Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and permanently storing it deep below the earth’s surface to ensure that it will not be released into the atmosphere.
For more than two decades carbon capture has been in use for limited applications. Legacy CCS projects include capturing and storing carbon generated by coal-fired power plants and repurposing CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects.
But today, CCS is making new headlines as a must-have climate action whose implementation will make a significant improvement to the environment. Climate researchers and government policy makers are in agreement that increasing access to carbon capture solutions and the infrastructure that supports them will be paramount to meeting climate change targets going forward.
Natural gas production in the Northeastern Delaware Basin has historically contained high concentrations of CO2. Energy producers in the region now have an opportunity to permanently prevent this naturally occurring CO2 from entering the atmosphere or affecting the climate.
Piñon Midstream’s Dark Horse facility removes the CO2 from the natural gas and permanently sequesters it more than 17,000 feet below the surface in geologic formations that are highly suitable for this purpose. The carbon dioxide never has to enter pipelines for further transport once it enters the Dark Horse facility for geologic sequestration.
Geologic Sequestration of Carbon: Piñon’s Independence AGI #1 and Independence AGI #2
Piñon geologically sequesters the harmful gases with its Independence AGI #1, a new acid gas injection well located within the Dark Horse Sour Gas Treating and Carbon Capture Facility in Lea County, New Mexico. This well has been designed to safely and permanently sequester H2S and CO2 in deep, Devonian-era rock formations. With respect to permitted single-well injection capacity, the Independence AGI #1 ranks as one of the largest-capacity sequestration wells in the entire Permian Basin. The well is, in fact, the deepest and largest-capacity acid gas injection well in New Mexico.
Specialized acid gas compressors are used to inject the gases into the well where they will be permanently sequestered in a deep saline reservoir within an interval that runs from 16,200 feet to 17,900 feet below the earth’s surface. The well is able to sequester up to 12 million cubic feet of acid gas per day (12 MMcf/day). A second injection well, the Independence AGI #2, has been permitted and is scheduled to be completed in 2022. This will double the geologic sequestration capacity of the Dark Horse Facility.
The risk of induced seismic activity from a well of this depth is very low. To monitor for any seismic activity, Piñon has installed a seismic station at the wellsite that will become part of the New Mexico statewide monitoring network.
Piñon will report information on carbon dioxide received for injection, implement an EPA-approved site-specific Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Plan (MRV Plan), and report the amount of carbon dioxide geologically sequestered.