BLM Approves Carbon Capture on Wyoming Public Lands
The BLM is authorizing the first-of-its-kind construction of underground carbon capture infrastructure on public lands in two Wyoming counties to benefit the state’s efforts to grow the industry.
In an important step in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to address the climate crisis, the Bureau of Land Management has approved ExxonMobil Corporation’s proposal to sequester carbon deep in Lincoln and Sweetwater counties, Wyoming.
The proposal includes a well pad and a carbon dioxide removal pipeline. When completed, the infrastructure will provide the option of permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide produced with natural gas at Exxon Mobil’s existing Shute Creek plant near Kemmerer.
This is the first such project to be approved on land managed by BLM.
Currently, ExxonMobil sells carbon dioxide for commercial use, and excess carbon dioxide is vented to the atmosphere under a permit approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
“This project is a great example of how BLM can work with industry leaders to fight climate change,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Andrew Archuleta. “Projects like this will allow BLM to play a role in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.”
The disposal well will sequester approximately 60 million cubic feet of carbon dioxide per day at a depth of approximately 18,000 feet in the water leg of the Madison formation, which is an approved disposal area. Injecting carbon dioxide into underground geological formations provides safe, secure and permanent removal.
Earlier this year, the BLM released a new policy on the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide on public lands.
Geological 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, usually as a temporary measure to produce more oil.
Northeastern Wyoming is striving to become an international hub for coal research. Carbon capture is part of this research and is strongly encouraged by Governor Mark Gordon.
This is the first time the BLM has issued a policy allowing permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide.