Carbon Sequestration Opportunities in Kentucky
Nuttall, Brandon C., John B. Hickman, Cortland F. Eble, Jerry Weisenfluh, Bethany Overfield,
and James A. Drahovzal
Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Forecasts indicate that energy demand will increase and fossil fuels will continue to be important during this century. Combustion of hydrocarbons accounts for 97 percent of electricity generated in Kentucky and 70 percent nationwide. Kentucky CO2 emissions total 86.9 million metric tonnes, ranking seventh nationwide. Research to reduce these emissions is examining ways to increase efficiency, developing alternate and renewable fuels, and capturing and sequestering carbon. Geologic sequestration can provide an economic benefit for incremental oil recovery and enhanced natural gas production.
The Kentucky Geological Survey has completed a preliminary evaluation of geologic sequestration options as part of the MIDCARB project with Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio. This project compiled an inventory of carbon emissions sources and potential sequestration locations that is publicly available on the Web.
A total of nearly 33 billion metric tonnes of carbon could theoretically be sequestered in four main reservoir classes identified in Kentucky. A selection of oil and gas fields have a sequestration capacity of 1.07 billion metric tonnes. Below-drainage coals in the eastern and western coalfields have a capacity of 73 million metric tonnes. The carbonaceous black shales of Devonian age that underlie approximately 66 percent of Kentucky could sequester 25.1 billion metric tonnes. The Cambrian Mt. Simon sand, a deep saline aquifer underlying much of Kentucky north of the Rough Creek and Kentucky River Fault Systems, could store an additional 6 billion tonnes. In theory, this represents the capability to store 371 years of emissions at Kentucky's current emission rate.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90031©2004 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, October 3-5, 2004