CCUS 2022


J. Fred McLaughlin, Scott Quillinan, Kipp Coddington, Zunsheng Jiao, Yuri Ganshin, Charles W. Nye, Ying Yu, Matthew Bryce Johnson, Erin Phillips, Selena Rose Gerace, Garrett Gay, University of Wyoming

Wyoming CarbonSAFE is a Department of Energy (DOE) funded project (DE-FE0029375, DE-FE0031624, DE-FE0031891) with the objective of advancing the development of a large-scale (50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) over 30 years) storage site immediately adjacent to Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s (BEPC) coal-powered Dry Fork Station (DFS) in the northern Powder River Basin, the nation’s largest coal producing basin. To do so, the project team is completing site characterization, drafting UIC Class VI permits for proposed wells, testing existing wells, and drafting strategies for economic, regulatory and operations. Together these activities will meet DOE’s storage goal while preparing the site for commercial activities. The team is also collaborating with the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, a CCUS research facility co-located at DFS that that is currently hosting a FEED study and a large-scale CO₂ capture demonstration project led by Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. who will provide options for CO₂ capture. This presentation will provide a summary of the project’s progress. Wyoming CarbonSAFE will de-risk commercial-scale CCUS at DFS, one of the nation’s newest and cleanest coal-fired power plants. The Wyoming CarbonSAFE project has made major advancements in subsurface and environmental site characterization since 2016. In 2019, a ~9,800’ stratigraphic test well was completed south of DFS, providing >620’ of core from target reservoir/seal pairs, six in-situ formation fluid samples, and extensive well logs. In 2020, the team acquired a 3x3 mi2 3D seismic survey, centered on the well. Structural features revealed by the survey are subject of the ongoing geological and geomechanical modeling. In late 2021 or early 2022, a second well will be drilled offset from the first well and will be used to perform interference tests between target reservoir zones. Both wells will be built to meet Class VI permitting requirements, and provide the data necessary to complete Class VI permits at a future date. The paired well design is also expected to optimize pore resource use through stacked storage injection. In 2020, the project team initiated its environmental characterization strategy to provide assurance that future operation does not negatively affect the site. Environmental sampling includes soil gas, passive seismic activity, groundwater and surface water. Environmental stations were placed to address the storage hub’s most likely risks. Early-stage injection modeling, coupled with regulatory assessments, have identified up to seven viable sites within the storage hub that could be developed as additional injection sites. This capacity, and the Wyoming CarbonSAFE storage hub’s location adjacent to existing CO₂ sources and CO₂ infrastructure, make it an important location for developing and demonstrating commercially viable large-scale geologic CO₂ storage.