There is significant potential for carbon sequestration in the oil and gas fields of
New York. Not only can the injection of CO2 be used for enhanced recovery (EOR/EGR)
but depleted reservoirs may be considered “empty containers” that have the
proven ability to safely hold fluids for millions of years.


There are a number of rock formations in Western New York that display characteristics suitable for carbon sequestration. They have suitable porosity and occur at a depth greater than 2500 feet (necessary to keep CO2 in supercritical state).

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The Jamestown bureau of public utilities has teamed the New York State Geological Survey and several other researchers to investigate the possibility of replacing their current coal fired power plant with a new clean coal plant that would include carbon capture and sequestration. In the spring of 2009 the Miller #2 well was drilled near the city of Jamestown to look for reservoir quality rocks. This well was drilled to a depth of 7300 feet and samples were collected from the Galway formation (Cambrian sandstones and dolomites). Lab results indicated that the porosity and permeability at the Miller #2 site were too low for sequestration. However, the wireline logs from nearby wells indicate higher porosities than encountered in the Miller #2. One possible explanation for the reduced porosity in the Miller #2 is that the pore space has been filled by mineralization associated with faulting and fluid flow. Geologists at the survey have found evidence to support this theory and as a result, Phase II of the study will be focusing on a different area that does not appear to have been affected by the same faulting.


As part of the TriCarb Consortium for Carbon Sequestration (TCCS) geologists at the survey are actively investigating the potential for carbon sequestration in the Newark Rift Basin. This geologic feature is a series of half-grabbens that were formed during the break-up of Pangea and opening of the Atlantic Ocean 200 million years ago. The location of this study site is appealing because of its proximity to New York city and most of the state’s large CO2 point sources. The group has been focusing its attention on the fluvial sandstones of the Stockton Formation which is situated at the bottom of the basin and is directly overlain by the fine grained mudstones of the Lockatong formation which will make an excellent cap rock. The next phase of this project will involve drilling a deep well in Rockland County that will penetrate the bottom of the basin and sample the entire Stockton Formation.
References: http://tricarb.org/

The Queenston Formation is predominantly muddy siltstone and shale in most of the state, however it occurs as a clay-rich sandstone in portions of Central New York. In collaboration with the NYSGS, Terry Jordan and Katie Tamulonis of Cornell University have characterized the Queenston Sandstone and found that it can have porosities as high as 18%. The AES Cayuga Power Plant is located near one of the thickest sections of this sandstone. Calculations based on seismic data and nearby wells indicate that the 25 square mile area surrounding the power plant could hold approximately 27 million tons of CO2. That's 11 years of CO2 produced by the plant.
References: Tamulonis, et al. 2011.pdf


The New York State Geological Survey (NYSGS) is a bureau of
the New York State Museum in the New York State Education Department.