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04 Dec 2023

University of Wyoming has been selected to lead a fourth CarbonSAFE project

Amy Power
University of Wyoming has been selected to lead a fourth CarbonSAFE project

The University of Wyoming has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead a fourth carbon capture and storage project. This project will be led specifically by the University’s School of Energy Resources (SER) and the project will be focused on Wyoming.

The aim of this project is to conduct a storage complex feasibility study with the focus being placed on the viability of creating a saline carbon dioxide storage hub, designed specifically for current and future companies to use within a particular area. This would be Echo Springs within south-central Wyoming, the surrounding area to the Williams Echo Springs CarbonSAFE, who is a collaborator in this planned $11.2 million project. This project, conducted as a collaboration between these two companies, will be a two-year study which plans to permit and drill a deep stratigraphic test well and interpret the resulting data, models and documents, with further site development in mind.

So far, the estimated outcomes of this study include confirming which of the six stacked formations at Echo Springs are able to safely, securely and economically store an estimated 50 million metric tons of CO2 indefinitely. A further step for this project will be to find a constant carbon source and also find pre-existing pipeline which can be used as transportation infrastructure. A huge benefit to this part of the project would be to find this infrastructure within the region, in order to successfully prove the project’s immediate viability.  

The vice president of new energy ventures at Williams, Brian Hlavinka, commented, “At Williams, carbon capture is a key element to our clean energy strategy as we deploy decarbonization technology along our nationwide footprint. This project in Wyoming is a great example of a public-private partnership between the federal government, academia and the energy industry to support long-term solutions at scale.”

Charles Nye, an SER research scientist and co-principal investigator, added, “We look forward to working on this project with great partners such as Williams. Wyoming has hosted some of the most promising carbon capture and storage projects, and it will be a pleasure to work with a company that also is a forerunner in emerging technologies in the energy industry."

CEGR director, Fred McLaughlin, mentioned, “The CarbonSAFE Initiative is a really incredible program that has played an integral role in advancing carbon capture and storage in Wyoming. The location for this project sits within a prolific gas field and, to date, there has been limited data of the deeper geologic formations to help us understand what the entire storage potential will be for the eastern side of the Greater Green River Basin. This CarbonSAFE project will allow us to develop carbon management strategies for the eastern part of the basin. We are so grateful to DOE for its continued carbon management support.”

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