when brought to the surface on bubbles of CO2.

  153. @Richard S Courtney says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    IFirstly, pumping CO2 down oil wells to increase the total oil obtainable from them is tried and tested technology that is used because it is economic.

    I agree that CO2 is often used as a solvent for enhanced oil recovery however those wells are depressurized at the end of the process . In the injection of the CO2 in the Weyburn reservoir it may have fractured the overburden if the injection pressure was greater than the overburden pressure. The Weyburn reservoir is particular in the sense that a high reservoir pressure is maintained to store the CO2 under liquid form over a long period of time.

  154. RaymondT :

    I agree all that you say in your post at January 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm.

    Please read all of my post January 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm. You will see that – in its context in my post – the sentence you quote is NOT a support for carbon capture and storage (CCS). On the contrary, the sentence is included in attempt to avoid conflation of oil recovery enhancement with CCS.

    Richard

  155. @LazyTeenager:

    “Err, yes they do. Radon is a product of igneous rocks which have fractures that allow migration. Oil and gas on the other hand collect in sedimentary “dome” shaped structures which have an impervious cap. If it was otherwise the oil or gas would not collect as a deposit.”

    Radon is the result of uranium ands other radiactive material decay. It travels up through cracks and fisures of rocks. And what about oil pools that emerged naturally to the surface, as it did in Oklahoma in the 1840s? Some oil deposit may have an impervious rock dome cieling, but many others don’t and migrate to the surface pushed up by methane and helium formed in the bottom layers.

  156. Carbon Sequestration Project – Is it really Leaking?
    As per most subjects there is always more than one side. Very good article from the Regina Leader Post giving some background on the subject

    http://www.leaderpost.com/news/More+Cenovus+Kerrs+story/4113466/story.html

    Also numerous internationally performed evaluations have found no foundations to the Kerrs claims. Studies were perfromed before the injection of any CO2 & found equal or greater concentrations of CO2 to what the Kerrs consultant reports. Previous studies also looked at CO2 Isotopes and those studies noted that the isotopic composition of the natural CO2 in the ground was similar to the CO2 from the North Dakota plant that they would be using for a source.

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