Cameron Kerr, left, and his wife Jane are shown at their home in Regina on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011, in Regina, Sask. A Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies over the world's largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases that were supposed to have been injected permanently underground are leaking out, killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken-up soda pop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Troy Fleece
A Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies over the world's largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases seeping from the soil are killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken soda pop.
The gases were supposed to have been injected permanently underground.
Cameron and Jane Kerr own nine quarter-sections of land above the Weyburn oilfield in eastern Saskatchewan. They released a consultant's report Tuesday that links high concentrations of carbon dioxide in their soil to 6,000 tonnes of the gas injected underground every day by energy giant Cenovus (TSX:CVE) in an attempt to enhance oil recovery and fight climate change.
"We knew, obviously, there was something wrong," said Jane Kerr.
A Cenovus spokeswoman said the company doubts those findings. She pointed out they contradict years of research from other scientists.
"It's not what we believe," said Rhona Delfrari.
Since 2000, Cenovus has injected about 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide underground to force more oil from an aging field and safely store greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to climate change.
But in 2005, the Kerrs began noticing algae blooms, clots of foam and multicoloured scum in two ponds at the bottom of a gravel quarry on their land. Sometimes, the ponds bubbled. Small animals — cats, rabbits and goats — were regularly found dead a few metres away.
Then there were the explosions.
"At night we could hear this sort of bang like a cannon going off," said Jane Kerr, 58. "We'd go out and check the gravel pit and, in the walls, it (had) blown a hole in the side and there would be all this foaming coming out of this hole."
"Just like you shook up a bottle of Coke and had your finger over it and let it spray," added her husband.
The water, said Jane Kerr, came out of the ground carbonated.
bron / Lees verder: canadianbusiness.com
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