On February 20, 2012, drilling commenced on a deep exploratory borehole at the sprawling 30,000-acre Thomas Hill Energy Center in north-central Missouri.
The deep borehole, the second of four that are being drilled at Missouri power plant sites, will extend into the Pre-Cambrian granite and, at a projected depth of 3,500 feet, will be among the deepest ever drilled in Missouri.
The boreholes are being drilled for the Missouri Carbon Sequestration Project, a federally-funded research project designed to assess the feasibility of storage, or sequestration, of carbon dioxide in deep sandstone formations beneath Missouri.
I am serving as Co-Principal Investigator for this unique project, working with project partners that include the largest electric utilities in the state: Ameren Missouri, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., City Utilities of Springfield, Kansas City Power & Light, and The Empire District Electric Company. Research partners include City Utilities, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Missouri State University, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Project oversight is provided by the Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The impact of carbon dioxide emissions has been hotly debated for several years. Should the federal government decide to regulate these emissions, sequestration of carbon dioxide in deep geologic formations will become a very important component of our nation’s energy strategy. Several dozen such research projects are underway nationwide, but the Missouri Carbon Sequestration Project stands alone as the only state-wide assessment of carbon sequestration capability.
Given the knowledge and understanding gained through this important project, GeoEngineers hopes to work with other states, and other utility groups, to complete similar assessments.
I will provide periodic updates on progress and findings, and will welcome your thoughts on carbon sequestration technology.