KEMMERER — In a significant milestone in the United States’ efforts to combat the climate crisis, the Bureau of Land Management has approved ExxonMobil Corporation’s proposal to sequester carbon deep underground in Lincoln and Sweetwater counties. This is the first project of its kind to be approved on BLM-managed lands.
The proposal includes a carbon dioxide disposal well pad and pipeline, which, once completed, will provide the opportunity for permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide produced along with natural gas at the existing Exxon Mobil Shute Creek Plant. Currently, ExxonMobil sells the carbon dioxide for commercial uses and excess carbon dioxide is vented into the atmosphere under a permit approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
“This project is a prime example of how the BLM can work together with industry leaders to combat climate change,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Andrew Archuleta. “Projects like this will allow the BLM to play a part in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.”
The disposal well will sequester approximately 60 million cubic feet of carbon dioxide daily at a depth of approximately 18,000 feet in the water leg of the Madison formation, which is an approved disposal zone. The injection of carbon dioxide into underground geologic formations offers safe, secure, and permanent disposal.
Earlier this year, the BLM issued a new policy relating to geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide on public lands. Geologic carbon sequestration is the process of safely injecting carbon dioxide deep underground, permanently preventing it from entering the atmosphere and contributing to the climate crisis.
Carbon dioxide has been injected underground in the United States since the 1940s, but typically as a temporary measure to produce more oil. This is the first time BLM has issued a policy to allow for the permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide.