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Title: Area 2: Inexpensive Monitoring and Uncertainty Assessment of CO2 Plume Migration using Injection Data

In-depth understanding of the long-term fate of CO₂ in the subsurface requires study and analysis of the reservoir formation, the overlaying caprock formation, and adjacent faults. Because there is significant uncertainty in predicting the location and extent of geologic heterogeneity that can impact the future migration of CO₂ in the subsurface, there is a need to develop algorithms that can reliably quantify this uncertainty in plume migration. This project is focused on the development of a model selection algorithm that refines an initial suite of subsurface models representing the prior uncertainty to create a posterior set of subsurface models that reflect injection performance consistent with that observed. Such posterior models can be used to represent uncertainty in the future migration of the CO₂ plume. Because only injection data is required, the method provides a very inexpensive method to map the migration of the plume and the associated uncertainty in migration paths. The model selection method developed as part of this project mainly consists of assessing the connectivity/dynamic characteristics of a large prior ensemble of models, grouping the models on the basis of their expected dynamic response, selecting the subgroup of models that most closely yield dynamic response closest to themore » observed dynamic data, and finally quantifying the uncertainty in plume migration using the selected subset of models. The main accomplishment of the project is the development of a software module within the SGEMS earth modeling software package that implements the model selection methodology. This software module was subsequently applied to analyze CO₂ plume migration in two field projects – the In Salah CO₂ Injection project in Algeria and CO₂ injection into the Utsira formation in Norway. These applications of the software revealed that the proxies developed in this project for quickly assessing the dynamic characteristics of the reservoir were highly efficient and yielded accurate grouping of reservoir models. The plume migration paths probabilistically assessed by the method were confirmed by field observations and auxiliary data. The report also documents the application of the software to answer practical questions such as the optimum location of monitoring wells to reliably assess the migration of CO₂ plume, the effect of CO₂-rock interactions on plume migration and the ability to detect the plume under those conditions and the effect of a slow, unresolved leak on the predictions of plume migration.« less
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
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Technical Report
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Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
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United States