Scientists find no carbon dioxide (CO2) leaked on Kerr farm

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not leaking from a nearby carbon storage site on the Canadian farm owned by Cameron and Jane Kerr, IPAC-CO2 Research Inc. concluded in a report released this week.

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The Kerr family held a news conference in January in Regina, Saskatchewan, demanding a full public investigation of problems related to surface and well water at their livestock farm. The Kerrs said they first noticed those changes on their property in 2004, one year after a carbon dioxide injection associated with an Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project began near their farm. The farm is located near the Cenovus Weyburn CO2 storage site. 

The IPAC study concluded that shallow groundwater quality at the site meets Saskatchewan's Drinking Water Quality Standards and Objectives, that the existing CO2 levels were natural and that CO2 did not leak from the injection site. 

“The CO2 injected by Cenovus Energy as part of its enhanced oil recovery project is not the source of CO2 found on the Kerr farm,” said Dr. Carmen Dybwad, Chief Executive Officer of the environmental non-government organization. “The levels of natural CO2 we found were normal.”

The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Energy Association are developing similar projects in the U.S.  The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) began work last month on the first U.S. CO2 injection site in Illinois. The CO2 is captured from the fermentation process used to produce ethanol at Archer Daniels Midland Company's (ADM) corn processing complex.  It is then compressed into a dense-liquid and stored more than one mile underground.   

The project is part of the federal Development Phase of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program launched in 2003.


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