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Natural Accumulations of Carbon Dioxide in New Mexico and Adjacent Parts of Colorado and Arizona

Commercial Accumulations of CO2

Field & Location

(County, State)

Depth to production

(feet)

Reserves

(trillion ft3)

Comments

Bravo Dome

Union & Harding Cos., NM

1900-3000

16+

Enhanced oil recovery;

Minor dry ice production

Sheep Mountain

Huerfano Co., CO

4500-5500

2.5

Enhanced oil recovery

McElmo Dome

Montezuma Co., CO

7900

17

Enhanced oil recovery

Des Moines

Union Co., NM

2000-2600

Unknown

Field abandoned in 1966;

CO2 was converted to dry ice and liquid

Estancia

Torrance Co., NM

1200-2000

Unknown

Fields abandoned in 1942;

CO2 was converted to dry ice and liquid

St. Johns

Apache Co., AZ

Catron Co., NM

Unknown

New discovery, not yet developed or in production

Some Uses of CO2

  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Refrigeration with dry ice
  • Carbonation of beverages
  • Noncombustible gas in fire extinguishers
  • Shredding of old tires
  • Stripping of insulation from scrap wire
  • Removal of corn kernals from cob during food processing
  • Removal of hair from hogs in slaughterhouses
  • Cooling of metal cutting tools
  • Stripping of paints
  • Noncombustible atmosphere that can be introduced into grain silos to prevent grain dust explosions
  • Noncombustible atmosphere for welding combustible materials
  • Nontoxic aerosol propellant
  • Branding of livestock
  • Stimulation of plant growth in greenhouses
  • Excellent solvent when in the supercritical state

References

References on Geology of CO2 Supply in the New Mexico Region

Anderson, E.C., 1959, Carbon dioxide in New Mexico (1959): New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Circular 43, 13 pp.

Broadhead, R.F., 1998, Natural accumulations of carbon dioxide in the New Mexico region - Where are they, how do they occur, and what are the uses for CO2?: Lite Geology, No. 20, pp. 2-7.

Broadhead, R.F., 1993, LBTU-NM, Low-BTU gas in New Mexico, in Atlas of major Rocky Mountain Gas Reservoirs: New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, p. 173.

Broadhead, R.F., 1990, Bravo dome carbon dioxide gas field, in E.A. Beaumont and N.H. Foster, eds, Treatise of petroleum geology, Atlas of oil and gas fields, structural traps I: American Association of Petroleum Geologists: pp. 213-232.

Broadhead, R.F., 1993, Carbon dioxide in northeast New Mexico: West Texas Geological Society, Bulletin, v. 32, no. 7, pp. 5-8.

Broadhead, R.F., 1987, Carbon dioxide in Union and Harding Counties: New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook to 38th field conference, pp. 339-349.

Foster, R.W., and Jensen, J.G., 1972, Carbon dioxide in northeastern New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook to 23rd field conference, east-central New Mexico, pp. 192-200.

Gerling, C.R., 1983, McElmo Dome Leadville carbon dioxide field, Colorado, in J. E. Fassett, ed., Oil and gas fields of the Four Corners area, V. III: Four Corners Geological Society, pp. 735-739.

Johnson, R.E., 1983, Bravo Dome carbon dioxide area, northeast New Mexico, in J. E. Fassett, ed., Oil and gas fields of the Four Corners area, v. III: Four Corners Geological Society, pp. 745-748.

Lang, W.B., 1959, The origin of some natural carbon dioxide gases: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 64, pp. 127-131.

Phinney, D., Tennyson, J., and Frick, V., 1978, Xenon in CO2 well gas revisited: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 83, pp. 2313-2319.

Roth, G., 1983, Sheep Mountain and Dike Mountain fields, Huerfano County, Colorado; a source of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, in J. E. Fassett, ed., Oil and gas fields of the Four Corners area, V. III: Four Corners Geological Society, pp. 740-744.

Staudacher, T., 1987, Upper mantle origin for Harding County well gases: nature, v. 325, pp. 605-607.