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Government Begins Work on CO2 Storage Project at Teapot Dome
Tampa Bay Online; AP News ^ | Jan 28, 2004 | Sarah Cooke, Associated Press Writer

Posted on 01/28/2004 1:01:22 AM PST by Z-28

Government Begins Work on CO2 Storage Project at Teapot Dome

By Sarah Cooke, Associated Press Writer
Published: Jan 28, 2004

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The government is trying to bury something at its Teapot Dome oil field again. Not secret oil leases, as it did during an infamous scandal of the 1920s, but carbon dioxide - lots of it.

In hopes of developing a process that could slow global warming, the Energy Department wants to inject the greenhouse gas underground into depleted oil reservoirs after converting it into a liquid form.

The Teapot Dome project, now in the planning stages, could be one of the world's largest test sites for the method. It would store CO2 from a natural gas processing plant more than 300 miles away beneath the 10,000-acre oil field in central Wyoming.

So-called carbon dioxide sequestration has been tested at smaller sites nationwide but never on such a large scale, said Vicki Stamp, a project manager for the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center, which manages Teapot Dome.

Used in enhanced oil recovery for decades, pumping carbon dioxide into underground reservoirs is being touted by the Bush administration as one of the most promising ways to counter the greenhouse effect.

"(Carbon dioxide) is the primary global greenhouse gas and it's growing rapidly," said Dag Nummedal, director of the University of Wyoming Institute for Energy Research. "During the last four or five years the international consensus is that the most rational, economic and environmentally benign way of getting CO2 out of the atmosphere is to store it underground.

"Right now, the best place to do this is in depleted oil and gas fields."

Teapot Dome - named for a nearby rock formation - is currently in its preliminary engineering and testing stages. Storage could begin by 2006 and last seven to 10 years, although Nummedal says managers "don't really know the upper limit yet."

When a reservoir is full, the pipeline is taken out and the hole sealed up. "The objective is to keep it sealed underground forever, hundreds or thousands of years," Nummedal said.

The site is projected to store at least 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide a year when fully operational. It could eventually lead to large-scale testing in other Rocky Mountain states, the Ohio River Valley, Texas Gulf Coast, California and other areas, Nummedal said.

"The long-term plan is to encourage the growth of a new private sector sequestration industry," he said.

Talk of a national CO2 testing center started early last year. But it wasn't until managers found a source of carbon dioxide later that summer that the idea became a reality.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns an adjacent oil field, is extending its existing CO2 pipeline from a natural gas processing plant in western Wyoming and has agreed to direct some of its 125 million cubic feet of CO2 to the test site, Nummedal said.

The gas will then be pressurized and injected as a liquid into the reservoirs through a pipeline. It could stay underground for a very long time, since the reservoirs that would store the CO2 held oil and methane gas for millions of years, said Susan Hovorka, a University of Texas researcher.

"That's not true of other mechanisms," she said. "If you grow more (trees, which consume carbon dioxide) how do you assure it doesn't all go up in a forest fire or that another generation decides to go ahead and farm that area?"

Burial can also rid the Earth of a large volume of carbon dioxide in a relatively short amount of time, Hovorka said.

"We've got almost all the carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere coming from fossil fuels," she said. "There's space equivalent in acreage to put all that carbon dioxide back underground."

If the project pans out, officials hope to capture CO2 from the nation's power plants, oil and gas refineries and other manufacturing facilities "because that is the CO2 today that is leaking into the atmosphere without any controls on it," Nummedal said.

One possibility is capturing the gas with scrubbers similar to those attached to smokestacks that remove nitrous oxide and other gases, he said.

The storage process - particularly compressing the CO2 - is expensive. Some estimates put it as high as $100 per ton, though Nummedal and others said they don't yet have cost estimates for Teapot Dome.

Even if it is a success, the Teapot Dome project could have little impact by itself.

"Globally we are releasing 7 billion tons of carbon per year," Nummedal said. "The amount we will be putting away here will be in the hundreds of thousands of tons."

But he added: "If we look at all the suitable, depleted oil and gas reservoirs in the world, and we were able to fill all of them up, we would be able to store the total global emissions over the next 100 years."

Some environmentalists worry about gas bubbling through cracks in the Earth or leaking into aquifers that supply drinking water.

"We very clearly need some field demonstrations of a storage system to make sure (we) don't have any surprises," said David Hawkins, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center in Washington, D.C.

Nummedal and others stress they're testing Teapot Dome reservoirs for those concerns.

"The early steps of this cooperative venture show the classic markings of a win-win proposition for American consumers," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said.

----

On the Net:

Department of Energy: http://www.doe.gov

Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center: http://www.rmotc.com

UW Institute for Energy Research: http://www.ieronline.org

AP-ES-01-28-04 0145EST


Built by Text2Html


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: climatechange; co2; doe; dome; project; storage; teapot; teapotdome

1 posted on 01/28/2004 1:01:23 AM PST by Z-28
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To: Z-28
Sounds good to me... even if there is not any so-called "Global Warming," we get more American oil.
2 posted on 01/28/2004 1:03:29 AM PST by Z-28 ())
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To: Z-28
hhhmmmm..... there has to be something... something... that the left can criticize about this
3 posted on 01/28/2004 1:13:06 AM PST by GeronL (Two kinds of people in this country: Makers and Takers........ which are you?)
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To: Z-28
Dry ice,,,,,,
4 posted on 01/28/2004 4:00:28 AM PST by Waco
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To: GeronL
Well, I'm not left at all, but will say this: the amount of CO2 that man could store from now till doomsday is only an insignificant fraction of the total amount out there. It's a waste because we could never even make a dent.
5 posted on 01/28/2004 4:05:18 AM PST by djf
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To: Z-28
"That's not true of other mechanisms," she said. "If you grow more (trees, which consume carbon dioxide) how do you assure it doesn't all go up in a forest fire or that another generation decides to go ahead and farm that area?"

Easy---you make paper out of it, and bury it in landfills.

STOP GLOBAL WARMING---DON'T RECYCLE PAPER!!!!

6 posted on 01/28/2004 4:20:13 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Z-28
If the C02 pumped undergroud did manage to leak into the aquifier you would have --- Carbonated Water! Quick, notify all of the softdrink manaufacturers!
7 posted on 01/28/2004 4:26:04 AM PST by Bad Dog2 (Bad Dog - No Biscuit)
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To: djf
Agreed. This is a symbolic action to appease the global warming crowd.

As far as making a dent in the total CO2 content of the atmosphere it will be a complete failure.

I hope Bush never uses this as an example of his administration's actions to help reduce atmospheric CO2.
8 posted on 01/28/2004 4:31:03 AM PST by Rebelbase ( <a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">miserable failure put it in your tagline too!)
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To: djf
We could conceivably store the excess CO2 created by burning fossil fuels since you are just putting it back in the ground, where it came from in the first place. You don't want to get all the CO2, plants breathe it.

The real issue here is that the cost will probably be prohibitive. The power needed to extract the CO2 from the air and force it into the ground will be quite large. There is no financial return whatsoever from any of this, so it will require a large tax increase or rise in energy price to pay for it. Got any good walking shoes?
9 posted on 01/28/2004 4:35:10 AM PST by HangThemHigh (The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.)
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To: farmfriend
ping
10 posted on 01/28/2004 4:36:13 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Z-28
""(Carbon dioxide) is the primary global greenhouse gas "

Carbon dioxide is NOT the primary greenhouse gas. Water vapor is, and the global warmers hate to admit it because it draws attention to the stupidity of their theories.

The computer models cannot handle water vapor (or any part of the water cycle) because it would take a lot more computing power and a lot more data input world-wide to deal with it correctly. Neither will be available any time soon.

Nothing in the atmosphere can store heat anywhere nearly as efficiently as the water molecule. People who use humidifiers with their heat in winter readily notice that the humidified air holds heat much better than dry air.

This is one of the priciples that drives weather mechanisms on this planet and yet the global warming models are unable to deal with water vapor (and clouds which are part of the water vapor cycle)

The global warmers have to tell us that water vapor and clouds have no effect but carbon dioxide does. That is exactly upside-down from reality.

What we have are some scientists who have to come up with results showing global warming or they will lose their jobs/grants and so they dutifully produce computer models which produce the results that they were designed to produce.

11 posted on 01/28/2004 4:49:41 AM PST by capt. norm (No sense being pessimistic, it probably wouldn't work anyway.)
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To: Z-28
Oh No!!

They're giving Holy Mother Gaia a terrible case of gas!
12 posted on 01/28/2004 5:04:18 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: Rebelbase
I hope Bush never uses this as an example of his administration's actions to help reduce atmospheric CO2.

Why don't we just build a fleet of rocket powered tankers and send all the CO2 to the moon or Mars and let it be a problem for the people up there?

Richard W.

13 posted on 01/28/2004 5:18:29 AM PST by arete (Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.)
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To: Z-28
bump for later.
14 posted on 01/28/2004 5:40:25 AM PST by TheBattman (Miserable failure = http://www.michaelmoore.com)
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To: Z-28
CO2-IT'S PLANT FOOD STUPID!
15 posted on 01/28/2004 6:35:46 AM PST by jslade (To Alqaida. Don't even think about it!)
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To: Z-28
What a great idea.

Maybe next when the Mississippi River floods, we can make ice cubes from the floodwaters and ship the cubes to the Arctic before it ruins homes and farms.
16 posted on 01/28/2004 6:49:50 AM PST by sergeantdave (Gen. Custer wore an Arrowsmith shirt to his last property owner convention.)
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To: Z-28; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; alphadog; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ApesForEvolution; ..
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
17 posted on 01/28/2004 9:55:33 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!!
18 posted on 01/28/2004 10:06:56 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: sergeantdave
ha-ha :)
19 posted on 01/28/2004 1:07:02 PM PST by Z-28 ())
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To: E.G.C.
What happens when geologic activity causes all that gas to leak?
20 posted on 01/28/2004 1:13:42 PM PST by DFW_Repub
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To: djf
Did I read it says that a comparable amount of liquid CO2 to that produced since the volcanos mostly quieted down on Earth could be pumped underground in a realatively short time ... was it 15 years?
21 posted on 01/28/2004 1:15:09 PM PST by Z-28 ())
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To: Z-28
One would think that the "Establishment Clause" of the 1st Amendment would prohibit such a project.
22 posted on 01/28/2004 1:18:04 PM PST by Redcloak (Cat: The other white meat.)
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To: Z-28
Some environmentalists worry about gas bubbling through cracks in the Earth or leaking into aquifers that supply drinking water.

What idiots .. in 50 years someone would probably pay for natural seltzer.

23 posted on 01/28/2004 1:20:20 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you must; perform without fail that what you resolve.)
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To: Z-28
I doubt if we tried, we could, in a single year, pump as much CO2 as is produced by volcanoes in a single year. That means we can never catch up, and are foolish to try. CO2 is absorbed naturally by plant life on the land, but I think the biggest absorbers is the diatomic plant and animal life in the oceans. I once read that a far better aproach would be to dump Iron into the mid oceans. Iron is the central atom in chlorophyll and hemoglobin, and the mid oceans are somewhat deficient. Dumping it there would promote a huge burst of plankton, which could absorb millions of tons of CO2.
24 posted on 01/28/2004 1:50:14 PM PST by djf
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To: Z-28
"(Carbon dioxide) is the primary global greenhouse gas and it's growing rapidly," said Dag Nummedal

He refers to the funding for CO2 projects. It's the primary global greenhouse gas funding center.

25 posted on 01/28/2004 1:52:40 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Z-28
During the last four or five years the international consensus is that the most rational, economic and environmentally benign way of getting CO2 out of the atmosphere is to store it underground.

Yep, going with international consensus has really done us a lot of good lately, hasn't it?

Ummm...CO2 is a natural substance. When allowed to do their job, plants, trees, and other vegitation helps to cycle this stuff. From what I remember, the oceans themselves play a major roll in the CO2 cycle.

I just don't see how the process of liquifying the stuff and pumping it 300 miles and into old oil wells is considered an "efficient" way of disposing of this "greenhouse" gas.

26 posted on 01/28/2004 3:30:59 PM PST by TheBattman (Miserable failure = http://www.michaelmoore.com)
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To: capt. norm
Carbon dioxide is NOT the primary greenhouse gas. Water vapor is, and the global warmers hate to admit it because it draws attention to the stupidity of their theories.
What we have are some scientists who have to come up with results showing global warming or they will lose their jobs/grants and so they dutifully produce computer models which produce the results that they were designed to produce.


Bingo my friend. Water Vapor accounts for 95% of the "greenhouse gasses". The Global Warming Scare is the biggest scam in the history of mankind.
27 posted on 01/28/2004 8:50:10 PM PST by Jaysun (Don't Sweat the Petty Stuff, and Don't Pet the Sweaty Stuff.)
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To: Z-28
This is too easy to be a viable solution... isn't it?
28 posted on 01/31/2004 11:38:15 AM PST by Z-28 ())
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To: Jaysun

A reply to the talk that Water Vapor renders CO2 irrelevant, 4 things:

1. Water vapor may be a greenhouse gas, but it is not seeing an anthropogenic (human caused) rise like CO2 is. We are seeing human caused global warming. It is being caused by CO2, regardless of CO2's makeup of the total greenhouse gasses.

2. Water Vapor being a major constituent of greenhouse gasses actually compounds CO2's effect. A small rise in temperature from CO2 will raise evaporation rates and the air's ability to hold water vapor. This increased amount of water vapor will in turn raise temperatures a bit more, resulting in.. more water vapor. Thus the effect of CO2 is much greater than the heating effect of CO2 alone.

3. It is most likely that the 5% is by weight, and well, water is heavy.

4. The amount of something speaks nothing to the effect of something. By mass, seawater is only something like 3% salt. But damn, it tastes salty. If you say CO2 doesn’t matter because it only makes up 5% of the total greenhouse gasses, then I encourage you to drink all the seawater you want, its only 3% salt after all.

Hope this made sense, it was somewhat off the cuff.


29 posted on 12/14/2004 11:29:15 AM PST by theplogger
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To: TheBattman

Plants and CO2:

It is true that plants sequester CO2 (including aquatic life, with simple sea plankton and algae being a major carbon sink). Because of the increased levels of CO2 we are actuall seeing a slight increase in growth rates in individual trees and plants. Problem is though, we're cutting down most of the trees. So there's fewer of them to fix the carbon out of the air (bare dirt and farmland provide almost no carbon sequestration).

Making the problem worse is we are losing a lot of forest to slash and burn in the tropics, releasing all the carbon they've stored up.

You are right. Plants do absorb CO2, and they will continue to do so, and the rates of sequestration for an individual plant will increase and adjust to higher CO2 levels. And, if pressed I believe any scientist will even tell you that we will reach a balance at some point to where CO2 output will be equal to CO2 sequestration (so that levels will steady and no longer increase). But such a balance will still leave us with higher atmospheric levels of CO2 than we have currently. This will still result in a warmer planet.

We're not talking about the end of the world here. But we are talking about the *changing* of the world. Specifically we are talking about the warming of the planet, a warming that we can measure even today, a warming that is already causing species that can to migrate to higher latittudes, a warming that we already know is mostly human caused.

This is a warming that may result in some benefits, such as longer growing periods in some areas. But also a warming that will mean desertificatoin of some places and mass flooding of others as sea levels rise.

No, the world wont end. But massive climate change on a global scale is no small matter either.

Understanding that plants absorb CO2 is a small (but important) piece of a much larger and mildly more complex picture.


30 posted on 12/14/2004 2:20:30 PM PST by theplogger
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To: theplogger
1. Water vapor may be a greenhouse gas, but it is not seeing an anthropogenic (human caused) rise like CO2 is. We are seeing human caused global warming. It is being caused by CO2, regardless of CO2's makeup of the total greenhouse gasses.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I take issue with this first point, which if incorrect, renders the others irrelevant. In talking with several people from NASA (I live in Huntsville, AL) and other organizations, it's my understanding that human caused warming via CO2 is still merely a theory - and not a very sound one at that. The globe warms and cools and always has.

That may be a very simplistic view, but the "consensus" that is often used to give the human caused global warming theory merit is itself without merit. Science isn't a democracy wherein the idea getting the most votes becomes fact.
31 posted on 12/15/2004 9:15:04 AM PST by Jaysun (I'm pleased to report that Arafat's condition remains stable.)
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