KGS Navigation Bar, Search, Contact, KGS Home, UK Home University of Kentucky at Kentucky Geological Survey at Search KGS at contact kgs at KGS Home at UK Home at KGS Home

KGS Home > News and Announcements
Work at Carter County Research Well Completed

A test to evaluate the carbon dioxide storage potential of deep geologic formations in northern Kentucky was completed in Carter County. The Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky directed drilling and testing of a research well which was drilled to a depth of 4,835 feet. Steve Greb, Warren Anderson, and Rick Bowersox lead the research on this project with assistance from other KGS geologists. The well was located at the AA Limestone Quarry, operated by Hanson Aggregates who contributed the site for this this research.

The well penetrated Paleozoic strata from Mississippian to Cambrian ages, plus 120 ft. into Precambrian granite gneiss.  Steel casing was cemented in the well from the surface down to 2,944 feet to protect the groundwater from contamination. Eight cores totaling 453 ft. in length and 30 sidewall cores were taken during drilling operations. Laboratory analysis on these cores for porosity, permeability, mineralogy and other parameters is in progress. A suite of geophysical logs, including imaging logs, was run in the well. Three intervals, Mount Simon - Maryville Sandstone, Middle Copper Ridge Dolomite, and Rose Run Sandstone, at depths from 3,257 feet to 4,709 feet below the surface, were tested.

The testing in the wellbore itself determined properties such as formation rock strength, pressure, porosity & permeability, and formation fluid chemistry. The tests followed procedures developed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This research demonstrated that several geologic formations in the deep subsurface in the area investigated may be suitable for future CO2 storage. Other formations above the potential carbon-storage depths have properties that can help seal stored carbon dioxide in the deep subsurface. The well was permanently plugged and abandoned as required by Kentucky oil and gas regulations and the well site is being restored to its original condition.

A well in western Kentucky to evaluate the carbon dioxide storage potential of deep geologic formations was completed in 2010. Both projects were conducted as a result of the Energy Independence and Incentives Act of 2007 passed by the Kentucky General Assembly.

The information gained from this research will help in planning the state’s future with regard to coal usage, controls of CO2 if required, and other industrial applications that produce CO2. There are no plans for commercial CO2 storage in Carter County or anywhere in Kentucky.

Rick Bowersox watches as testing of the Carter County well is done in August.

Marty Parris, of the KGS Energy and Minerals Section,
prepares to take samples of formation waters in the well
as Liz Adams videotapes his work for the KGS YouTube page.