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logoKentucky Consortium for Carbon Storage

A research project administered by the Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Logo
Oversight and funding from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Partners in the Western Kentucky Deep Carbon Storage Test Well

Photos of the Hancock County Deep Carbon-storage project

WKy Deep Test Subproject
EKy Deep Test Subproject
EOR and EGR Subproject
Consortium Members

Quarterly Report, April-June, 2008.

Quarterly Report, July – September 2008.

Quarterly Report October – December 2008.

Quarterly Report, January – March 2009

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Presentations from the December 7, 2007 meeting: Invitation to the KYCCS
Rob Finley, Illinois State Geological Survey, MGSC (6M PDF)
Neeraj Gupta, Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, MRCSP (5M PDF)
Dave Harris, Kentucky Geological Survey, KYCCS Organization , Goals, and Future (7M PDF)

General geologic column showing capture at power plant and underground injection.

The increasing energy needs of Kentucky and the United States will require continued reliance on coal as a major energy source. Kentucky has large coal resources that have traditionally been used for electric power generation, but also have the potential to be synthesized as transportation fuels. Alternative uses of Kentucky coal could help the United States reduce its dependence on oil imports. Coal combustion and fuel conversion processes, however, produce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and it is likely that such emissions will be mitigated in the future. Geologic sequestration of CO2, which is the focus of this research, is a developing technology that might reduce future CO2 emissions from stationary sources. Research is under way across the nation to determine where and to what degree this technology can be used. Demonstrating geologic sequestration would allow continued use of Kentucky coal with decreased greenhouse gas emissions.

New Legislation Funds Carbon Management Research

Anticipating requirements to mitigate CO2 emissions resulting from the use of coal in Kentucky, the Kentucky Legislature passed House Bill 1 in a 2007 special session. This bill authorizes funding for research by the Kentucky Geological Survey in the areas of CO2 enhanced oil recovery, CO2 enhanced gas recovery, and permanent geologic sequestration of CO2.

HB 1 requires the drilling of research wells in Kentucky's eastern and western coal fields to assess the suitability of subsurface reservoirs for CO2 storage. The bill also requires applying CO2 enhanced gas recovery technology to the Devonian black shale, Kentucky's most prolific gas reservoir.

Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Sequestration

HB 1 encourages the Kentucky Geological Survey to partner with industry to share the cost of this important research. The Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Sequestration has been formed to accomplish this goal. Members of this consortium will benefit from cooperative sequestration research that will cost a fraction of independent research programs.

Deep Saline Reservoirs

The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that deep, porous, saltwater-bearing rock formations provide the best choice for permanent sequestration (storage) of large volumes of CO2. The Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Sequestration will drill two research wells to collect data and conduct injection testing of subsurface reservoirs in Kentucky. These wells will add to our sparse data set for deeper formations, and help assess Kentucky's potential for CO2 sequestration.

Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery

Injection of CO2 has been successfully used for enhanced oil recovery in west Texas and other fields for more than 30 years. Availability and cost, however, have limited the widespread use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in Kentucky oil fields. Capture of CO2 from coal gasification and power plants could provide a source of low-cost CO2. Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Sequestration research will include a demonstration of CO2-enhanced oil recovery technology in Kentucky, where the potential in-place target resource is more than 1.3 billion barrels of oil.

Certain types of gas reservoirs could also benefit from CO2 injection. Carbon dioxide can displace methane in organic-rich formations such as coals and black shales, increasing gas production. Kentucky Consortium for Carbon Sequestration will conduct an enhanced gas recovery demonstration in the Devonian shale. Testing this concept is important because of Kentucky's vast black shale gas resources.

Project Schedule

The consortium will be organized in early 2008, and research will take up to 4 years to complete. Preliminary site selection for the two deep wells will be completed in the spring of 2008, and seismic data acquisition and other site characterization work will take place that summer. Final site selection will be completed by the fall of 2008. Permitting will follow and we hope to begin drilling the first well in late 2008. The enhanced oil and gas phase of the research will begin in mid 2008. Research results and progress will be posted on this Web site.

Project Management

The Kentucky Geological Survey, a research center of the University of Kentucky, will manage the consortium and lead the research. The Kentucky Geological Survey has been involved in carbon sequestration research for more than 7 years, and is currently participating in three U.S. Department of Energy-funded regional CO2 partnerships, and several State-funded sequestration projects. KGS researchers have expertise in regional subsurface geology, reservoir analysis, seismic interpretation, geochemistry, and coal geology.


David C. Harris
Head, Energy and Minerals Section
Kentucky Geological Survey
504 Rose Street
228 Mining and Mineral Resources Bldg.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0107


Kentucky House Bill 1 (2007)

Kentucky Geological Survey

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium (Illinois Basin including western Kentucky)

Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (Appalachian Basin including eastern Kentucky)

Midcontinent Interactive Digital Carbon Atlas and Relational DataBase

National Carbon Explorer (NATCARB)