Western Pennsylvania Oil, Gas Fields Eyed for Carbon Dioxide Storage

By Napsha, Joe | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Western Pennsylvania Oil, Gas Fields Eyed for Carbon Dioxide Storage


Napsha, Joe, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The region's many oil and natural gas fields could become sites for the underground storage of carbon dioxide, which is one of the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are harming the environment, a state environmental official said Wednesday.

The state is in the early stages of developing a database of potential sites that could be used for storing carbon dioxide captured from sources such as coal-fired power plants and cement plants, said Kristin M. Carter, section chief of carbon sequestration for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey.

"All of Western Pennsylvania is a prospective area because of the oil and gas drilling over the past 150 years," Carter said.

Identifying sites in the state for storing carbon dioxide might take seven to 10 years, Carter said, given all the factors that must be considered. Those include geologic conditions, environmental risks, the availability of potential sites and who owns the property where carbon dioxide could be pumped underground, Carter said.

The process of capturing carbon emissions and sequestering them underground is being explored at the International Pittsburgh Coal Conference, where 450 representatives of government, industry and universities are exploring how to reduce coal's impact on the environment. The four-day conference concludes today in the Westin Convention Center hotel, Downtown.

"CCS (carbon capture and storage) needs to be part of the" program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, said Anthony V. Cugini, director of the Office of Research and Development at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in South Park. …

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Western Pennsylvania Oil, Gas Fields Eyed for Carbon Dioxide Storage
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