GILLETTE, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources announced today that it will lead a fourth carbon capture and storage project.
The U.S. Department of Energy selected the school to lead the planned project under the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, Initiative, according to a news release. The $11.2 million Williams Echo Springs project will perform a two-year storage complex feasibility study to develop a saline carbon dioxide storage hub for current and future industries in the Echo Springs area of south-central Wyoming. The project will include collaboration with midstream natural gas company Williams. It is supposed to permit and drill a deep stratigraphic test well and interpret the resulting data, models and documents for further site development.
The project team anticipates the study will confirm which of Echo Springs’ six stacked formations can safely, securely and economically store at least 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide indefinitely. The project plans to leverage a carbon dioxide source and existing pipeline transportation infrastructure to prove its viability.
Researchers in SER’s Center for Economic Geology Research currently lead the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station in the Powder River Basin; the HERO Basalt CarbonSAFE project using Wyoming-sourced natural gas in Hermiston, Oregon; and the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub in southwest Wyoming.
Center for Economic Geology Research Director Fred McLaughlin said the CarbonSAFE Initiative has helped advance carbon capture and storage in Wyoming.
“The location for this project sits within a prolific gas field and, to date, there has been limited data of the deeper geologic formations to help us understand what the entire storage potential will be for the eastern side of the Greater Green River Basin,” he said. “This CarbonSAFE project will allow us to develop carbon management strategies for the eastern part of the basin.”
Williams Vice President of New Energy Ventures Brian Hlavinka said in the release that carbon capture is key to the company’s clean energy strategy as it deploys decarbonization technology.