International Team of Scientists Conclude No Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Leaked On Kerr Farm
REGINA, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is not leaking from depth on the farm owned by Cameron and Jane Kerr,
IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. concluded in a 180-page report released today.
“The CO(2) injected by Cenovus Energy as part of its enhanced oil recovery project
is not the source of CO(2) found on the Kerr farm,” said Dr. Carmen Dybwad, Chief Executive
Officer of the environmental non-government organization.
“The levels of natural CO(2) we found were normal.”
Cameron and Jane Kerr held a news conference on Jan. 11, 2011 demanding
a full public investigation of problems related to surface and well
water at their farm near Goodwater, in the vicinity of the Cenovus
Weyburn operation. The Kerrs said they first noticed changes that
occurred on their property in 2004, one year after carbon dioxide
injection began near their farm.
Under the direction of Dr. Jerry Sherk, the Chief Operating Officer of
IPAC-CO2, a team of international experts was assembled to conduct an
independent investigation of the Kerr farm.
Dr. Katherine Romanak of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of
Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A., led the
investigation into soil gases.
She concluded that the fixed gas relationships and carbon isotope
geochemistry of soil gas at the Kerr site “strongly and consistently
show that CO(2) on the Kerr property is biological in origin and not the result of
leaks associated with the CO(2) storage reservoir.”
“The evidence clearly showed that CO(2) is from natural biologic respiration modified by mixing with atmosphere
and dissolution of CO(2) into recharging groundwater,” Romanak concluded.
Dr. Stuart Gilfillan, Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage, School of
Geosciences, from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland tested the Kerr
site for noble gases, carbon stable isotopes and hydrogen carbonate
“We find no evidence in any of the noble gas data derived within the
ground waters surrounding the Kerr quarter that there is a detectible
presence of noble gases derived from the deep injected water or CO(2) or the fluids produced from the Weyburn field,” Gilfillan concluded.
“The absence of crustal derived noble gases derived from depth means
that there is no evidence of the migration of CO(2) from the Weyburn oil field into the groundwater on the Kerr quarter or
Dr. Brad D. Wolaver and Dr. Changbing Yang, also from the University of
Texas at Austin, and Dr. Janis Dale, Department of Geology, University
of Regina, Canada conducted the hydrogeological analysis of the Kerr
Their research concluded (a) that shallow groundwater quality at the
site meets Saskatchewan’s Drinking Water Quality Standards and Objectives for the analytes tested, and (b) that the film on gravel pits and in the
Kerr well was not a petroleum product but instead as floating colonies
of both iron-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria.
“Our goal was to reduce uncertainty regarding the sources of carbon
dioxide detected on the property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Kerr,” said
“Our results are conclusive and provide scientific evidence that any
such incidents cannot be attributed to leakage of injected CO(2) because there was no leak at the Kerr property.”
The International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of
Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2) is a not-for-profit organization created in
2009 with the support of public and private sector organizations.
IPAC-CO2 works to find solutions that support the safe capture and
storage of CO(2), contributing to the long-term sustainability of planet Earth and its
inhabitants, and advances knowledge about geologic storage by sharing,
exchanging and cooperating with global industry stakeholders.
Weyburn EOR Project
Weyburn is the site of one of Canada’s largest Enhanced Oil Recovery
(EOR) operations and the site of the largest geological greenhouse gas
(GHG) storage project in the world. There are more than 17 million
tonnes of CO(2) stored at the site.
Scientists from 30 countries working under the International Energy
Agency GHG Weyburn-Midale CO(2) Monitoring & Storage Research project, an international program led by
the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC), have been studying the
project for a decade.
Cenovus Energy (formerly EnCana) operates the Weyburn unit on behalf of
23 other partners. Carbon Dioxide has been injected about 1.5
kilometres into the oil field at the Weyburn unit since 2000.
When carbon dioxide contacts oil at high pressure it makes the oil
thinner and causes it to swell, making it easier for the oil to flow to
producing wells. The carbon dioxide that is pumped out with the oil is
Cameron and Jane Kerr
Cameron and Jane Kerr, who own a farm near Goodwater, in the vicinity of
the Weyburn project, held a news conference on Jan. 11, 2011 in Regina
demanding a full public investigation of problems related to surface
and well water at their farm. The Kerrs said they first noticed changes
and other events that occurred on their property in 2004, one year
after carbon dioxide injection began near their farm.
Between 2005 and 2011, a number of public and private sector
organizations investigated the Kerr allegations, concluding that there
was no evidence that the injection of CO(2) had an adverse impact on the drinking water or the environment of the
The Kerrs hired Petro-Find GeoChem Ltd., a Saskatoon-based consulting
company, in 2010 to conduct soil gas studies on their property.
Based on the Petro-Find report, the Kerrs held a Regina news conference
to demand a full public investigation claiming that they were forced to
move from their property because CO(2) injected into the oil field below to enhance oil recovery (EOR) was
SOURCE IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.