RS-45 CO2 Sequestration Potential of Colorado


This publication provides a detailed characterization of the carbon dioxide emissions and carbon storage potential of Colorado. Storage options for the state are diverse, including oil and gas reservoirs, coalbed reservoirs, deep saline formations, and advanced mineralization engineering. The CGS participated in Phase I of the Southwest Regional Partnership (SWP) on Carbon Sequestration Project where the primary objective was to characterize the CO2 environment throughout the southwestern region of the U.S. For the State of Colorado, this task consisted of the following three subtasks: (1) assemble CO2 source data, (2) assemble CO2 sink data, and (3) estimate carbon storage capacity. These results were incorporated into a GIS package for public-access and regional-based analysis. The report briefly discusses the methodology, data sources, and findings for each of these subtasks. Several centuries worth of carbon storage are identified based on current carbon emission levels in Colorado. Digital ZIP download. RS-45D

From the Abstract:

In 2000, CO2CO2 emissions were more than 92 million short tons in Colorado and are projected to increase by 2.4 percent per year through 2025. Nearly 76 percent of these emissions result from activities in the utility and transportation sectors. Power generation in the state relies primarily on coal and as a result, 42 million short tons of CO2 or 46 percent of the total emissions in Colorado are emitted from power plants in the utility sector. These stationary point sources afford the possibility of capture and separation of CO2 for transport to and storage at nearby “sinks”.

Although CO2 sink potential is widely distributed across the state, characterization efforts focused on seven “pilot study regions” defined on the basis of maximum diversity in potential sequestration options relatively close to large CO2 sources. Utilizing both geologic and mineralization options, carbon storage capacity within these regions is an estimated 720 billion short tons. With the availability of suitable technology, the pilot areas have the potential of providing a long-term storage solution based on 2000 CO2 emission levels. The highest CO2 sequestration capacity potential for Colorado lies within the oil, gas, coalbed, and saline aquifer reservoirs of the Denver, Cañon City Embayment, Piceance, and Sand Wash basins. Further site-specific investigations are required to determine both the technical and economic feasibility of implementing carbon storage projects in any one of these areas.