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Title: Carbon Dioxide Sealing Capacity: Textural or Compositional Controls?

This research project is aiming to assess the carbon dioxide sealing capacity of most common seal-rocks, such as shales and non-fractured limestones, by analyzing the role of textural and compositional parameters of those rocks. We hypothesize that sealing capacity is controlled by textural and/or compositional pa-rameters of caprocks. In this research, we seek to evaluate the importance of textural and compositional parameters affecting the sealing capacity of caprocks. The conceptu-al framework involves two testable end-member hypotheses concerning the sealing ca-pacity of carbon dioxide reservoir caprocks. Better understanding of the elements controlling sealing quality will advance our knowledge regarding the sealing capacity of shales and carbonates. Due to relatively low permeability, shale and non-fractured carbonate units are considered relatively imper-meable formations which can retard reservoir fluid flow by forming high capillary pres-sure. Similarly, these unites can constitute reliable seals for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration purposes. This project is a part of the comprehensive project with the final aim of studying the caprock sealing properties and the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic characteristics of seal rocks in depleted gas fields of Oklahoma Pan-handle. Through this study we examined various seal rock characteristics to infer about their respective effects on sealing capacitymore » in special case of replacing reservoir fluid with super critical carbon dioxide (scCO{sub 2}). To assess the effect of textural and compositional properties on scCO{sub 2} maximum reten-tion column height we collected 30 representative core samples in caprock formations in three counties (Cimarron, Texas, Beaver) in Oklahoma Panhandle. Core samples were collected from various seal formations (e.g., Cherokee, Keys, Morrowan) at different depths. We studied the compositional and textural properties of the core samples using several techniques. Mercury Injection Porosimetry (MIP), Scanning Electron Microsco-py SEM, and Sedigraph measurements are used to assess the pore-throat-size distribu-tion, sorting, texture, and grain size of the samples. Also, displacement pressure at 10% mercury saturation (Pd) and graphically derived threshold pressure (Pc) were deter-mined by MIP technique. SEM images were used for qualitative study of the minerals and pores texture of the core samples. Moreover, EDS (Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spec-trometer), BET specific surface area, and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) measurements were performed to study various parameters and their possible effects on sealing capaci-ty of the samples. We found that shales have the relatively higher average sealing threshold pressure (Pc) than carbonate and sandstone samples. Based on these observations, shale formations could be considered as a promising caprock in terms of retarding scCO{sub 2} flow and leak-age into above formations. We hypothesized that certain characteristics of shales (e.g., 3 fine pore size, pore size distribution, high specific surface area, and strong physical chemical interaction between wetting phase and mineral surface) make them an effi-cient caprock for sealing super critical CO{sub 2}. We found that the displacement pressure at 10% mercury saturation could not be the ultimate representative of the sealing capacity of the rock sample. On the other hand, we believe that graphical method, introduced by Cranganu (2004) is a better indicator of the true sealing capacity. Based on statistical analysis of our samples from Oklahoma Panhandle we assessed the effects of each group of properties (textural and compositional) on maximum supercriti-cal CO{sub 2} height that can be hold by the caprock. We conclude that there is a relatively strong positive relationship (+.40 to +.69) between supercritical CO{sub 2} column height based on Pc and hard/ soft mineral content index (ratio of minerals with Mohs hardness more than 5 over minerals with Mohs hardness less than 5) in both shales and limestone samples. Average median pore radius and porosity display a strong negative correlation with supercritical CO{sub 2} retention column height. Also, increasing bulk density is positive-ly correlated with the supercritical CO{sub 2} retention column height. One of the most im-portant factors affecting sealing capacity and consequently the height of supercritical CO{sub 2} column is sorting of the pore throats. We observed a strong positive correlation be-tween pore throat sorting and height of CO{sub 2} retention column, especially in shales. This correlation could not be observed in limestone samples. It suggests that the pore throat sorting is more controlling the sealing capacity in shales and shales with well sorted pore throats are the most reliable lithology as seal. We observed that Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area shows a very strong correlation with CO{sub 2} retention column height in limestone samples while BET surface area did not display significant correlation in shales. Pore structure based on SEM mi-crographs exhibits strong correlation with CO{sub 2} retention column height in limestones. Both intercrystalline and vuggy structures have negative correlations while intergranu-lar texture has positive correlation in limestone with respect to CO{sub 2} retention column height. Textural effects observed on SEM micrographs did not show statistically signifi-cant correlation with supercritical CO{sub 2} retention column height in shale samples. Finally, we showed that increasing hard/soft mineral index is strongly correlated with the displacement pressure in limestone samples. Vuggy texture displays a relatively strong and negative correlation with displacement pressure values at 10% mercury satu-ration in shale samples.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
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Country of Publication:
United States