The WESTCARB coalition's small-scale CO2 storage test, the Arizona Utilities CO2 Storage Pilot near Holbrook, Arizona, is drilling now through the Coconino Sandstone as
"part of a broad research effort taking place throughout North America to validate the capability of deep geologic formations to permanently store CO2 produced from industrial sources, thereby preventing its emission into the atmosphere where it would contribute to global warming.
"The goal of the WESTCARB Arizona Pilot is to field-test the feasibility of CO2 injection and storage in the Colorado Plateau’s saline formations—deep-lying porous rock formations filled with saltwater that cannot economically be made suitable for drinking water or agriculture. WESTCARB’s regional characterization studies suggest that suitable CO2 storage sites lie beneath or near many of the coal-fired power plants in northeastern Arizona. The Arizona Pilot will help validate this assessment and indicate the viability of using these geologic formations for larger CO2 storage projects, which may play an important future role in lowering greenhouse gas emissions."
WESTCARB's announcement further said that
"If geologic conditions at depth are appropriate, 2000 tons of CO2 will be injected about three-quarters of a mile underground. Although this is a relatively small quantity of CO2, it is sufficient to test monitoring techniques for tracking the location of the injected CO2 and ensuring compliance with environmental and health and safety requirements. The CO2 injection is expected to take less than three weeks, while monitoring of the CO2 plume in the formation will continue for three to five months after the end of injection."
The drilling progress is updated daily on their strat column [right. Credit, WESTCARB]