Archive for Friday, December 2, 2011

Kansas Geological Survey gets $11M grant for greenhouse gas project

December 2, 2011


Kansas University’s Kansas Geological Survey has received an $11.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to test the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground in south-central Kansas.

The greenhouse gas will be captured from the Abengoa Bioenergy Corp. plant near Colwich and will be transported by truck to an injection well in the Wellington oil field south of Wichita in Sumner County. About 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be used to enhance oil recovery in a well, and an additional 40,000 metric tons will be compressed and injected into the lower portion of the Arbuckle saline aquifer.

The water in the aquifer is too salty for human consumption and is separated from freshwater aquifers by thousands of feet of rock.

Both uses could be a boon to the local and state economy, said Lynn Watney, a senior scientific fellow at the Kansas Geological Survey. He is the grant’s lead investigator, along with fellow KGS geologist Jason Rush.

Watney said the enhanced oil recovery process, which has been done in Texas for years and tested in an oil field near Russell, could yield 20 percent to 25 percent more oil than traditional methods. The carbon sequestration in the aquifer is a newer process, though, and the project will work with industry partners to measure and collect data to determine its effectiveness.

“We’re basically on the leading edge — some might say the bleeding edge — of what’s practical, what is essential and what can be effectively monitored,” he said.

The latest grant takes the total amount of Department of Energy funds devoted to the Kansas Geological Survey’s carbon sequestration research to about $23 million.

Rush said the carbon sequestration could have additional economic benefits for the state if cap-and-trade legislation ever gains approval.

“The main thing is we don’t want to be behind the curve,” Rush said. “If carbon trading does come down as legislation at some point, that could be an economic benefit for Kansas.”

The project is scheduled to run over a period of about three or four years, Rush said, and is really a small-scale pilot project.

He said the total amount of carbon dioxide that will be injected represents a “fraction of a percent” of the capacity of the space that could be used in the oil field and the aquifer.


signoflife 2 years, 4 months ago

Ahh,.. but Carbon Capture and Sequestration is CCS!


Chris Golledge 2 years, 4 months ago

ach, Carbon Sequestration and Storage, CSS not CCS.


Chris Golledge 2 years, 4 months ago

If sequestration turns out to be feasible, great. But, the energy used to capture and store the CO2 is a pretty good chunk of the energy obtained from burning the fossil fuel to begin with; so, I suspect that energy suppliers will find that fossil fuel with CCS is not as competitive against alternatives as fossil fuel without CCS.

Energy companies have been talking about how they need just a little more research an CCS for at least a decade. Something is beginning to smell a little fishy.


Chris Golledge 2 years, 4 months ago

Carbon trading is not that good an idea. It puts an upper limit on how much emissions will be reduced, and basically transfers money from the consumer to the brokers.

In contrast, a carbon tax with dividend plan would be revenue neutral to the government because the taxes collected would be returned to the people who paid them. It would simply make fossil fuel energy more expensive relative to alternatives. If the rate started low and was gradually phased in, it would be something that could be planned for when energy companies are investing in new infrastructure.


lawrenceguy40 2 years, 4 months ago

Global warming is a lie invented by the liberal elite to keep the idle educated on social welfare. Very few "real" scientists (those who do not depend on government handouts like this) truly believe in it. Just google UEA and e-mail to find the evidence of the extent of the deception. It is truly criminal beyond belief.

And remember that when barry o wants to tax hard working entrepreneurs, this is the sort of trash that that money goes to fund - pumping air into the ground!

338 days until sanity returns.


Ockhams_Razor 2 years, 4 months ago

Was this a competitively awarded grant in a Department of Energy program, or was it hard-wired in an appropriations bill (i.e. one of those earmarks we read about)?


Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 4 months ago

Not only is this a great research area, but it helps secure our AAU for the foreseeable future. Great stuff.


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