For many, the end of a calendar year is a time to look back and reflect on the events that have happened over the course of the prioer 12 months. Unfortunately, when it comes to the US carbon dioxide (CO2) market, the moments that have shaped things have not all been positive.
Let’s cast our minds back to the start of July, and the beginning of a summer that few in the industry will forget. At the time, gasworld heard whispers of a shortage caused by an apparent contamination in the raw gas in the Mississippi area. This impurity meant that CO2 firms operating in liquefaction and purification were faced with a contaminated product (CO2) and could not operate as normal.
At the time, a Tier One industrial gas company with operations in the Mississippi area, where the Jackson Dome volcano’s natural source of CO2 is found, was experiencing contamination in the raw gas being extracted – and unfortunately this issue coincided with similar situations impacting some other plants in the US, though the Jackson Dome contamination was the easily most damaging in terms of impact on national supply.
The Jackson Dome, let’s remind ourselves, is owned by energy company Denbury, following an acquisition completed in February 2001. The site is Denbury’s primary Gulf Coast CO2 source and covers approximately 200 square miles. And the contamination in the summer was soon being described as ‘dire’ in terms of its impact. The situation quickly sent ripples through the whole food and beverage market, from the poultry industry to breweries. One brewery at the time, Night Shift Brewing, said its CO2 supply had been cut altogether, with many others feeling significant strains.
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