Carbon capture and storage

Bureau of Land Management OKs ExxonMobil To Sequester Carbon Dioxide in Wyoming

Consisting of a well pad and a pipeline, the storage project in the southwest of the state will be the first of its kind on land managed by the BLM.

Drilling For Oil, Wyoming
Source: RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved ExxonMobil’s proposal to sequester carbon deep underground in Lincoln and Sweetwater counties, Wyoming. This is the first project of its kind to be approved on BLM-managed lands.

The proposal includes a carbon-dioxide disposal well pad and pipeline, which, once completed, will provide the opportunity for permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide produced along with natural gas at the company’s existing Shute Creek Plant. Currently, ExxonMobil sells the carbon dioxide for commercial uses and excess carbon dioxide is vented into the atmosphere under a permit approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

“This project is a prime example of how the BLM can work together with industry leaders to combat climate change,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Andrew Archuleta. “Projects like this will allow the BLM to play a part in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.”

The disposal well will sequester approximately 60 million ft3 of carbon dioxide daily at a depth of approximately 18,000 ft in the water leg of the Madison formation, which is an approved disposal zone.

Earlier this year, the BLM issued a new policy relating to geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide on public lands. Geologic 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 but typically as a temporary measure to produce more oil. This is the first time BLM has issued a policy to allow for the permanent underground storage of carbon dioxide.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation.