Report Says Pennsylvania’s Geology Could Support Storing Carbon Dioxide Underground
DCNR Findings Could Lead to Innovative Ways to Combat Climate Change, Create Opportunities to Use Coal in Environmentally Friendly Way
Acting DNCR Secretary
“Governor Rendell has launched an intensive effort to assess the state’s geologic storage potential and facilitate the large-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage technology,” said Quigley. “Developing such a technology means
The findings were included in a report provided to the Governor and General Assembly on
The 149-page report contains detailed and technical information about the state’s geology. It can be viewed at www.dcnr.state.pa.us, choose “Carbon Sequestration” under “Hot Topics,” then click on “Geologic Carbon Sequestration Opportunities in
A carbon sequestration network would involve first capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired electricity generating plants and other industrial sources. It would then be compressed into a liquid and cooled, and transported through pipelines to a sequestration site, where it would be injected into the rock formations or other suitable geologic features deep beneath the surface.
The assessment included reviewing available data on deep saline aquifers, depleted oil-and-gas reservoir rocks, unmineable coal beds, shales and thick salt beds. Most of the available data is from oil and gas well records from western
The report found that four potential geologic formations could be candidates for sequestration in the western and north central regions, although these formations are known to underlie most areas of the state.
Detailed site evaluations would need to be performed at specific locations to make a final determination about whether they are suitable. Suitable formations have alternating layers of rocks of different types, some of which form barriers that cannot be penetrated.
DCNR’s Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey is conducting additional data searches that will be followed by gathering seismic data in various regions of the state and other on-the-ground technical evaluations to better understand the subsurface geology.
“This report marks the very beginning of our work to determine if there are suitable places in
In accordance with Act 129, the next steps for the study include a detailed evaluation of risks associated with sequestration. DCNR is gathering data for this evaluation, which will be conducted with the help of an independent expert. The next report is required to be submitted by
CONTACT: Christina Novak (717) 772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources