Just over 3,000 feet below the South Central Kansas landscape and capped by up to hundreds and hundreds of feet of Permian evaporites there is a study on-going by the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) and others to assess the potential for CO2 sequestration in the depleting oil and gas formations of the Arbuckle Group. Not only will the extensive and relatively thick formations be looked at as the possible storage vessel for manmade sources of CO2 for the mitigation of climate change, but the injections could also squeeze the last vestiges of oil and gas from within - a win-win situation - if all goes well.
KGS is working primarily from $9.9 million in grants from the Department of Energy on this $12.6 million project - slated to be done in December, 2012. No injections will be made as this study is simply to assess the potential to use these formations if US policy embraces underground CO2 sequestration. KGS seems to think there is a 600 year storage capacity here, and a good industry could be generated by this situation. Several issues are under the gun, though: Who owns the pore spaces in these deep formations? How much CO2 can be stored within? Will it stay contained over time? Will it be an effective enhanced oil recovery process? What chemical and physical reactions can we expect? How will injected material attenuate over space and time? And the list goes on.
The study materials are all neatly located on the KGS website for this project at this link. Warning: A close look at this site is NOT for the timid. There is a lot of material - technical and otherwise. Quite frankly, I was surprised to learn about the on-going and planned CO2 sequestration projects worldwide - and much more about the issues - international and domestic. This site is worth some time if you have any interest at all.