Sunday, May 31, 2009

Seismic testing generates waves of concern

Roadblock for seismic testing thumper trucks?


NARROWSBURG, NY — “They create earthquakes underground.” That’s how one official described the activity of thumper trucks, though their actual mission is to engage in seismic testing to help drilling companies understand the makeup of the various layers of materials deep underground.

Essentially, thumper trucks come equipped with a large metal foot, which stomps on the ground. The action creates seismic waves that bounce off the rocks below and are then recorded and measured by instruments on the ground. This information is then sold to drilling companies to help determine the best place to drill for gas or oil.

The Town of Tusten is holding a public hearing on September 29 to hear comments about whether the town should declare a six-month moratorium on seismic testing on the roads of Tusten. The four other towns that are working with Tusten on performing road assessments in advance of what will likely be a lot of gas drilling in the region, are also addressing the issue; the towns are Highland, Delaware, Cochecton and, most recently, Lumberland.

Tusten supervisor Ben Johnson said the testing activity will come before the drilling activity begins, so the town board decided the issue needed to be addressed soon. The fact that a thumper truck operator showed up at the town hall on September 8, seeking a permit to work, added a bit of urgency to the matter.

Johnson said the board would use the six-month moratorium time to write an ordinance that would cover seismic-testing activity.

Johnson said seismic activity has been done in the past with no problem, back in the ’60s and ’70s, but the board wanted to be sure that should any problems arise the town would be protected. Of specific concern is any possible damage to wells or the Narrowsburg sewer system. Also, the board wants to be sure town roads are protected against excessive wear. He added that after the moratorium, a permit will be needed to conduct seismic tests.

Along with possible damage, however, is another question being asked not only here, but in neighboring counties: who actually owns the right to the data gathered by the thumpers. The trucks not only get information from under the road or parcel on which they’re located, but also from neighboring properties.

Farmers in New York’s Southern Tier have been arguing that collecting data from underneath their property without their permission and without compensation is tantamount to theft.

Representatives from the gas companies have argued that the information is similar to gas itself, and that if they can get it out of the ground, it’s there for the taking.

Others say many people are attempting to profit from gas drilling in one way or another, and landowners should be compensated for information taken from under their land, especially information that helps gas companies strike it rich.

Wes Gillingham, program director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, said the information collected by seismic testing could give one side a bargaining advantage. “Suppose you’re a landowner and testing from outside your property shows that you’re in a real sweet spot for drilling. The gas company isn’t going to give you that information, so that would give the gas company an advantage.”

Some people are taking the issue very seriously. According to an article in the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Bradd Vickers, president of the Chenango County Farm Bureau, recently chased away a caravan of thumpers from a road in the Town of Preston after a brief test of wills.

Vickers wants towns to require the testing companies to get permission from landowners as part of the process of getting a permit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Private investment in CCS not possible without public support

Please visit the link below to read the complete article

MONGSTAD, Norway (Reuters) - Industry refuses to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects without strong state support because of a lack of clarity on future emissions rules, Norway's StatoilHydro said on Friday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Seismic testing causes concern

This article was published on May 29, 2009 in The Daily Advocate.

Ann Vehre
Citizen Jornalist

GREENVILLE - Jim Surber, Darke County Engineer, and Jed Smith, Van Buren township trustee, announced on May 19 a seismic survey involving vibroseis trucks has been halted within the jurisdictions of Greenville, Neave, and Van Buren Townships, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Darke County.
The trucks would have traveled within a four to seven mile cross section surrounding The Andersons Marathon Ethanol Plant in Greenville’s Industrial Park. As they traveled the area, vibrating platforms would have been lowered to the ground, emitting sound waves deep within the earth’s surface. In recent seismic brochures the Battelle-led Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) has put on display in the Greenville Public Library and throughout the area, it is explained that as sound waves bounce from the rock surfaces below, they are recorded above to determine if there are existing faults and fractures that could generate earthquakes from seismic activity.
Battelle selected the ethanol plant site as part of a $93 million experiment funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and matching funds from MRCSP’s thirty-six partners. The purpose of the experiment is to determine if one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be injected safely and easily into the Mount Simon Sandstone Reservoir throughout a four-year period. They said it would also determine the storage potential of the reservoir, which will have broad importance to the region.
The seismic survey would have been the first in a series of tests that must take place on and around the plant site before the experimental injection of one million tons of CO2 can begin. This is necessary, they said, because the injection of 1,500 lbs per sq inch of CO2 under pressure could cause subsurface rocks to slip, resulting in an earthquake. A second test, if permitted, would require drilling several bore holes through the bottom of a major freshwater aquifer to obtain rock samples from the Mount Simon Sandstone reservoir. This reservoir is 3,500 feet below the Earth’s surface.
According to Surber, the decision to halt the seismic survey occurred after Christopher Jones of QC Geophysical in Millersburg, and Evan Zeller of Battelle asked him and the Neave, Van Buren, and Greenville Township Trustees for permission to conduct seismic tests on the roads and land in their jurisdictions. After conferring with a representative from District 7 of the Ohio Department of Transportation, Surber said that he and the trustees felt there were too many unanswered questions regarding liability and responsibility issues from possible tile, road, property and other damages that might occur as a result of the seismic tests.
Their major concern, however, was for the public’s safety and welfare, particularly because the planned survey and testing route, was in close proximity to the Vectren high-pressure gas transmission line. “I notified Vectren and now they are quite concerned as well,” Surber said.
During an earlier meeting with the township trustees, Surber expressed another concern he has, which is in regard to explosive charges in shot holes where the vibroseis trucks could not be used if the ground happened to be too soft or hilly. Instead of the trucks being used to produce sound waves, the charges would be used instead. “I was told the charges would be no stronger than those put off by cherry bombs,” he said, adding, “Let me tell you right now, it would take a charge a lot bigger than a cherry bomb to produce vibrations that could reach the depths they are talking about.”
As a result of the concerns expressed and the questions that remained unanswered, Surber and Smith sent a letter to Jones Geophysical stating they could not entertain entering into any agreements to permit any vibroseis surveys/testing to be done on any public roads or public facilities located on private property in the respective jurisdictions.
With this letter, Surber said they have stopped the seismic survey - - at least for the time being.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Freshwater Aquifer Risk - water ,our most precious resource -at risk

The information on this page comes from the Ohio EPA - Division of Drinking and Ground Waters- click here to be taken to their site

Sole Source Aquifers -

Greenville, Ohio is the proposed site of one of the 7 large-scale CO2 Sequestration Demonstration projects - to pump 1 M tons of CO2 into the saline aquifer - AND it is one of the areas that sits on top of a Sole Source Aquifer - an even greater reason consider the risks involved with burying supercritical CO2 underground FOREVER!

One of the most important aquifers, in regards to contamination is a Sole Source Aquifer. The contamination of any aquifer, not just sole source aquifers, greatly effects surrounding communities.

The Great Miami Aquifer, that Greenville is part of, is one of the nation's LARGEST drinking water aquifers.

"U.S. EPA defines a Sole Source Aquifer (SSA) as an aquifer that supplies at least 50 percent of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer. These areas may have no alternative drinking water source(s) that could physically, legally and economically supply all those who depend on the aquifer for drinking water.

The Sole Source Aquifer designation protects an area's ground water resource by requiring U.S. EPA to review certain proposed projects within the designated area. All proposed projects receiving federal funds are subject to review to ensure that they do not endanger the water source."

"For convenience, all designated sole or principal source aquifers are referred to as "sole source aquifers" (SSA). " The designation of an aquifer as a sole source aquifer "provides EPA with the authority to review federal financially assisted projects planned for the area to determine their potential for contaminating the aquifer. Federally funded projects reviewed by EPA under the SSA program may include, but not be limited to, highway improvements and new road construction, public water supply wells, transmission lines, wastewater treatment facilities, construction projects involving disposal of storm water, and agricultural projects involving management of animal waste."
Greater Miami Sole Source Aquifer

The Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer (GMBVA) is an extensive sand and gravel aquifer that extends in a southwesterly direction from Indian Lake, north of Dayton, Ohio, to the Ohio River, generally following the course of the Great Miami River.

The GMBVA is classified by the United States EPA as a "Sole Source Aquifer" which applies only to aquifers serving as the sole or principal source of drinking water for the petitioned area and which, if contaminated, would create a significant hazard to public health. For this reason all Federal financially assisted projects constructed in the Great Miami River Valley and its principal recharge zone are subject to USEPA review to insure that the projects are designed and constructed in a manner that does not a significant hazard to public health.(Source

Below is a VERY informative link to a document entitled: Hydrology, Aquifers, Geology - and it talks about how aquifers are contaminated.In order to understand the critical role groundwater plays to society and the importance of removing contamination, we must first understand the role of hydrology.

Hydrology is the branch of geology that deals with the occurance, distribution and effect of groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater is typically NOT FOUND underground in a body of water similar to a lake or river. It is most often contained in the cavities, pores and voids interspersed among rocks, gravel, sand and soil in the earth's subsurface. When useful quantities of extractable water are found in these geological formations the area is known as an aquifer - "water bearer".

Additionally, this site references The Mound and the Fernald Plants and their impact on The Great Miami Aquifer and the need to keep our aquifers safe by implementing independent, "rigorous monitoring regimes" that are "adequately funded and free of the bias of the DOE - an agency that wants to downplay problems and gloss over errors of the past."

Transport of agricultural chemicals in five watersheds across the U.S.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Plan for "Cleanest" Power Plant Abandoned Near Los Angeles

"abandoned due to opposition by environmentalists"
Great job, L.A!!!!!

You not only saved your community from the risks - you saved tax-payer dollars!
I hope you help with others who are fighting to keep their families and communities safe!

To read the entire article click here, parts of it are listed below.
"A plan to build the "cleanest and greenest" power plant near Los Angeles has been abandoned due to opposition by environmentalists, according to a newspaper report on Monday.

"The 1-billion-dollar project in Carson, a South Los Angeles suburb, would have been an early test of carbon-capture technology, in which carbon dioxide emissions are permanently stored underground, according to local newspaper the Daily Breeze.

It was billed as the "cleanest and greenest" power plant when plans for construction were announced in 2006.

But the companies involved in the project said they encountered opposition from environmentalists. The project exposed a rift between some environmentalists who say that carbon-capture technology poses risks to surrounding communities and those who say it is essential to mitigating climate change."

Carbon sequestration: bury the idea, not the CO2

I'm a long way from the Dutch town of Barendrecht but I feel the same way.........Not under MY backyard.....and I'll go the extra mile and say..........OR YOURS!!!

Carbon Capture and Storage does ONE THING successfully - it allows the Coal Industry to keep on burning coal..................that is the real goal, isn't it now?


Dutch Stand Up to Shell’s Plan to Bury CO2 (Update1)
( link to the complete story is included below)

By Fred Pals

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Dutch town of Barendrecht has a message for Royal Dutch Shell Plc: Not under my backyard.

The oil company and the Netherlands government intend to build the first of a new generation of carbon-dioxide storage facilities in two depleted natural-gas fields in Barendrecht. The plan is to capture emissions from a gasification hydrogen plant at Shell’s nearby Pernis refinery and then store the CO2 more than a mile below area homes, preventing the greenhouse gas from reaching the air and harming the environment.

“I don’t think this is the solution to the CO2 problem,” said 53-year-old resident Gerard van Gils. “Why do a project in a residential area and not offshore? The atomic bomb wasn’t tested under Manhattan. To me this means: Not under my backyard.”

Barendrechters like Van Gils say they’re concerned about safety and a possible drop in property values. Governments around the world want energy companies to store CO2 instead of releasing it, to combat global warming. The Netherlands aims to bury 30 million tons of CO2 by 2030 and is spending about 750 million euros ($980 million) in three years on CO2 reduction.

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, involves extracting CO2 from power generation and industrial projects, compressing it and injecting it into depleted oil and gas fields or saline aquifers. The technology would allow prolonged use of coal for electricity generation while reducing greenhouse pollution.

Environmental Assessment

An independent environmental assessment this month will determine whether the project at Barendrecht, on the outskirts of Rotterdam, addresses all concerns. The city council, which so far has opposed the plan, will deliver a final decision by June 29. That can still be overruled by the Dutch government, which commissioned the project.

In its preliminary finding, the council said public support was “lacking” and asked Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer to halt the venture.

“This project is an experiment, and we don’t think that it is a good idea to have that in a densely populated area,” Simon Zuurbier, alderman of the city council, said in an interview. “It would be better to do it somewhere else.”

Test Projects

The Barendrecht project is one of two Dutch prototypes for a pair of larger facilities that must be up and running by 2015 for the country to cut emissions by 30 percent in 2020.

The second prototype is being developed in the southern province of Limburg, where a unit of French utility GDF Suez SA and Dutch chemical company Royal DSM NV plan to store at least 2 millions tons of CO2 in the next decade.

Civic opposition to the Barendrecht facility may make the project a test case for similar projects elsewhere in Europe. The European Union plans to make 9 billion euros available for CCS pilot projects near power plants in the 27-nation bloc to prove the commercial viability of the technology.

Shell plans to store 400,000 tons of CO2 a year at Barendrecht, the equivalent to 5.4 million euros worth of European Union carbon dioxide permits, based on the April 17 spot price of 13.40 euros a ton on the BlueNext exchange.

Shell Netherlands CEO Peter de Wit said the Barendrecht project is the quickest way to gain experience for large-scale CO2 storage in the Netherlands.

International Efforts

“Given its geologic resources and its position as a gas supplier, it is commendable that the Netherlands take a leadership role in trying to build global consensus on a liability and regulatory solution for CCS,” the IEA said in a February review of the Dutch energy policy.

In Barendrecht, Van Gils isn’t so sure. He said he’s concerned that his apartment, which is next to an elementary school and above the perimeter of the proposed storage site, may be prone to gas leaks or shifting earth. More than a 1,000 people showed up to question the government and Shell on the project at town hall meetings in February, according to the city council’s Web site.

“The vast majority doesn’t want this,” Van Gils said. “It has to take something to get people in Barendrecht out of their homes and attend such a meeting.”

Last Updated: April 20, 2009 Read the complete link - The link to the above article is here


Mr. Klaus Lambeck
Public Utilities Company of Ohio is a member of the National Coal Council - link below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day in the Darke/Green region

** A time to remember all those who have passed on from friends and family.

** A time to remember all those who have died for the ideals of this great country.

And for members of the Citizens against CO2 Sequestration

** A time to remember all those who died in our coal mines - and now a much greater

group has been added - those in the dangerous mines fueling the gadget driven

industrial economies of India and China (combined far exceeds US in CO2 and

toxic emissions).

**And for all those in this country and world-wide who died breathing the unnecessary
toxic-Beijing smog generated by our coal-fueled industries.

**And for ourselves, that leaders will recognize that we deserve the same consideration
that athletes received when China cut back on its coal fired industries prior to the Olympic

Help us appreciate that by “fighting CO2 Sequestration” in the Darke/Green region, we by
serendipity have joined the world in a fight for a healthier safer environment for all mankind.

Charles E. Reier, MD
Rebecca A. Reier
May 25, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

WARNING - CO2 Sequestration Danger - Citizen CALL TO ACTION

Carbon Dioxide Storage in Coal Seams




Carbon Dioxide Storage in Coal Seams

  • Two major aquifers will be at risk, threatening our water
  • Injection at high pressure can cause earthquakes
  • If released in sudden amounts can cause death
  • If released in slow amounts can damage nutrient-rich soil
  • Turns into an acidic solvent that corrodes pipelines
  • No one knows how far it can travel once injected
  • Residents can be burdened with unfair liability issues
  • Will cost $93 million over a ten-year period

Carbon Dioxide Storage in Coal Seams


Carbon Dioxide Storage in Coal Seams



Christian Lighthouse Center’s

All Seasons Place

5256 Sebring-Warner Road Greenville, OH – Darke Co.

When: Monday, June 29, 2009

7:00 p.m.


Kerwin Olson,

Citizens Action of Indiana

Dangers of CO2

Kathleen Boutis, President

Green Coalition of Western Ohio

Sponsored by: Citizens Against CO2 Sequestration

Carbon Dioxide Storage in Coal SeamsCarbon Dioxide Storage in Coal Seams

Lessons learned by US DOE in Shadyside, OH CO2 Sequestration experiment

"US DOE field test completed
Storage, May 21 2009 (Carbon Capture Journal)

- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership has completed a preliminary geologic characterization and sequestration field test at FirstEnergy’s R. E. Burger Plant near Shadyside, Ohio.

The project provided significant geologic understanding and "lessons learned" from a region of the Appalachian Basin with few existing deep well penetrations for geologic characterization, said the DOE."

Read the entire article by clicking here.............

In response to passage of the "American Clean Energy and Security Act" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Joint statement by:

Greenpeace USA * Friends of the Earth * Public Citizen * Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana *Citizen Power * Center for Biological Diversity * TURN-The Utility Reform Network * Sustainable Energy & Economy Network * Green Delaware * Massachusetts Environmental Energy Alliance * Massachusetts Forest Watch * Coal Moratorium Now!

Washington-In response to passage of the "American Clean Energy and Security

Act" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a coalition of environmental, legal, consumer, and community advocacy groups released the following joint statement:

"While a week of debate failed to adequately strengthen protections for consumers, communities, and the climate in this bill, it erased all doubt of who will benefit most from it: Big Business. Despite the best efforts of Chairman Waxman, the decision-making process was co-opted by oil and coal lobbyists determined to sustain our addiction to dirty fossil fuels, even as the country stands ready to rebuild our economy and clean up the environment with real clean energy. The resulting bill reflects the triumph of politics over science, and the triumph of industry influence over the public interest.

"Regrettably, we cannot support this legislation unless and until it is substantially strengthened. The lives and livelihoods of 7 billion people worldwide will be affected by America 's response to the climate crisis. The response embodied in today's bill is not only inadequate it is counterproductive.

"As passed through the Energy & Commerce Committee, the American Clean

Energy and Security Act sets targets for reducing pollution that are far weaker than science says is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. The targets are far less ambitious than what is achievable with already existing technology. They are further undermined by massive loopholes that could allow the most polluting industries to avoid real emission reductions until 2027. Rather than provide relief and support to consumers, the bill showers polluting industries with hundreds of billions of dollars in free allowances and direct subsidies that will slow renewable energy development and lock in a new generation of dirty coal-fired power plants. At the same time, the bill would remove the President's authority to address global warming pollution using laws already on the books.

"The international community cannot solve global warming without real leadership from the United States . We urge the President to demonstrate that leadership by working with Congressional leaders to craft a real, science-based response to the challenge of global warming and by immediately exercising his substantial authority to regulate global warming emissions under existing laws."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vulnerability of Drinking Water and Geosequestration (CO2 Sequestration)

Carbon Capture and Sequestration is also known as CO2 sequestration and Geosequestration... in this information supplied by the US EPA, they refer to it as "GS".

All this information came from the U S EPA
Vulnerability Evaluation Framework for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide
July 10, 2008 -

Click on the above title to be taken to the complete publication.....lots to read there as you form your own opinion regarding CO2 sequestration... would you want it in YOUR COMMUNITY?

Neither do I - NIMBY - OR YOURS!

"5.2.3 Pressure-Induced Physical Effects
Injecting CO₂ into geologic formations will in most cases cause subsurface changes in pressure. As
discussed above, induced fracturing and fault reactivation can occur if injection pressure exceeds fracture pressures, which may in turn result in the opening of fl uid migration pathways. If pressures are great enough, they could in extreme cases cause earthquakes (Healey et al., 1968).

There may be greater uncertainty about evaluating pressure effects in GS systems when examining the potential for pressure-induced regional scale impacts that do not involve fracturing or faulting.

As discussed in Chapter 4, pressure changes in the injection zone could cause regional impacts on overlying aquifer systems, including changes in groundwater fl ow directions and water table levels. These may result in alterations in the distribution and fl uxes of groundwater. This could in turn have other impacts, for example, changing the quantity of groundwater that is available for municipal drinking water supplies. There also could be pressure-induced migration of brines and other fluids through the pore structure of overlying formations into groundwater receptors, which may impact water quality. Furthermore, pressure-induced fluid displacement could result in the release of brine at locations where injection zone formations outcrop at the land surface. Regional pressure effects have been the focus of relatively few studies, and uncertainties and vulnerabilities associated with this subject should be addressed through additional research."

Did you know the bailout package included this?

This great clip from our friends at

(Thank you Alexandra - the link to her story is here )
Published: Sunday, October 12, 2008 12:19 AM MDT

Buried in the $700 billion bailout package passed by Congress last week was a small item of great consequences for Wyoming. So far, few people, even those in the energy industry, know that the Economic Stabilization Act included a tax credit for carbon sequestration and using carbon dioxide in pumping oil and natural gas ” things that could continue to keep Wyoming’s economy strong and deal with the sticky issue of what happens to the byproduct of burning fossil

“It’s a wonderful financial opportunity to people,” said Rep. Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, who helped draft two bills on carbon sequestration that were passed by the state Legislature earlier this year. “I think it was buried in the legislation and nobody knows except for the industry, but there is lots and lots of interest.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Australian Government reports highlight CCS dangers

From our friends in the land down under.......... a list of dangers associated with carbon sequestration (CCS) - for your reference, the link to the web site is here

Just a few of them......

  1. The cost of monitoring reservoirs will have to be borne by someone. Corporations have already suggested that the public pay for monitoring.
  2. It is unclear what remedial work can be done, if any, should carbon die-oxide leak from a reservoir.
  3. Many trials of CCS technology have leaked and some projects factor in a leak factor per year.
  4. Reservoirs of sequestered carbon die-oxide must be monitored forever.

Quoting the IPCC report. emphasis added. Comment;
Hydrocarbon pipelines do leak, and CO2 is a smaller molecule than most of the hydrocarbons, giving it a greater tendency to leak. The ‘very important’ role of monitoring would have to continue forever.

"In the case of CO2 injection into deep saline formations, there is also the small possibility that displaced brine could contaminate groundwater. The contamination of freshwater aquifers could be caused by vertical migration of stored CO2. Buoyancy forces, caused by the density difference between the injected supercritical CO2 and the formation waters, will tend to drive stored CO2 upward. If the formation is not a geologic trap or not adequately sealed by an impermeable caprock, CO2 could leak from the storage reservoir. There is then the potential for the vertically migrating CO2 to dissolve in shallow aquifer waters, form carbonic acid and lower the aquifer water pH, which in turn could result in the mobilization of heavy metals and/or the leaching of nutrients. In a worst-case scenario, the contamination of a freshwater aquifer could exclude its use for drinking or irrigation supplies. CO2 migration within the subsurface also has the potential to contaminate energy and mineral resources as well as pose an occupational safety hazard for mining and exploration activities. “

"Slow, long-term release of CO2 to the atmosphere (i.e. reservoir leakage)

Reduction in the net climate change mitigation achieved through CCS, resulting in worse than expected global warming

Sudden large-scale release of CO2 to the atmosphere

Reduction in the net climate change mitigation achieved through CCS, resulting in worse than expected global warming

Asphyxiation of humans, animals and plants

Escape of CO2 to shallow groundwater

Water acidification, mobilised toxic metals, leached nutrients (Bruant et al. 2002)

Displacement of deep brine upward

Contamination of potable water sources"

There is considerably more information on their web sure to visit it to read the article article and follow links.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keep your eyes open - an easier introduction of CCS into your area

Attention Ohioans! Don't let this happen to you!

It's an interesting article - mentions how Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS or CO2 sequestration) could be introduced into an area without the public being aware of it as a CCS project.... or with more public acceptance........after all, who wouldn't let them explore your property if they thought they'd find oil and gas....and needed to push it out of the ground with CO2.... known as EOR - Enhanced Oil Recovery.

Ohio is mentioned in this article!

Read the entire story by clicking on this link -

Monday, May 18, 2009

Carbon capture and storage 'being oversold as a panacea'

The Hill Times, April 13, 2009

But critics and experts say there are geological risks, it's a waste of taxpayers' money and the 'economics are deadly.'

By Bea Vongdouangchanh

Carbon capture and storage of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions is still 12 to 20 years from being commercialized, but it's being oversold as a panacea and a silver bullet, however, it's a waste of taxpayers' money, there are geological risks to storing carbon dioxide underground and the economics "are deadly," say experts and critics who believe the federal government should be investing in other environmental solutions such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Jack Century, a Calgary-based retired petroleum, minerals and environmental geologist with more than 50 years of experience in the industry, told The Hill Times last week that carbon capture and storage (CCS) procedures—burying greenhouse gas emissions—could cause induced earthquakes or "micro seismicity" which risk CO2 leakage. He said injecting any gas or liquid into the ground without very carefully studying the geology could become a hazard.

"If you're not careful, you can inject it higher than the natural pressures in the reservoir you're injecting into," he said, noting that if the reservoir is over a fault line or very close to one, it could cause an earthquake. "It isn't just earthquakes that are a problem, but it's when you start injecting fluids into the earth and you don't know what you're doing, you can start small seismic events, we call them micro seismicity and they can cause fractures, and the fractures themselves can interfere with the reservoir and violate the integrity of the reservoir and cause leakage. It doesn't become a hazard in terms of earthquakes but it becomes a hazard in terms of escaping liquids and you don't know where they're going to go."

..........Even CCS proponents admit that carbon dioxide injected deep underground could find its way back to the surface after an earthquake or via groundwater channels."

Mr. Nikiforuk is a fierce critic of CCS, saying, "Creating an energy intensive burial system to hide a problem that could be solved by conserving fossil fuels is morally bankrupt. CCS is a last-ditch survival effort that defies economics and shirks logic."

"The economics of CCS are deadly," he said.

"NDP MP Linda Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, Alta.) said "it's a waste of taxpayer money" to invest in CCS. "If it's not a proven technology to safe-keep it, then the public should not be bearing the liability," she said last week."

"It's true that this technology will not be effective everywhere. It can only work in places where it's matched with the right geology. Co2 is a very dangerous gas, and there have been stories about natural leaks of carbon dioxide that have caused death, so its very important that this technology is monitored and regulated very closely," she said, adding that CCS is "very expensive" which means governments will not pay for CCS projects entirely.

The Hill Times

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CO2 Sequestration - who assumes the liability?

"CO2 is highly compressible, its density influenced by pressure and temperature.At injection depths, pressure is approximately 1,500 pounds per square inch (102 atmospheres) and the temperature is approximately 130°F. Under these conditions, 2,000 tons of CO2 would have a volume of about 200,000 cubic feet or about the size of a football field 3.5 feet deep." Lawrence Berkeley National

Think about this..... how safe does THIS sound? It goes into the earth forever, has a list of risks associated with it and Guess Who assumes the liability? I think you'll be surprised...... and even more unsettled when you read this!

The large-scale CO2 sequestration projects are putting 1 million tons of CO2 into the earth!!! Would you call this "safe"? They do.

Ratepayers of the electric companies will pay for Capture with higher rates.

Failure to Manage Liability Puts Taxpayers at Risk

Read the story here - Advancing Carbon Sequestration
Research in an Uncertain Legal and
Regulatory Environment
A Study of Phase II of the DOE Regional Carbon
Sequestration Partnerships Program
Craig A. Hart

January 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

General hazards of carbon dioxide

This information is from the following web site:

"At room temperature and ambient pressure CO2 is a colourless, odourless gas that will not support combustion or human life. CO2 has been recognised as a workplace hazard for over a century. It is significantly heavier than air and many fatalities from asphyxiation have resulted from entry into pits, tanks, sumps or cellars where CO2 has accumulated and displaced oxygen.

It is also possible for dangerous levels of CO2 to form out-of-doors in trenches, depressions or valleys. This is particularly likely when the gas is colder than the surrounding air, which may occur following pressurised release.

In 2000, a US Environmental Projection Agency study on CO2 related incidents in fire scenarios reported that since 1975 there were 51 recorded incidents involving the discharge of CO2 fire extinguishing systems resulting in 72 deaths and 145 injuries.
There is no significant inherent human response to CO2 that could be useful as a detection mechanism. Human response to hydrogen sulphide by smell occurs at very low (ppm) concentrations, similarly with ammonia and sulphur dioxide.

In contrast, CO2 is present in the air we breath (0.037%). This may cause problems with instrumented detection because the 'background' CO2 levels are so high. In addition, the cooling effects of a pressurised CO2 leak may have an adverse effect on the accuracy and operability of CO2 gas detection systems.

The recognition of the dangers of CO2 has prompted much research into its toxicity in both human volunteers and animals. It is now known that, in addition to the problem of asphyxiation due to the displacement of oxygen, the inhalation of elevated concentrations of CO2 can increase the acidity of the blood triggering adverse effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Data from published research reports has been used by HSE to quantify the toxicity of CO2 in the form of Dangerous Toxic Load (DTL)1 values.

The DTLs have been used in calculations by the Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL) to demonstrate that CO2 exhibits major accident potential, when transported by pipeline in large quantities at ambient temperature and at a pressure of 7 bar or more, well below the dense phase or supercritical region. It is not yet clear whether controls should be applied to the transport of CO2 in this context but pending further research, it is possible that HSE will propose amending the Pipelines Safety Regulations to include CO2 as a dangerous fluid.

Additional hazards of dense phase or supercritical carbon dioxide

For economic and technical reasons it is likely CO2 will be handled close to or above its critical pressure (73.82 bar) where many of its properties are similar to that of a liquid. In this state it is often referred to as a dense phase fluid, whereas above critical temperature (31.04oC) and pressure it is referred to as supercritical. Most of the additional hazards associated with dense phase or supercritical CO2 arise when this pressure suddenly falls or is lost completely.

Scale of the thermal cooling envelope

In the event pf a major pressure loss, e.g a pipe rupture or containment failure, the depressurisation will result in an increase in the volume occupied by the CO2 of several hundred fold as the escaping fluid undergoes a rapid expansion (and phase change) as a proportion essentially 'boils' and becomes a gas while the remainder forms solid particles. This rapid, violent expansion causes the temperature of escaping CO2 to fall very rapidly, frequently below -80°C. while the particles of solid CO2 formed (dry ice) will result in projectiles expelled at very high velocities.

Cryogenic burns and impact injuries from extremely cold jet of gas and entrained missiles are serious hazards to personnel. Cryogenic embrittlement of structural steelwork and adverse effects from the impingement of extremely cold gas jets on safety-critical equipment are major threats to the structural and functional integrity of nearby plant unless appropriately designed or protected.

Toxic contamination effects

Supercritical CO2 is a highly efficient solvent. When supercritical CO2 undergoes a significant pressure reduction it moves from its supercritical state with super solvent properties to a gaseous state with virtually no solvent capability. In any environment where other substances are present with supercritical CO2 their solvation will occur resulting in fluid medium or "solution" containing various compounds or elements many of which may be extremely toxic. Any toxic substance held in such a pressurised 'solution' will 'precipitate' out on loss of pressure or containment and is likely to result in harmful human exposure or environmental damage due to the contamination of the area of deposition unless appropriate measures are taken.

Dry Ice 'grit blasting effects'

Where captured CO2 may be present with solid particles such as reservoir-derived sand and other solid debris, loss of containment may result in these combining with the dry ice formed to produce particles of a much greater abrasive capability than dry ice alone. This would enhance the erosion effects on process pipework and vessels adjacent to the leak which could lead to further damage to equipment and hence risk to people.

Specific challenges associated with dense phase or supercritical carbon dioxide

Whilst the processes that make up Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are not novel in themselves there is relatively little experience worldwide in managing the risks associated with CO2, compared with oil and gas. The major accident hazards presented by handling high pressure CO2 offshore or onshore need to be considered in the context of about 10,000 years' operating experience in managing hazards associated with hydrocarbon processing offshore alone, and probably much more if onshore processes are included2. In comparison there are probably less than 100 operating years for handling CO2 and significantly less in dealing with supercritical CO2.

Modelling dense phase/supercritical CO2 releases

The ability to anticipate foreseeable major accident scenarios and accurately predict the consequences of these hazardous events is a fundamental element in the assessment of the risk. A lack of substantial operation experience in a novel process or technology generally leads to significant difficulties in identifying accurately the hazards associated with that process or technology.

We do not yet fully understand the behaviour of CO2 when released from dense phase. Industry is researching appropriate models which will need to be validated. There is a need for appropriate scale experimental work to provide HSE and duty holders with a thorough understanding of how CO2 behaves during foreseeable large releases.

Containment and integrity

Whilst there are applicable general engineering standards, there is a lack of internationally recognised standards and codes of practice specifically for dense phase or supercritical CO2 plant and equipment. When designing, fabricating and maintaining plant for handling and transporting CO2 it is important that the full significance its physical properties, at the temperatures, pressures and inventories required are fully recognised and managed accordingly. Where applying standards developed for other substances including hydrocarbons, such as natural gas, extreme caution is advised as even the highest standards for many other substances may not be sufficient to ensure adequate containment for CO2 under the expected, and unexpected operating envelope(s).

Deep-Sixing CO2 Emissions

Until recently, however, few cared so much about how long the carbon dioxide stayed put.

That is starting to change. Since 2000, the North American energy company EnCana Corp. has boosted oil production 50% at Weyburn, Canada, by injecting millions of tons of surplus CO2 from North Dakota. Plans call for at least 20 million tons in all to be sequestered permanently there in coming decades -- an amount equal to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.

So far, monitoring indicates that most of it will stay underground but, by one report, about 2,500 tons a day bubble to the surface where it must be recaptured and re-injected.

Critics of the storage operations worry about the long-term safety of the reservoirs. No one knows whether excess carbon dioxide will remain stable underground for hundreds or thousands of years.

"If it can find any well, crack or conduit in the rock, it will escape," said Harvard carbon storage researcher Kurt Zenz House.

With more than 3.5 million oil wells drilled in the U.S. since petroleum exploration began in earnest 150 years ago, there is no shortage of potential leaks.

Experts also worry how so much carbon dioxide will alter the chemistry of the storage formations themselves. Bubbles composed of millions of tons of sequestered CO2 could form an acid that could etch away the confining rocks or erode the concrete caps on well heads.

To test the effects of carbon dioxide storage, researchers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy recently injected 2,000 tons -- about half a day's power plant emissions -- into a mile-deep well northeast of Houston.

After monitoring the site for two years, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey found no leaks.

But in a study made public in July, they did discover that the buried CO2 increased the acidity of the saltwater in the rock enough to dissolve the surrounding minerals. Should enough minerals be eaten away, the gas could seep slowly into the atmosphere again, they reported. The acidic solution also could combine with trace metals and organic compounds to contaminate groundwater."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CO2 Sequestration - How Secure Does This Make You Feel?

I think this is frightening - 2 Articles

How safe is CO2 sequestration? How much do the experts really know?
Remember - the largest portion of these experiments are paid for by taxpayers!

Article #1) January 24, 2007 - "Participants were asked to formulate questions and identify research needs to be addressed as EPA prepares to develop a scientifically-sound management strategy for CO2 injection."
(they are listed in the article - several pages of questions) -

Article #2) THREE months later -An announcement saying the well was ready for CO2 sequestration in Shadyside, OH

At that time, there were already MORE "CO2 sequestration Demonstration" projects on the radar for Ohio....... and all over the world...with many more in progress.

"State Regulators Workshop on Geologic Sequestration of CO2
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) held a workshop on geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) on
January 24, 2007 in San Antonio, Texas. At the workshop, representatives of state governments, EPA Regions, DOE research laboratories and Regional Partnerships, industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and other interested parties met in small groups to discuss issues associated with CO2 injection for the purposes of geologic sequestration (GS).

Participants were asked to formulate questions and identify research needs to be addressed as EPA prepares to develop a scientifically-sound management strategy for CO2 injection. The participants were organized into groups of 8 to 10 people, with each group having a mix of representatives from EPA regions, states, industry, research institutions, academia, and NGOs, to allow for sharing various points of view. The group discussed the following topics: site characterization; modeling; area of review (AoR); injection well construction; mechanical integrity testing (MIT); measuring, monitoring, and verification (MMV); closure and post-closure care; and liability and financial responsibility."

Click here for the entire article You will WANT TO READ this article.

Then - just 3 months later -

Issued on: April 24, 2007

"Regional Partnership Completes 8,000-foot Well for Critical Carbon Sequestration Assessment

Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Prepares for Test of Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Appalachian Basin

Washington, DC - The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) has completed an 8,000-foot well at FirstEnergy's R. E. Burger Plant near Shadyside, Ohio, in preparation for a geologic sequestration field test. Sponsored by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the field test will determine the feasibility of storing CO2 in deep saline formations in the Appalachian Basin.

"The carbon sequestration field test in the Appalachian Basin is an important step in turning the promise of carbon sequestration into a reality," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Tom Shope. "By assessing carbon storage in an area of the country that produces 20 percent of the nation's electricity, the test helps pave the way toward a future in which America's abundant fossil resources can be used to produce energy without contributing to global climate change."

Read the rest of the article here