Recovery Act: Characterization of Most Promising Sequestration Formations in the Rocky Mountain Range


3D geologic model of the subsurface structure<br/>at the characterization site near Craig, Colorado
3D geologic model of the subsurface structure
at the characterization site near Craig, Colorado
University of Utah
Website:  University of Utah
Award Number:  FE0001812
Project Duration:  12/08/2009 – 09/30/2013
Total Award Value:  $12,083,872
DOE Share:  $8,793,210
Performer Share:  $3,290,662
Technology Area: 
Key Technology: 
Location:  Salt Lake City, Utah

Project Description

The Cretaceous Dakota Sandstone, Jurassic Entrada Sandstone, and the Pennsylvanian Weber Sandstone are very promising geologic storage formations in the Rocky Mountain Region. These formations are ubiquitous throughout the region and represent common geologic storage candidate sites for most point sources in the region. This project is focusing on collecting and analyzing rock core and geophysical data from these formations as well as conducting new data collection and model simulation analyses for a representative case-study area near the Craig Power Station in northwestern Colorado. This includes analysis of the storage potential of these deep-saline formations within a large, Laramide-age structure just south of the town of Craig, Colorado. A detailed structural analysis of this large forced fold was performed; in addition, the finer geologic structure and stratigraphy of the candidate saline aquifers and their overlying seals was characterized. Analyses of the broader region include the Navajo and other promising Jurassic-aged storage target formations. In addition, project researchers are characterizing the local and regional storage potential of these most promising formations using fundamental geological, geophysical, and existing rock core data from all areas of the region.

Project Benefits

This project is focused on gathering information to improve estimates for storage resources that could be used to update regional and national storage resource estimates. Particularly, this project is providing greater insight into the practical potential for geologic storage of CO2 within the three most promising geologic storage formations in the Rocky Mountain Region. It also is contributing to the knowledge base of best practices for site characterization and approving storage site selection. Insight obtained from the project is allowing the project team to identify the most effective criteria for ranking potential storage sites throughout the region. The geologic formations of the Rocky Mountain Region occur within an area that is proximal to a majority of the point emission sources for the region, providing a favorable situation for carbon capture and storage activities. The data gathered as part of this research effort is being shared with the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Southwest Regional Partnership (SWP), 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 O'Dowd:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Brian McPherson:

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