According to the British Columbia news weekly, The Tyee, "the world’s first CO2 Measurement, Monitoring and Verification Initiative" in Saskatchewan, Canada, may have sprung a serious leak.
The International Energy Agency and Canada’s Petroleum Technology Research Centre have been studying the Weyburn oilfield which is supposed to be a perfect model for greenhouse gas sequestration. The aging crude oil field, which lies underneath 50,000 acres of flat farmland, has been flooded with salt water and 17 million tonnes of CO2 piped from a North Dakota coal gasification plant..
The International Energy Agency declared that Weyburn could hold up to 55 million tonnes of CO2 and was a "highly suitable for the secure long-term storage of CO2".
in 2003, Cameron and Jane Kerr, who own land in the midst of the project, dug a gravel pit. The pit promptly filled with water, which became discoloured, and began producing hissing bubbles and foam. The carcasses of dead ducks, a rabbit and a goat were found near the pit. In 2007, the gases exploded.
The Kerrs hired a geologist to investigate. He reported dangerously high concentrations of CO2 on the Kerr’s property. In one location, he detected concentrations as high as 110,607 parts per million, twice the amount needed to asphyxiate a person. Near the Kerr’s home, he recorded concentrations of 17,000 ppm, a level "that far exceeds the threshold level for health concerns."
As the closest injection well lies a mile away from the Kerr home, the geologist concluded that the CO2 was probably seeping through open fractures and faults that intersect the Weyburn field.
A Saskatchewan laboratory confirmed that the CO2 found at Kerr’s place clearly originated from "the CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir."
The Saskatchewan government promised to do a year-long study on the Kerr farm’s air, water and soil but the Kerrs say that it never happened. Cameron Kerr advises "Don’t let it happen. Shut it down now. You’ll have no different response from government than we got. And you’ll waste lots of taxpayers’ money."