CO2 Levels at Leaking Canadian Carbon Storage Project Could Asphyxiate You In One Place

weyburn ccs project image

Some more on the leaking carbon sequestration project in Canada that has killed farm animals, and caused all sorts of strange problems for farmers Cameron and Jane Kerr. A new piece in The Tyee fills in some of the background details and the current situation. All of it highlights the serious questions that remain about CCS projects and calls into doubt the continue support by politicians and polluters who seemingly hold out hope for the climate change mitigation technology. Here's what's going on in Saskatchewan:

weyburn ccs project photo
Going back to 2004, the Kerrs began noticing some leaks. This is shortly after both the IEA and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre claimed that there were no leaks in the Weyburn field CO2 storage project, which now stores more than 17 million metric tons of CO2 and is the world's largest geologic carbon sequestration project. Since that time the public monitoring data on the project "appears to have disappeared."

A year earlier, the Kerrs observed strange things happening in a gravel pit, which promptly filled with water after being dug--the water started hissing bubbles, foaming, and becoming discolored. Ducks, rabbits and nearby goat died. In 2007 the pond exploded.

The provincial government promised to do a year-long study, but never did. Which prompted the Kerrs to undertake the study, which Eco-Justice and others helped with and was released yesterday.

Here's the really scary part:

In one location alone [Paul Lafleur, of Petro-Find Geochem] detected concentrations as high as 110,607 parts per million (ppm), twice the amount needed to asphyxiate a person. Near the Kerr's home he also recorded concentrations of 17,000 ppm, a level "that far exceed the threshold level for health concerns." As a consequence "CO2 could enter the home in dangerous concentrations through the crawl space due to negative pressures caused by a natural gas heating furnace."

Given that Cenovus's closest injection well lies a mile away from the Kerr home, Lafleur concluded that the CO2 was probably seeping through open fractures and faults that intersect the Weyburn field. In other words, there were cracks in the [carbon] cemetery.

In addition a Saskatchewan lab confirmed that the CO2 found at Kerr's place clearly originated from "the CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir."

Read more: Pffft Goes Promise of Pumping CO2 Underground
images: PTRC
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More on Carbon Capture & Storage:
Canadian Carbon Sequestration Project Leaking, Killing Farm Animals & Causing Algae Blooms
Carbon Capture And Storage Will Happen - Here's Why We Should Support It
Leaking Underground Carbon Storage Schemes Could Contaminate Drinking Water Aquifers
Will Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) Conflict With Mineral & Property Rights?

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