Related Websites



Advanced Resources International (ARI)       

Applied Sciences Lab

Arizona Geological Survey

Arizona State University

Blue Source, LLC

Center for Energy & Economic Development (CEED)


Colorado Geological


Colorado School of Mines 

Colorado State University


Dine College

Electric Power Research Institue (EPRI)

Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI)

Gas Technology Institute (GTI)

Intermountain Power Agency

Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)

KinderMorgan CO2 Company, L.P.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company

New Mexico Bureau of Geology

New Mexico Environmental Department

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA)

New Mexico Oil Conservation Division

New Mexico State University

NM Petroleum Recovery   Research Center (PRRC)  

Occidental Permian Ltd.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric

Oklahoma Geological Survey

Oklahoma State University


Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM)

Resolute Natural Resources Company  

Sandia National Laboratories

Southern California Edison

Texas A&M University

Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

Tucson Electric Power Company

United States Geological Survey

U.S. Department of Agriculture

University of Missouri

University of Oklahoma

University of Utah

Utah Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC)

Utah Division of Air Quality

Utah Division of Oil, Gas, & Mining   

Utah Energy Office

Utah Geological Survey

Utah State University

Waste-Management Education & Research Consortium (WERC)

Western Governors' Association

Xcel Energy

Yates Petroleum Corporation












Total Project Value $88,845,571

DOE/Non-DOE Share $65,437,395 /$23,408,176

Farnham Dome/Uinta Basin


Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration — Deployment Phase




As part of a comprehensive effort to assess options for sustainable energy systems, the U.S. Department of Energy has selected seven Regional Partnerships, through its Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Program, to determine the best approaches for capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas which can contribute to global climate change. The RCSPs are made up of state agencies, universities, private companies, national laboratories, and nonprofit organizations that form the core of a nationwide network helping to establish the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure needs for carbon sequestration. Altogether, the Partnerships include more than 350 organizations, spanning 41 states, two Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces.


The Regional Partnership initiative is being implemented in three phases. The Characterization Phase began in September 2003 with the seven Partnerships working to develop the necessary framework to validate and potentially deploy carbon sequestration technologies. In June 2005, work transitioned to the Validation Phase, a four-year effort focused on validating promising CO2 sequestration opportunities through a series of field tests in the seven regions. Presently, activities in the Deployment Phase (2008-2017) are proceeding as an extension of the work completed to date and will demonstrate that CO2 capture, transportation, injection, and storage can be achieved safely, permanently, and economically at a large scale. These tests will promote understanding of injectivity, capacity, and storability of CO2 in the various geologic formations identified by the Partnerships. Results and assessments from these efforts will assist commercialization efforts for future sequestration projects in North America.


The Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration (SWP) includes the states of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The SWP includes over 50 organizations. The eight states in the Southwest Regional Partnership account for about 10 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions from stationary sources. The region offers significant potential for sequestration in saline formations, unmineable coal seams, and depleting oil and gas reservoirs. Of particular interest is the use of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in tandem with sequestration.


Project Description


Project Summary

SWP will accomplish a major sequestration deployment in the Farnham Dome in central Utah. This test will follow an injection schedule over 4 years, leading up to 900,000 tonnes (1 million U.S. tons) of CO2 per year. The target formations for this deployment include deep Jurassic-, Triassic-, and Permian-aged sandstones in the Farnham Dome of Utah. These formations are also targets of potential commercial sequestration throughout the western United States. The SWP plans include a “dual completion” with injection in two different formations at the same time.  By carrying out two tests in two different formations within the same stratigraphy, portability of science and engineering results can begin to be evaluated.



Injection Site Description

The Farnham Dome injection site is located just southwest of the Uinta basin near Price, Utah, 120 miles south of Salt Lake City, in central Utah.  Farnham Dome is an elongated surface anticline located along the northern plunge of the San Rafael uplift.


Drilling along the crest of Farnham Dome in the 1920s and 1930s resulted in the discovery of significant deposits of CO2 in the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone and small shows of CO2 in Triassic, Permian, and Pennsylvanian reservoirs.  Given that the more shallow Jurassic units hold significant CO2, the deeper Triassic and Permian units appear promising with respect to large CO2 capacities and low risk with respect to leakage.  The area provides an excellent deployment test opportunity for analysis of high injection rates and high resolution monitoring of CO2 in multiple rock layer horizons.  These deep saline formations are major targets for commercial-scale sequestration associated with future coal-fired power plants planned for the area.  Much of the Farnham Dome site falls under jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. 


Description of Geology

The target formations are deep saline units present throughout the Southwest Partnership region, as well as in many states outside the region. In all cases, the seal is the Morrison Formation, a thick (400 feet) shale/gypsum/siltstone of Jurassic age, also regionally present throughout the SWP states. At the Farnham Dome and all other sites, the target units lie within a true “stacked” system—above the Morrison formation lies the Dakota formation, a Cretaceous-aged sandstone similar to the deep Triassic and Permian sands, and capped by the Pierre/Mancos shale, a very thick (1,500 feet to 5,000 feet) shale unit. The SWP has gathered porosity, permeability, mechanical, compositional, and geophysical data associated with these target formations and seals.


Source of CO2

For the Farnham Dome deployment site, the sources of CO2 include natural CO2 from the Jurassic-aged Nugget Sandstone.  A second potential source is a coalbed methane (CBM) production field northwest of Price, Utah; the CBM operation currently vents over 100,000 tons of CO2 per year. A short pipeline will need to be added to facilitate injection of captured CO2 into the deep saline reservoirs at Farnham Dome. All CO2 captured will be 97 percent pure, with the remainder nitrogen (air).  

For the Farnham Dome site in Utah, a minimal length of pipeline will be added in order to deliver the CO2 for deep injection. Blue Source LLC, a SWP partner, and Savoy Energy LLC, the field operator, are completing designs for necessary pipelines. Upon completion of the deployment phase test, this pipeline will be used to transport the captured CO2 from the Farnham Dome site to the Uinta Basin enhanced oil recovery market. 


Simulation and Monitoring of CO2

The project will require extensive monitoring and simulation to determine if the storage operations are effective in trapping the injected CO2 for millennia.  Vertical seismic profiling and microgravity methods will be particularly utilized, given their proven ability to resolve the size of the CO2 plume.  Monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MMV) techniques that will be used include repeat 3-D seismic surveys, pressure monitoring, groundwater chemistry monitoring, pressure and fluid sample monitoring from other locations, soil gas sampling, and other methods.  A variety of “in house” and commercial/public simulation tools will be used, including GEM, TOUGH2, TOUGHREACT, FEHM, CO2-PENS, COMSOL, THRUST3D, MRKEOS and SWEOS.



Goals and Objectives


SWP’s overall goal is to validate the information and technology developed under the Characterization and Validation Phases relative to research and field activities, public outreach efforts, and regional characterization.  Specific objectives include:

·       Develop an overall methodology that optimizes engineering and planning for future commercial-scale sequestration projects

·       Conduct successful large-scale CO2 injection projects targeted at Jurassic and older sandstone formations

·       Achieve a more thorough understanding of the science, technology, regulatory framework, risk factors, and public opinion issues associated with large-scale injection operations

·       Validate MMV activities, modeling, and equipment operations.

·       Refine capacity estimates of the target formation using results of the tests

Figure 1. Southwest Region CO2 sequestration capacities for deep saline formations that are Jurassic and older in age.  Different capacities indicated for Farnham Dome correspond to different radii (extent of subsurface structure) under consideration for sequestration.


Benefits to the Region


The SWP’s Characterization and Validation Phase analyses determined that the region’s point sources emit approximately 320 million tonnes (350 million U.S. tons) of CO2 per year, which for 100 years (assuming no change in emissions rate) translates to 32 billion tonnes (35 billion U.S. tons) total storage capacity needed. The SWP’s Characterization and Validation Phase analyses provide an initial estimate of capacity of the deep Jurassic and older saline reservoirs in the Southwest region to exceed 18 billion tonnes (20 billion U.S. tons), over the 50% criterion (Figure 1).  The Farnham Dome Phase III deployment site, in comparison, is projected to store at least 138 million metric tons of CO2 in formations that are Jurassic and older. During the Deployment Phase, SWP will continue to refine capacity estimates and evaluate injectivity and other critical factors relevant to regional storage goals.