WP advances CO2 sequestration, ECBMI, EOR demos
Guntis Moritis, Production; Editor, Oil & Gas Journal / Oct. 6, 2008

Southwest Regional Partnership (SWP) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) continues its Phase 2 and 3 carbon dioxide projects for validating the feasibility of sequestering co2 in saline aquifers, coalbeds, and oil fields.

As part of Phase 2, SWP started injecting CO2 at the end of July in the Fruitland coalbeds of the San Juan basin in New Mexico. Its San Juan Pump Canyon test aims to demonstrate whether CO2 can enhance methane production from coalbeds (ECEM) as well as the potential of coalbeds to sequester injected CO21

Another part of Phase 2 will investigate whether Pump Canyon water, produced from the coalbeds, can if desalinated restore vegetation near streams.
Two other parts of Phase 2 involve CO, injection in oil fields.2   One is in Aneth oil field in the Paradox basin of Utah that will test CO2 injection in a saline zone and the other is in the SACROC Unit in the Permian basin of West Texas that will test CO2 enhanced oil recovery concurrent with CO2 storage in the reservoir.

SWP also has started Phase 3 of the project that involves injecting CO2 into saline water zones in the Farnham dome in Utah. It plans to drill the injection well toward yearend 2008.
SWP is one of seven regional partnerships organized by DOE in 2003 to validate and demonstrate the feasibility of CO2 sequestration underground. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology leads the companies and organization involved in SWP.
Reid Grigg, senior engineer for New Mexico Petroleum Recovery Research Center at the New Mexico Tech, Socorro, said the total cost of the three phases would be about $130 million of which DOE will provide $90 million. The remaining $40 million comes from industry, state governments, and other sources.
Grigg estimated the cost of each phase as:
Phase 1—$10 million. The phase involved characterization of the sequestration potential of the region that includes Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of Arizona, Kansas and Wyoming (Fig. 1). Phase 1 started in 2003 and finished in 2005.
Phase 2—$20 million. The phase has the four parts mentioned previous. It started in 2005 and goes through 2009.
Phase 3—$90 million. For this saline aquifer injection phase, DOE will provide $65 million while other sources will provide $35 million. The phase started in 2008 and will continue at least through 2017.

Injection in the deep saline sequestration test at Aneth oil field near Bluff Utah started in November 2005 and will conclude in 2009.
Resolute Natural Recourses Co. and Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Co. operate the field.
SWP’s plan is to inject about 150,000 tons of CO2 during 3.5 years and to conduct extensive monitoring, measurement, and verification (MMV) studies, including a suite of direct techniques (direct CO2 flux measures) and indirect techniques (seismic models).

In SACROC, SWP will evaluate CO2 enhanced oil recovery with concurrent CO2 sequestration. Pilot injection may begin by yearend 2008.
SWP will evaluate 2D and 3D seismic for monitoring injected CO2 and also evaluated various MMW approaches.
Kinder Morgan CO2 Co. LP operates the unit.

Pump Canyon
The Pump Canyon test is near the completed Allison Unit ECEM test (Fig. 2), but as explained by Scott R. Reeves, executive vice-president Advanced Resources International Inc. (ARI), the Pump Canyon test is in highly permeable coals whereas the Allison Unit test was in tight coals. The injectivity is also high, about 1 MMcfd at 300 psi, he said. He also added that unlike in the Allison Unit test, the coalbeds in Pump Canyon are at low pressure and nearly depleted.

The Allison ECEM test was in the early 2000s while the nearby Tiffany ECBM test with Nitrogen took place in 1990s (OGJ, July 14, 2003, p.49).
ConocoPhillips operates Pump Canyon and ARI is the CO2 project coordinator.
The project involves three coalbed methane producing wells and a centrally located injection well on a 640-acre section. The three coal seams are at 3,000 ft and have a 75 ft thickness each over a 175-ft interval.
SWP plans to inject about 35,000 tons of CO2 during 6 months and evaluate an extensive list of MMV approaches including a 36 static tilt meter array (Fig 3) as well as checks for CO2 leakage on the surface.

A separate part of the test will evaluate use of desalinated coalbed produced water for restoring vegetation along a streambed.

Farnham dome
Farnham Dome in an anticline in east-central Utah in which CO2 was discovered in the 1920s and 1930s. Currently Savoy Energy produces CO2 from the field for industrial uses. SWP also expects that in the future CO2 from the dome will be used for EOR projects in the Uinta Basin.

Grigg said that SWP plans to com­plete the injection well with dual tub­ing strings for injecting CO2 into saline aquifer formations at 3,500 and 5,500

The industrial partners for the proj­ect include Savoy Energy Corp.. Rocky Mountain Power, Questar Gas Corp., and Blue Source LLC.


1.Advanced Resources International Inc., “Pump Canyon CO2-ECBM/Sequestration Demonstration, San Juan Basin SWP Phase 2 Program Project Overview & Status,” Coal-Seq VI Forum, Houston, Apr. 10-11, 2008.
2. McPherson, B., “Southwest Phase II Overview,” DE- FC26-05NT42591, Pittsburgh. May 9, 2007