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Carbon Sequestration: Implications for Wyoming
Released: 7/28/2009 9:38:18 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Mike Sweat 1-click interview
Phone: 307-775-9174

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Phone: 307-775-9162

While capture and underground storage, or sequestration, of carbon dioxide may be a viable climate change mitigation option in some states including Wyoming, its potential risks require further study.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research hydrologist Dr. Yousif Kharaka will present a talk in Cheyenne, Wyo. about the feasibility and implications of capturing and storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide underground in depleted oil fields and deep rock formations with salty aquifers. 

“In order to slow global warming and related climate change, the capture and storage of carbon dioxide may be an important component,” said Kharaka.  “We have been evaluating a variety of projects using different techniques in different geologic formations for long-term storage of carbon dioxide.”

However, the potential for the carbon dioxide and the salty water into which it is injected to move into drinkable groundwater is a risk that needs to be carefully assessed for any site where injection is being considered.

“A key question to storing carbon dioxide—how much of the gas will leak out of the rock in which it is injected—remains unanswered, and is just one of the many unknown components of the process,” Kharaka said.

Wyoming has areas where the geology and groundwater have potential for storing the carbon dioxide, and several sites in the State are currently being investigated as carbon dioxide storage locations.

Kharaka’s talk, which is open to the public, will take place at 10:30 a.m. on August 6, 2009 at the Laramie County Library in the Cottonwood Room, Cheyenne, Wyo.

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