ND scientists test sites to store CO2

Published: Jan. 24, 2018 at 7:59 PM CST
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North Dakota scientists have long been considering what do with all the carbon dioxide created by energy production.

Energy companies will soon need to start capturing carbon dioxide to keep it from entering the atmosphere. That begs the question, what to do with it?

"The best place right now to put the captured CO2 to make sure it is not in the atmosphere is in the deep sub-surface possibly below where we are standing right now," said Wes Peck, Principal Geologist with the EERC.

Currently, the Energy and Environmental Resources Center is testing a rock formation thousands of feet beneath the surface see if it's compatible with carbon storage.

The way this will work is that carbon will be captured from the power plants. Then it will be transferred over to the carbon storage facility where it will be stored underground deep below the earth's surface.

Like most things this won't happen overnight.

"If the capture and storage of CO2 were to happen it would still be six plus years away," said Peck.

This is the second test site for this study. The first site, near Golden Valley, wrapped up a few weeks ago but not before a large salt water spill occurred.

"It's actively being remediated, working with the land owner, the state and we hope, of course, those things never happen and that they don't happen here,” said Peck.

Geologists on site say they are taking precautions to make sure something like that doesn't happen again.

The hope is to have the drilling done by the end of next month and then testing completed by the end of the year.