Influence of reservoir-scale heterogeneities on the growth, evolution and migration of a CO2 plume at the Sleipner Field, Norwegian North Sea

Williams, G.A.; Chadwick, R.A.. 2021 Influence of reservoir-scale heterogeneities on the growth, evolution and migration of a CO2 plume at the Sleipner Field, Norwegian North Sea. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 106, 103260.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access Paper)
1-s2.0-S1750583621000128-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (26MB) | Preview


New analysis of the baseline (pre-injection) seismic data at Sleipner has revealed large-scale, roughly north-trending, channelled ‘fairways’ at a range of stratigraphical levels in the Utsira Sand. The baseline data also reveal localised stratigraphical ‘point discontinuities’ within the reservoir, some of which show evidence of having provided vertical conduits for earlier natural gas flow. The repeat time-lapse seismic datasets, where finer details of reservoir geology are illuminated by the reflective CO2, show smaller-scale, north-trending and sometimes sinuous channels within the larger channel fairways. They also show a number of vertical CO2 pathways within the CO2 plume, corresponding to the point discontinuities seen on the baseline data. Reservoir flow models were set up with flow properties constrained only by the observed levels of CO2 accumulation in the reservoir and the arrival time of CO2 at the reservoir top just prior to the first repeat seismic survey in 1999. The initial model with laterally homogeneous sand units separated by thin semi-permeable mudstones achieved only a moderate match to the observed time-lapse seismic data. Subsequent flow models, progressively incorporating higher permeability vertical CO2 pathways through the mudstones and large-scale channel fairways within the reservoir sands, yielded a progressive and marked improvement in the history-match of key CO2 layers within the plume. Crucially, no layer-specific model calibration was employed to achieve this improvement. New geophysical measurements from Utsira Sand core have recently become available. These measurements provide important constraints on rock physics models of CO2 and brine mixtures in the Utsira Sand. An empirical Brie fluid mixing law for intermediate fluid saturations provides a good fit to the new laboratory data, allowing measurements of CO2 saturation to be converted into seismic velocity. This rock physics model was used to convert CO2 saturation distributions predicted by the most realistic reservoir model into a seismic velocity model of the CO2 plume. Synthetic seismic reflectivity profiles generated using this velocity model show a striking resemblance to the observed time-lapse seismic data, both in terms of plume layer reflectivity and also of time-shifts within and beneath the CO2 plume. This provides confidence in the fidelity of the preferred reservoir model solution. These results represent a significant breakthrough in the understanding and modelling of CO2 plume development at Sleipner. We emphasise that the improvements were brought about not by fine tuning reservoir properties to fit the observed time-lapse data, but simply by incorporating geological permeability features that can reasonably be inferred from the baseline seismic data.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 17505836
Date made live: 05 Feb 2021 16:11 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...