Wyoming State Geological Survey
Ronald C. Surdam
Director/State Geologist
Wyoming State Geological Survey
P.O. Box 1347
Laramie, WY 82073

Contact Information

Robert Waggener
Editor in Chief

307-766-2286, ext. 255

News Release February 24, 2010

Carbon sequestration in Wyoming focus of new WSGS publication

Approximately 750 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be sequestered in southwestern Wyoming’s Rock Springs Uplift over a 50-year period, according to a strategy detailed in a new Wyoming State Geological Survey publication.

This level of CO2 sequestration would allow two coal-fired power plants the size of the Jim Bridger facility near Rock Springs to meet “clean coal” standards, said State Geologist and WSGS Director Ronald Surdam.

Surdam is lead author of “An integrated strategy for carbon management combining geological CO2 sequestration, displaced fluid production, and water treatment.”

Surdam said that there are huge implications for the Wyoming coal industry because electric utilities using coal will likely be forced to either capture and sequester CO2 or switch to cleaner fuel sources.

The WSGS publication summarizes two years of research that was initiated by Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal with support from the Wyoming State Legislature.

The WSGS conducted a thorough inventory and prioritization of all Wyoming stratigraphic units and geologic sites capable of sequestering commercial quantities of CO2. The research identified the Rock Springs Uplift as the most promising geological CO2 sequestration site in Wyoming and probably in any Rocky Mountain basin.

The WSGS, working in collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, N.M., then performed simulations to determine a feasible amount of CO2 that could be injected into the Weber Sandstone on the Rock Springs Uplift.

Large-scale geological sequestration of CO2 will require management of displaced fluids from deep underground reservoirs. The publication states that the volume of water produced by treating these fluids at the surface represents a highly valuable commodity in arid southwestern Wyoming.

Other authors were WSGS Chief Geologist Zunsheng Jiao, LANL hydrogeologist Philip Stauffer and LANL technologist Terry Miller.

The 25-page booklet, WSGS Challenges in Geologic Resource Development No. 8, costs $6.50 per copy, plus shipping fees and applicable taxes.

To order, (1) visit the WSGS on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, (2) contact the sales office at 307-766-2286, ext. 224 or by e-mail at wsgs.sales@wyo.gov or (3) visit the WSGS Online Store.

The WSGS, University of Wyoming, UW School of Energy Resources and LANL are continuing research into carbon capture and sequestration in Wyoming. Funding sources include the U.S. Department of Energy and private industry.

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