Effect of sedimentary heterogeneities in the sealing formation on predictive analysis of geological CO2 storage

Onoja, Michael U.; Williams, John D.O.; Vosper, Hayley; Shariatipour, Seyed M.. 2019 Effect of sedimentary heterogeneities in the sealing formation on predictive analysis of geological CO2 storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 82. 229-243.

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Numerical models of geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) in saline aquifers use multiphase fluid flow-characteristic curves (relative permeability and capillary pressure) to represent the interactions of the non-wetting CO2 and the wetting brine. Relative permeability data for many sedimentary formations is very scarce, resulting in the utilisation of mathematical correlations to generate the fluid flow characteristics in these formations. The flow models are essential for the prediction of CO2 storage capacity and trapping mechanisms in the geological media. The observation of pressure dissipation across the storage and sealing formations is relevant for storage capacity and geomechanical analysis during CO2 injection. This paper evaluates the relevance of representing relative permeability variations in the sealing formation when modelling geological CO2 sequestration processes. Here we concentrate on gradational changes in the lower part of the caprock, particularly how they affect pressure evolution within the entire sealing formation when duly represented by relative permeability functions. The results demonstrate the importance of accounting for pore size variations in the mathematical model adopted to generate the characteristic curves for GCS analysis. Gradational changes at the base of the caprock influence the magnitude of pressure that propagates vertically into the caprock from the aquifer, especially at the critical zone (i.e. the region overlying the CO2 plume accumulating at the reservoir-seal interface). A higher degree of overpressure and CO2 storage capacity was observed at the base of caprocks that showed gradation. These results illustrate the need to obtain reliable relative permeability functions for GCS, beyond just permeability and porosity data. The study provides a formative principle for geomechanical simulations that study the possibility of pressure-induced caprock failure during CO2 sequestration.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 17505836
Date made live: 18 Mar 2019 11:37 +0 (UTC)

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