SACROC, begun in 1972 in Scurry County, is the earliest, large-scale project using carbon dioxide to tap into oil, Susan Hovorka
, a research scientist studying carbon dioxide sequestration, said in an interview.
There are about 100 such projects in the United States, many going on for decades, said Hovorka, co-founder of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, which is part of the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology.
"They have very good public acceptance, very good safety records," Hovorka
said the center's research has shown the carbon dioxide stays where it's injected 5,000 to 10,000 feet underground.
Scientists have detected small leakages over short distances, such as 40 feet above an injection site, she
Two of her
colleagues did a multiyear study at the Scurry County site because of concerns groundwater there had been damaged.
"The answer's clearly no.
The water's fine," Hovorka
The center's funding sources include industry sponsors such as power companies, vendors and potential carbon dioxide users like oil and gas companies, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy
, the Environmental Protection Agency
and the state of Texas, she