The Weyburn carbon storage project has reached a critical phase after the alleged carbon dioxide leakage from its storage site. A blog post on this issue can be accessed here. This leakage issue was considered as a setback to the various CCS demonstration projects in the world as many countries are betting a lot on CCS technology as a possible way out to the present climate change crisis. The Alberta government sent out a message clearly saying that safety of its citizens won’t be compromised while finding a solution to reduce greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere.
The leakage issue came to light after an independent consultant employed by a Saskatchewan farm couple to study the possible gas leakage from a storage site near their farm. The report of the consultant supported the claims of the farm couple that CO2 has leaked from the Weyburn storage site post its injection underground for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) which is involved in monitoring Weyburn project site for any possible leaks was entrusted with the task of finding out the truth behind the claims of the farmer. Based on the extensive study done by PTRC, no results were found that could support the claim that CO2 injected into the reservoir migrated to the surface causing the leakage.
The finding of the preliminary study is encouraging but a detailed study has to be done to ascertain the facts provided by PTRC to make sure that CCS is a safe and proven technology.
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