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Abstract

In response to rising concerns about atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and likely regulations on emissions, investigations into geologic carbon storage options across the United States are underway. In the Midwest, Cambrian sandstones are major targets for potential geologic carbon storage. In some localities, the overlying Cambrian–Ordovician Knox Group is also being investigated as a possible target for primary and secondary storage of CO2. The thick dolomitic succession contains intervals that may function as both reservoirs and seals.

Gas storage fields in Knox carbonates in Kentucky and Indiana demonstrate that methane can be safely stored in paleotopographic highs along the Knox unconformity surface. Numerous injection wells have also been completed in the Knox Group for brine disposal. More significantly, at least seven class 1 injection wells have used the Knox as all or part of a storage reservoir for industrial wastes. Many of these wells have injected millions of gallons of liquid waste annually into Knox reservoirs. The relative scale of these injection operations can be used to estimate the types and sizes of potential reservoirs within the Knox succession in the Midwest.

Specific data on the Knox interval relative to its carbon storage and confining potential are currently being collected from wells drilled as part of U.S. Department of Energy administered carbon storage projects, as well as state-administered carbon storage programs. In this chapter, initial results of carbon storage tests are summarized from the Battelle 1 Duke Energy well, Kentucky Geological Survey 1 Blan well, Battelle-American Electric Power (AEP) 1 Mountaineer well, and Battelle-Ohio Geological Survey 1 CO2 well. The AEP Mountaineer Power Plant will host the nation’s first commercially integrated carbon capture and geologic storage project, and the storage reservoirs will be in the Knox Group. Because the Knox Group is widespread at depth across much of the Midwest, it will be an important part of sequestration programs as confining interval and reservoir.

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