Recovery Act: Site Characterization of the Highest-Priority Geologic Formations for CO2 Storage in Wyoming

 

Cross-section of Moxa Arch-Rock Springs<br/>Uplift in Southwestern Wyoming
Cross-section of Moxa Arch-Rock Springs
Uplift in Southwestern Wyoming
Performer: 
University of Wyoming
Website:  University of Wyoming
Award Number:  FE0002142
Project Duration:  12/08/2009 – 12/07/2013
Total Award Value:  $18,044,020
DOE Share:  $9,975,000
Performer Share:  $8,069,020
Technology Area: 
Key Technology: 
Location:  Laramie, Wyoming

Project Description

The University of Wyoming and the project partner organizations have characterized the Rock Springs Uplift (RSU) and Moxa Arch deep saline reservoirs in southwestern Wyoming to pave the way for commercial- scale CO2 storage projects within the region. These reservoirs have been characterized by drilling a test well in the RSU, performing extensive testing in and around the well, and processing data from a well in the Moxa Arch that had been installed previously by ExxonMobil. Analytical measurements taken within the wells and from tests performed on samples removed from the wells help to determine the suitability of the reservoirs to store CO2. An additional study has assessed potential release paths from the reservoirs. Specific tasks completed as part of the project included: (1) the installation of a characterization well at the RSU site for the purpose of gathering cores, fluid samples, and geophysical data; (2) 3-dimensional, 3-component seismic surveys and electromagnetic (EM) surveys of the area surrounding the RSU well; (3) development of well catalog and wellbore risk assessments for the RSU and Moxa Arch sites; (4) performance of structural and stratigraphic characterization of the RSU and Moxa Arch sites; (5) analysis of host rock mineralization and its effect on CO2 injectivity and storage and analysis of formation fluids; and (6) design of a commercial-scale sequestration project that includes options for the disposition of displaced waters and a complete performance risk assessment.

Project Benefits

The overall effort provides greater insight into the potential for geologic formations across the United States to safely and permanently store CO2. The information gained from this endeavor furthers DOE efforts to refine a national assessment of CO2 storage resources in deep geologic formations. Specifically, this project is preparing the RSU and Moxa Arch deep saline reservoirs in south-western Wyoming for the development of commercial scale CO2 storage projects. The RSU has the potential to be outstanding for geological CO2 storage because it is overlain by thick sealing lithologies and is huge in area (1,750 mi2). The preparation of the sites involves a detailed geologic site characterization; a monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) plan; and a commercial-scale storage design that includes displaced geologic fluid management and a possible CO2 injection well. These geologic sites are located in the vicinity of several of the state’s largest sources of anthropogenic CO2 and are high-priority opportunities for the development of geological storage of CO2. The data gathered as part of this research effort is being shared with the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership’s (Big Sky), integrated into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB), and utilized for the Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
William Aljoe: william.aljoe@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta: traci.rodosta@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Shanna C. Dahl: sdahl2@uwyo.edu
 

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