Pioneering carbon capture with the University of Wyoming

Pioneering carbon capture with the University of Wyoming

May 20, 2023

Dry Fork Mine and CarbonSAFE

“The Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative projects focus on development of geologic storage sites for the storage of 50+ million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources. CarbonSAFE projects will improve understanding of project screening, site selection, characterization, and baseline monitoring, verification, accounting (MVA), and assessment procedures, as well as the information necessary to submit appropriate permits and design injection and monitoring strategies for commercial-scale projects. These efforts will contribute to the development of 50+ MMT storage sites in anticipation of injection by 2026.” (CarbonSAFE |

Idealized subsurface 3-D block view of PRB #1 and #2
Colorized subsurface geophysical logs showing lithologies and properties.

Western Fuels–Wyoming’s Dry Fork Mine has been an integral part of the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project led by the University of Wyoming’s Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR) since the project first announced in 2018. Led by UW-CEGR and partnered with Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the project is integral to studying carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and holds great promise for the Powder River Basin and local area coal mines.

The project will consist of five phases, and Phases I and II (Integrated CCS Pre-Feasibility and Storage Complex Feasibility, respectively) have been completed and Phase III is currently underway – Site Characterization and CO2 Capture assessment.  Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project (

An initial test well was drilled in the Spring and Summer of 2019, to begin characterizing subsurface geology and identifying potential geologic formations to test CO2 storage capability.  The test well was plugged until the testing and analysis of data could be completed.  A second well was recently completed in January 2022, and the plug in the initial well is being drilled out and the hole prepared for injection testing. Classes of Injection Wells

Looking east toward PRB#2 drill pad and Dry Fork Mine facilities
Dry Fork Mine helping prepare the drill pad
East of the PRB#2 drill rig looking to the west
See all news