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Title: Fault activation and induced seismicity in geological carbon storage – Lessons learned from recent modeling studies

Abstract

In the light of current concerns related to induced seismicity associated with geological carbon sequestration (GCS), this paper summarizes lessons learned from recent modeling studies on fault activation, induced seismicity, and potential for leakage associated with deep underground carbon dioxide (CO 2) injection. Model simulations demonstrate that seismic events large enough to be felt by humans require brittle fault properties and continuous fault permeability allowing pressure to be distributed over a large fault patch to be ruptured at once. Heterogeneous fault properties, which are commonly encountered in faults intersecting multilayered shale/sandstone sequences, effectively reduce the likelihood of inducing felt seismicity and also effectively impede upward CO 2 leakage. A number of simulations show that even a sizable seismic event that could be felt may not be capable of opening a new flow path across the entire thickness of an overlying caprock and it is very unlikely to cross a system of multiple overlying caprock units. Site-specific model simulations of the In Salah CO 2 storage demonstration site showed that deep fractured zone responses and associated microseismicity occurred in the brittle fractured sandstone reservoir, but at a very substantial reservoir overpressure close to the magnitude of the least principal stress. Wemore » conclude by emphasizing the importance of site investigation to characterize rock properties and if at all possible to avoid brittle rock such as proximity of crystalline basement or sites in hard and brittle sedimentary sequences that are more prone to injection-induced seismicity and permanent damage.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [1];  [6]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zurich (Switzerland)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Nice (France)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra, Morelia (Mexico)
  5. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), Zurich (Switzerland)
  6. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), Barcelona (Spain)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1393278
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1393090
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1674-7755
Publisher:
Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics and Engineering - Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Carbon dioxide (CO2) injection; Fault rupture; Induced seismicity; Ground motion; Leakage; Modeling

Citation Formats

Rutqvist, Jonny, Rinaldi, Antonio P., Cappa, Frederic, Jeanne, Pierre, Mazzoldi, Alberto, Urpi, Luca, Guglielmi, Yves, and Vilarrasa, Victor. Fault activation and induced seismicity in geological carbon storage – Lessons learned from recent modeling studies. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.09.001.
Rutqvist, Jonny, Rinaldi, Antonio P., Cappa, Frederic, Jeanne, Pierre, Mazzoldi, Alberto, Urpi, Luca, Guglielmi, Yves, & Vilarrasa, Victor. Fault activation and induced seismicity in geological carbon storage – Lessons learned from recent modeling studies. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.09.001.
Rutqvist, Jonny, Rinaldi, Antonio P., Cappa, Frederic, Jeanne, Pierre, Mazzoldi, Alberto, Urpi, Luca, Guglielmi, Yves, and Vilarrasa, Victor. Tue . "Fault activation and induced seismicity in geological carbon storage – Lessons learned from recent modeling studies". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.09.001.
@article{osti_1393278,
title = {Fault activation and induced seismicity in geological carbon storage – Lessons learned from recent modeling studies},
author = {Rutqvist, Jonny and Rinaldi, Antonio P. and Cappa, Frederic and Jeanne, Pierre and Mazzoldi, Alberto and Urpi, Luca and Guglielmi, Yves and Vilarrasa, Victor},
abstractNote = {In the light of current concerns related to induced seismicity associated with geological carbon sequestration (GCS), this paper summarizes lessons learned from recent modeling studies on fault activation, induced seismicity, and potential for leakage associated with deep underground carbon dioxide (CO2) injection. Model simulations demonstrate that seismic events large enough to be felt by humans require brittle fault properties and continuous fault permeability allowing pressure to be distributed over a large fault patch to be ruptured at once. Heterogeneous fault properties, which are commonly encountered in faults intersecting multilayered shale/sandstone sequences, effectively reduce the likelihood of inducing felt seismicity and also effectively impede upward CO2 leakage. A number of simulations show that even a sizable seismic event that could be felt may not be capable of opening a new flow path across the entire thickness of an overlying caprock and it is very unlikely to cross a system of multiple overlying caprock units. Site-specific model simulations of the In Salah CO2 storage demonstration site showed that deep fractured zone responses and associated microseismicity occurred in the brittle fractured sandstone reservoir, but at a very substantial reservoir overpressure close to the magnitude of the least principal stress. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of site investigation to characterize rock properties and if at all possible to avoid brittle rock such as proximity of crystalline basement or sites in hard and brittle sedimentary sequences that are more prone to injection-induced seismicity and permanent damage.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.09.001},
journal = {Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering},
number = 6,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Sep 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Tue Sep 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.jrmge.2016.09.001

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