NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Carbon capture has become a big business here in North Dakota. Richardton, ND and the Williston Basin are already seeing big rewards because of it. According to our state, we are lowering our carbon footprint everyday, and safely storing CO2 underground.
In our continuing coverage of carbon capture, and after speaking to Summit Carbon Solutions and landowners that are for carbon capture, we wanted to see what issues some people are raising.
Many landowners that met in Bismarck last month are calling carbon capture in North Dakota as a dangerous “pipe dream.”
But the quote “decarbonization pipe dream” means what exactly?
That is the question KX News led within an interview with Energy Finance Analyst, Bruce Robertson, who has been talking with landowners and families impacted by carbon capture, including people here in North Dakota.
“In America, and right around the world, countries are looking to carbon capture and storage as a climate solution. And what is on paper shows cynically that many of the projects have actually failed. Quite a few have underperformed their goals and a handful have actually performed as they were meant to perform, and one of those is in Canada not far from North Dakota,” Robertson tells us.
Robertson says though some projects are active and have proved to work, they tend to underperform, particularly the larger ones.
“We studied 13 projects, accounting for about only half of all carbon dioxide ever captured on the globe. What it showed was seven out of those 13 had done less than they had aimed to do. Basically, most of the projects capture 90% of the gases coming off mainly gas processing plants it’s mainly used on at the moment. So, they under capture 90% of the carbon dioxide and store that underground or are used for enhanced oil recovery,” Robertson said.
As we know it, the first carbon capture plant was proposed in 1938, and the first large-scale project to inject CO2 into the ground was launched in the Sharon Ridge oilfield in Texas in 1972.
That shows that the concept of capture is not new, but many are making a twist on the concept to rebrand the idea.
“It’s a re-branding exercise by the oil and gas industry to make it seem more climate-friendly. When you look at the actual results of the projects and what it actually means to the climate, in many cases, it’s worse for the climate than doing nothing at all,” Robertson shares.
Robertson tells us in a prospering ag and energy state like North Dakota, large-scale carbon capture projects are detrimental.
“Unfortunately for North Dakota, there is a little bit of a conflict there between your two major industries because obviously the oil and gas industry is causing changes to our climate. And what carbon capture in storage is doing is encouraging the production of more oil and gas as it currently stands, so we will see changes to the climate which stream in more weather which affects agriculture in a very bad way,” Robertson said.
He says North Dakotans need to look back at the lessons learned from failed projects, where they did not work as they intended. Some have burst and so much more.
Becoming educated before it is too late is Robertson’s stressor to all.
Again, companies and the state do say that carbon capture is regularly tested and works.
To learn more about landowners in North Dakota that are pro-carbon capture, click here.
And to get a deeper understanding about carbon capture from Summit Carbon Solutions, a company actually attempting it here in our state, click here.
This is a developing story.