All of these studies involve identifying large point sources of carbon emissions, assessing terrestrial and geologic opportunities for carbon storage, examining transportation issues, and evaluating public health and safety.
In Phase II research, pilot projects to test underground storage concepts will be initiated. In a separate project, the Kentucky Geological Survey has recently received U.S. Department of Energy funding to gather data on the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases that naturally migrate between soils and the atmosphere. These background data will be useful for monitoring geologic storage sites. The data collected will enable investigators to distinguish natural changes in carbon dioxide concentrations from potential surface seeps that could occur when carbon dioxide is injected underground for storage.
Other ongoing research at the Survey indicates natural gas production may be enhanced by injection and sequestration of carbon dioxide into organic-rich gas shales. On this topic, research is now focused on studying the efficiency and practicality of this carbon dioxide storage opportunity. Estimates compiled to date indicate that the geologic formations in Kentucky could theoretically sequester up to 33 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. These new research efforts will help to refine our knowledge and determine which formations will actually be suitable for such uses.