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Observational evidence confirms modelling of the long-term integrity of CO2-reservoir caprocks

Kampman, N.; Busch, A.; Bertier, P.; Snippe, J.; Hangx, S.; Pipich, V.; Di, Z.; Rother, G.; Harrington, J.F.; Evans, J.P.; Maskell, A.; Chapman, H.J.; Bickle, M.J.. 2016 Observational evidence confirms modelling of the long-term integrity of CO2-reservoir caprocks. Nature Communications, 7, 12268. 10.1038/ncomms12268

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Abstract/Summary

Storage of anthropogenic CO2 in geological formations relies on a caprock as the primary seal preventing buoyant super-critical CO2 escaping. Although natural CO2 reservoirs demonstrate that CO2 may be stored safely for millions of years, uncertainty remains in predicting how caprocks will react with CO2-bearing brines. This uncertainty poses a significant challenge to the risk assessment of geological carbon storage. Here we describe mineral reaction fronts in a CO2 reservoir-caprock system exposed to CO2 over a timescale comparable with that needed for geological carbon storage. The propagation of the reaction front is retarded by redox-sensitive mineral dissolution reactions and carbonate precipitation, which reduces its penetration into the caprock to ~7 cm in ~105 years. This distance is an order-of-magnitude smaller than previous predictions. The results attest to the significance of transport-limited reactions to the long-term integrity of sealing behaviour in caprocks exposed to CO2.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/ncomms12268
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date made live: 04 Aug 2016 08:19 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/514145

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