EPA draft findings of Pavillion, Wyoming ground water investigation indicate water contamination likely associated with fracking; open for public comment and independent scientific review

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft analysis of data from its Pavillion, Wyoming ground water investigation, indicating that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.

DOE-sponsored project shows huge potential for carbon storage in Wyoming; potential for lithium recovery to offset cost

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The Wyoming Rock Springs Uplift could potentially store 14 to 17 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to results from a Department of Energy-sponsored study. This is equal to 250 to 300 years’ worth of CO 2 emissions produced by the Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants and other large regional anthropogenic CO 2 sources at current emission levels. The results could also lay the groundwork for a future large-scale carbon capture and storage project in Wyoming.

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DKRW Advanced Fuels secures EPC contract with Sinopec Engineering for Medicine Bow coal-to-liquids project in Wyoming

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Using bituminous coal from southern Wyoming, the Medicine Bow facility will produce 11,600 barrels per day of very low sulfur gasoline using GE gasification technology and methanol?to?gasoline key engineering, procurement and construction services for the DKRW industrial gasification and liquefaction facility located at Medicine Bow in Carbon County, Wyoming.

NSF announces $55M toward national research priorities; intersection of food, energy and water systems

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made 11 awards totaling $55 million aimed at building research capacity to develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy and water systems and to address fundamental questions about the brain. Research at the nexus of food, energy and water. Studies will focus on identifying the presence, extent and timing of harmful algal blooms as they relate to water quality.

Study finds high sodium bicarbonate concentrations in water from coal-bed natural gas production harms aquatic life; water treatment can mitigate effects

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Produced water from coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) production may contain sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO 3 ) at concentrations that can harm aquatic life, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the Bureau of Land Management and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The study area included the Tongue and Powder Rivers in Montana and Wyoming, where several types of experiments and assessments were used for 13 aquatic species.

2012 76

Study Finds Regional Variations in Irrigation Practices Can Push Corn Ethanol Water Requirements 3x Higher Than Earlier Estimates; Need to Account for Regional Specifics in Mandates

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The foreground bar height indicates the EWe of each state, with the portion of ground and surface water indicated by color. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have estimated state-level field-to-pump water requirements of corn ethanol production across the US.

2009 85

Colorado River Basin Study projects major imbalances in water supply and demand

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A newly released study—authorized by Congress and jointly funded and prepared by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and the seven Colorado River Basin states— projects water supply and demand imbalances throughout the Colorado River Basin and adjacent areas over the next 50 years. One acre-foot of water is approximately the amount of water used by a single household in a year. Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study.

US DOI finalizes plan for oil shale and oil sands research, demonstration and development

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar last week announced the Department of the Interior’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and oil sands resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The Record of Decision (ROD) and plan amendments make some 700,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming available for potential oil shale leasing and about 130,000 acres available for potential oil sands leasing in Utah.

US BLM issues draft PEIS for oil shale and oil sands; significantly scales back public land available for commercial leasing

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The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and Possible Land Use Amendments for Allocation of Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resources on Lands Administered by the BLM in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The majority of US oil shale (and the world’s largest oil shale deposit) is found in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Water-wet vs. oil-wet.

DOE to leverage fossil energy expertise to develop and explore geothermal energy resources

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DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will combine efforts to have experts test and validate low temperature geothermal power generation technologies at the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC) near Casper, Wyoming. The Tensleep hot water was previously treated as a waste stream. extracted heat from the water to operate a 250 kW generator. million barrels of co-produced hot water.

2011 74

MSU-led regional team awarded $6M NSF grant to research biofuel, carbon capture technologies

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The main project goal is to develop a framework for evaluating proposals to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations while maintaining food security, water quality, biodiversity and other benefits, Stoy said. The basin contains parts or most of five states—Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska—and more than 20 Indian reservations.

2016 80

USGS’ first assessment of shale gas resources in the Utica Shale: 38 trillion cubic feet

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This is followed closely by the Greater Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming, which has 84 TCF of undiscovered natural gas, of which 82 TCF is continuous (tight gas).

2012 109

ORNL assessment finds >65 GW of untapped hydropower in US rivers and streams

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Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Wyoming led the rest of the country in new stream-reach hydropower potential. A new assessment conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has identified more than 65 gigawatts of untapped hydropower potential in US rivers and streams.

2014 96

Major spill from the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas

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Approximately 4,500 barrels of oil and water (189,000 gallons US) have been recovered. Wabasca Heavy is a heavy oil from the Athabasca region obtained by polymer injection and water flooding and typically has a 19-20 API gravity and 4.15 Route of the Pegasus pipeline.

ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. expanding cleanup operations in Yellowstone River

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The AP reported that EMPC and government officials speculated that high waters in recent weeks may have scoured the river bottom and exposed the pipeline—which is buried—to debris that could have damaged the pipe. This system originates at the Wyoming - Montana border.

USGS-led study finds that recent unusual snowpack declines in the Rockies may signal a fundamental shift from precipitation to temperature as dominant influence

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regional water supplies. Runoff from winter snowpack accounts for 60% to 80% of the annual water supply for more than 70 million people living in the western United States. USGS scientists, with partners at the Universities of Arizona, Washington, Wyoming, and Western Ontario, led the study that evaluated the recent declines using snowpack reconstructions from 66 tree-ring chronologies, looking back 500 to more than 1,000 years.

2011 74

Report finds Coal-to-Liquids and Oil Shale pose significant financial and environmental risks to investors

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Ceres recently released a new report concluding that coal-to-liquid (CTL) and oil shale technologies face significant environmental and financial obstacles—from water constraints, to technological uncertainties to regulatory and market risks—that pose substantial financial risks for investors involved in such projects. Among the report’s key findings: Water constraints : Oil shale and CTL development may be constrained by each technology’s need for large amounts of water.

2010 74

US Department of the Interior Offering Second Round of Oil Shale Research and Development Leases; Cuts Potential Commercialization Acreage 87.5%

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The US Department of the Interior (DOI) is offering additional opportunities for energy companies to conduct oil shale research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects on public lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. If we are to succeed in unlocking oil shale’s great potential, we must first answer fundamental questions about water use, power use, and environmental and social impacts of commercial-scale development.

2009 64

DOE-Sponsored Project Pushes the Limits of Seismic-While-Drilling Technology

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According to project managers, SeismicPULSER is the only system that meets the requirements of those oil companies that plan to drill high-pressure, high-temperature wells to as deep as 35,000 feet in ultra-deep water. Field testing was performed at the University of Texas’ Devine seismic test site and the US Department of Energy’s Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center near Casper, Wyoming. In a project sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Technology International Inc.

2009 68

PNNL study finds that PHEVs and BEVs could serve as feasible resource to offset grid imbalances caused by integration of large amounts of intermittent wind generation

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The report examined grid conditions in the Northwest Power Pool, which covers Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming; many of them home to abundant wind resources and wind energy projects.

Wind 96

Alkaline surfactant polymer flooding shown to improve recovery in very mature oilfield by more than 300%

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Polymer is added to protect the chemical slug from early dissipation by the driving water phase. However, the process is adversely affected by contact with water or rock that contains high salinity and hardness. The process has been successfully used in recent years in the Minnelusa reservoirs of Wyoming, the Sho-Vel-Tum. water production.

EPA and DOT direct ExxonMobil on corrective actions on Silvertip pipeline after rupture

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EPA issued an order to ExxonMobil, pursuant to the Clean Water Act, directing the company to take a number of clean-up and restoration activities as a result of an oil spill into the Yellowstone River. EPA’s primary concern is protection of human health and the environment, and the agency is conducting both air and water sampling to determine what impacts the spill may have on air or water quality, while also ensuring the responsible party is held accountable.

2011 74

DOE Selects 19 Projects to Monitor and Evaluate Geologic CO2 Storage

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Optimized rock-fluid models will incorporate the seismic signatures of (1) saturation scales and free versus dissolved gas in a CO 2 -water mixture, (2) pore pressure changes, and (3) CO 2 -induced chemical changes to the host rock. University of Wyoming , Laramie, Wyo. Coal storage factors such as coal failure and permeability enhancement, matrix swelling and shrinking, and competition of water as adsorbed phase on coals will be addressed.

2009 78

Study finds global rivers and streams emitting 3x IPCC estimates of the GHG N2O

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This is especially the case for those draining nitrogen-enriched urbanized and agricultural watersheds, highlighting the importance of managing nitrogen before it reaches open water. Scientists report in an open access paper this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that river and stream networks are the source of at least 10% of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions to the atmosphere.

2010 71

Converting Oil Shale to Gasoline via Alberta Taciuk Processor Results in Full Fuel Cycle GHG Emissions 1.5-1.75 Larger Than From Conventionally Produced Gasoline

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The largest global oil shale deposits—estimated to be equivalent to 1,500 Gbbl oil equivalent—are found in the Green River formation of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. GHG emissions for ATP shale (low and high cases) and conventional gasoline in grams of CO 2 e per MJ of final fuel delivered.

2009 106

DOE to award up to $12.4M to 11 projects focused on shale gas and enhanced oil recovery

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These projects include: GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY) - NORM Mitigation and Clean Water Recovery from Marcellus Frac Water. The process will also yield clean water than can be recycled for beneficial use, and marketable salt byproducts. Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO) - Novel Engineered Osmosis Technology: A Comprehensive Approach to the Treatment and Reuse of Produced Water and Drilling Wastewater.

2011 78

Underground Coal Gasification Company In Partnership to Test Alkaline Fuel Cells for Power Generation

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At Linc Energy’s site in Orroroo, South Australia and at many of Linc Energy’s Wyoming (USA) sites, the nature of the coal is such that Linc Energy will be producing hydrogen rich-UCG gas. In fact the by-product that this power generation plant does produce is in high demand, and that is clean demineralized water.

2009 71

Alaska Senators Introduce Legislation Permitting Advanced Directional Drilling for ANWR

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Mark Begich, D-Alaska, would allow access to the coastal plain’s oil and natural gas resources through the use of underground directional drilling from state-owned lands to the west of the refuge and state waters from the north. The bill is based on the compromise reached in the Wyoming Range Legacy Act of 2007, which permitted resources to be accessed underground through directional drilling in a new wilderness area as long as there was no permanent surface impacts.