Energy Excursions

Class VI Wells

"Take an energy excursion to explore the collaborative contributions of the scientific community to establishing wells specifically for the injection of carbon dioxide, as well as the safeguards in place for protecting groundwater, health and safety."


This lesson explores the international application of carbon-dioxide injection technology specifically for carbon storage, and the contributions from the United State government and the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. Motivation for this lesson is the importance of scientists and engineers to repurpose and expand existing technology for new applications, and the important regulatory rules developed for new applications to ensure protection of the environment, health and safety. “Class VI Wells” lays the foundation for understanding greenhouse gas reduction projects designed to incorporate not only utilization of carbon dioxide, but the permanent storage of carbon dioxide in the subsurface in a Class VI well.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the early application of carbon storage technology in Norway
  • Recognize the significant contributions of the United States government through the Department of Energy in developing carbon storage technology for climate mitigation purposes
  • Understand the role of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the state geological survey of Texas, in the development of carbon storage technology.
  • Follow the spotlighted career of a scientist who has made significant contributions to carbon storage technology, in particular monitoring large-scale projects
  • Learn about some of the criteria the Environmental Protection Agency established within their regulatory rules for Class VI wells, primarily for protection of groundwater
    • site characterization
    • well construction
    • well operations
    • monitoring
    • financial responsibility
    • well plugging
    • site closure
  • Understand why the federal government regulates Class VI wells in some states, but state agencies regulate them in other states
  • Examine policy incentives to encourage carbon storage projects
TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics