Bacteria plan is awaiting approval

Dec 22, 2011

A Colorado company expects to get
regulatory approval soon so it can begin to exploit bacteria to
revive hundreds of old natural gas wells in northeast Wyoming.
     The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is considering a
draft permit for Luca Technologies Inc. to put substances
underground to encourage the growth of bacteria. The bacteria are
naturally present underground and live in water-saturated coal
seams.
     The bacteria eat the coal and produce methane gas as a
byproduct.
     Officials with Golden, Colo.-based Luca expect their process to
produce a slow but steady stream of gas from existing coal-bed
methane wells that otherwise wouldn't be producing any gas at all.
     State officials say they expect to issue an underground
injection permit for Luca early next year. Federal officials are
also reviewing Luca's plans.

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