Carbon Sequestration Challenges in Kentucky*
James A. Drahovzal1, Brandon C. Nuttall1, Stephen F. Greb1, Thomas M. Parris1, David C. Harris1, and Cortland F. Eble1
Search and Discovery Article #80012 (2008)
Posted October 22, 2008
*Adapted from oral presentation at AAPG Annual
1Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
The State legislature of Kentucky recently passed legislation to provide incentives for coal-to-liquids and coal-to-gas facilities in Kentucky. The incentives include funding for the drilling of a deep research test well in each of the two Kentucky coal fields located in the Appalachian and the Illinois Basins. The goal of the two drill holes will be to provide detailed data critical for assessing the potential of specific reservoirs that are deeper than 2,500 feet for long-term CO2 sequestration. In addition to the study of large-scale, "permanent" reservoirs, the legislation also calls for specific data collection with regard to the enhanced oil and gas recovery potential of existing Kentucky oil and gas fields. The challenge of this drilling program will lie in the selection of two sites that represent the complex and varied deep geology of the state, with broad applicability to the proposed facilities. Because coal-to-fuels facilities have lifetimes up to 40 years and will generate as much as 5 million tonnes of CO2 each year, massive reservoir capacities will be required. Although Kentucky has projected an estimated 7.2 billion tonnes of geologic capacity in deep saline aquifers and oil and gas fields, the details of reservoir- and seal-rock parameters, such as porosity, permeability, injectivity, capillary entry pressure, and degree of fracturing at depth, remain largely unknown. An additional 25 billion tonnes of storage may be available in organic-rich shales by means of adsorption of CO2, but this is speculative and requires confirmation. Data collected from the drilling and analyses of the two wells will help to inform decision makers about the viability of future development of the proposed facilities in Kentucky. Such facilities are important to the future economy and use of coal in the Commonwealth, as well as to that of the Nation.
Kentucky House Bill 1 legislation that:
encourages development of coal-gasification facilities
provides Kentucky Geological Survey funding for geologic carbon-storage research
Resulting KGS carbon storage projects
Western Kentucky deep drilling project
Kentucky HB 1 passed in August 2007
Provides financial incentives for development of coal-gasification plants
Use Kentucky coal
Provides $5 million to KGS for geologic carbon storage research
Encouraged to use the $5 million to match available federal and private funds
Quantify the potential for:
Test the organic-rich Devonian gas shales
CO2 storage potential
Drill deep tests to estimate permanent storage potential
Eastern Coal Field
Western Coal Field
KGS realizes that $5 million is not sufficient to accomplish all these goals.
Developed and is still developing partnerships.
Created a joint industry-government consortium to carry out the directives.
Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Storage (KYCCS) administered by KGS at the University of Kentucky (Web site: www.kyccs.org)
CO2 enhanced oil recovery
CO2 enhanced gas recovery/Devonian shale
Western Kentucky deep CO2 storage
Eastern Kentucky deep CO2 storage
Public relations and technology transfer
ConocoPhillips, E.ON U.S. LLC, Kentucky Syngas, LLC, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Kentucky Governorâ€™s Office of Energy Policy, Smith Management Group, State of Illinois Office of Coal Development, Schlumberger Carbon Services
Big Rivers Electric Corp., GEO Consultants, LLC, Henderson County Riverport Authority, ICON Construction, Inc., Praxair Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, Sunshine Oil and Gas, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, URS Corp.
Farthest along of the projects
Drill-site selection criteria (primarily geologic)
As representative of the regional geology as possible
Maximum depth 8,000 feet
Porosity of the Mt. Simon is higher at shallower depths
Drilling and testing cost considerations (up to $7 million)
Test the entire sedimentary section to basement for both sink and seal characteristics
Target reservoir zones below 2,500 feet depth
Knox Group: Primary target
Mt. Simon Sandstone: Secondary target
Other targets: New Albany Shale, Silurian dolomites, St. Peter Sandstone, Gunter Sandstone (Knox), Precambrian sandstones
Must be within the western coal producing area
Screening for location relied regional seismic data (only 7 basement test)
Partners (utilities, energy companies, service companies, state agencies, U.S. DOE) are agreeing to:
provide in-kind services
provide well sites
share in the planning
Not-for-profit organization: Western Kentucky Carbon Storage Foundation Inc.
KGS selects projects and sites, and allocates funds
All results are public
Project will require 3 to 4 years for completion
Projects to run concurrently
Deep drilling is the first priority due to lead time required in identifying partners, drilling rigs, and funding
Western Kentucky deep-drilling project started
Drilling expected to commence within the year
Collecting seismic data in area of well before drilling
Partners for the other projects currently being sought
Additional seismic data will be collected prior to drillings will tell us if Mt Simon is at drill location
Whole core and side-wall cores in reservoir and seal intervals
Run and interpret extensive suite of well logs
Collect fluid samples (brine, oil, gas) from target zones for geochemistry
Analyze core samples for porosity, permeability, mineralogy, mechanical strength, and other physical properties
Conduct injection tests using fluid, air, or CO2
HB-1 is an opportunity to assess geologic CO2 enhanced recovery and permanent storage options in Kentucky with better data sets than in the past
The deep drilling project in western Kentucky has progressed the farthest
Updated results of this and the other projects will be reported at future meetings over the next 4-5 years
Still looking for partners
Drahovzal, J.A., 1997, Proterozoic sequences and their implications for Precambrian and Cambrian geologic evolution of western Kentucky: Evidence from seismic-reflection data: Seismological Research Letters, v. 68, no. 4, p. 553-566.
Metarko, T. A., 1980, Porosity, water chemistry, cement and grain fabric with depth in the Upper Cambrian Mount Simon and LaMotte sandstones of the Illinois basin: Master's thesis, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 88 p.
KunleDare, Mojisola, A., 2003, Effect of early cementation on the development of secondary porosity in sandstones — Examples from the Cambrian of Illinois Basin (abstract): Search and Discovery Article #90020 (2003)
Makowitz, Astrid, 2004, The genetic association between brittle deformation and quartz cementation elucidated by scanned cathodoluminescence imaging: Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basin Petroleum, Big Rivers Electric Corp., ConocoPhillips, E.ON U.S., LLC, GEO Consultants, LLC, Henderson County Riverport Authority, ICON Construction, Inc., Kentucky Syngas, LLC, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, Kentucky Governor's Office of Energy Policy, Praxair Inc., Smith Management Group, State of Illinois Office of Coal Development, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Sunshine Oil and Gas, Tennessee Valley Authority, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, URS Corp.
PIs for the Western Kentucky Deep Drilling Project