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Title: Pressure Monitoring to Detect Fault Rupture Due to CO 2 Injection

Abstract

The capacity for fault systems to be reactivated by fluid injection is well-known. In the context of CO 2 sequestration, however, the consequence of reactivated faults with respect to leakage and monitoring is poorly understood. Using multi-phase fluid flow simulations, this study addresses key questions concerning the likelihood of ruptures, the timing of consequent upward leakage of CO 2, and the effectiveness of pressure monitoring in the reservoir and overlying zones for rupture detection. A range of injection scenarios was simulated using random sampling of uncertain parameters. These include the assumed distance between the injector and the vulnerable fault zone, the critical overpressure required for the fault to rupture, reservoir permeability, and the CO 2 injection rate. We assumed a conservative scenario, in which if at any time during the five-year simulations the critical fault overpressure is exceeded, the fault permeability is assumed to instantaneously increase. For the purposes of conservatism we assume that CO 2 injection continues ‘blindly’ after fault rupture. We show that, despite this assumption, in most cases the CO 2 plume does not reach the base of the ruptured fault after 5 years. As a result, one possible implication of this result is that leak mitigationmore » strategies such as pressure management have a reasonable chance of preventing a CO 2 leak.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. The Univ. of Aukland, Auckland (New Zealand)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), Clean Coal and Carbon (FE-20)
OSTI Identifier:
1417169
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-28171
Journal ID: ISSN 1876-6102
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Procedia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1876-6102
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; leak detection; pressure monitoring; fault rupture

Citation Formats

Keating, Elizabeth, Dempsey, David, and Pawar, Rajesh. Pressure Monitoring to Detect Fault Rupture Due to CO2 Injection. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1529.
Keating, Elizabeth, Dempsey, David, & Pawar, Rajesh. Pressure Monitoring to Detect Fault Rupture Due to CO2 Injection. United States. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1529.
Keating, Elizabeth, Dempsey, David, and Pawar, Rajesh. 2017. "Pressure Monitoring to Detect Fault Rupture Due to CO2 Injection". United States. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1529. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1417169.
@article{osti_1417169,
title = {Pressure Monitoring to Detect Fault Rupture Due to CO2 Injection},
author = {Keating, Elizabeth and Dempsey, David and Pawar, Rajesh},
abstractNote = {The capacity for fault systems to be reactivated by fluid injection is well-known. In the context of CO2 sequestration, however, the consequence of reactivated faults with respect to leakage and monitoring is poorly understood. Using multi-phase fluid flow simulations, this study addresses key questions concerning the likelihood of ruptures, the timing of consequent upward leakage of CO2, and the effectiveness of pressure monitoring in the reservoir and overlying zones for rupture detection. A range of injection scenarios was simulated using random sampling of uncertain parameters. These include the assumed distance between the injector and the vulnerable fault zone, the critical overpressure required for the fault to rupture, reservoir permeability, and the CO2 injection rate. We assumed a conservative scenario, in which if at any time during the five-year simulations the critical fault overpressure is exceeded, the fault permeability is assumed to instantaneously increase. For the purposes of conservatism we assume that CO2 injection continues ‘blindly’ after fault rupture. We show that, despite this assumption, in most cases the CO2 plume does not reach the base of the ruptured fault after 5 years. As a result, one possible implication of this result is that leak mitigation strategies such as pressure management have a reasonable chance of preventing a CO2 leak.},
doi = {10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1529},
journal = {Energy Procedia},
number = C,
volume = 114,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • This paper demonstrates the use of coupled fluid flow andgeomechanical fault slip (fault reactivation) analysis to estimate themaximum sustainable injection pressure during geological sequestration ofCO2. Two numerical modeling approaches for analyzing faultslip areapplied, one using continuum stress-strain analysis and the other usingdiscrete fault analysis. The results of these two approaches to numericalfault-slip analyses are compared to the results of a more conventionalanalytical fault-slip analysis that assumes simplified reservoirgeometry. It is shown that the simplified analytical fault-slip analysismay lead to either overestimation or underestimation of the maximumsustainable injection pressure because it cannot resolve importantgeometrical factors associated with the injection induced spatialevolutionmore » of fluid pressure and stress. We conclude that a fully couplednumerical analysis can more accurately account for the spatial evolutionof both insitu stresses and fluid pressure, and therefore results in amore accurate estimation of the maximum sustainable CO2 injectionpressure.« less
  • The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred along the stretch of the San Andreas fault zone within the southern Santa Cruz Mountains that last failed as a major earthquake in 1906. The southeastern end of the 1989 rupture marks the transition from stable, aseismic slip on the central creeping section of the San Andreas fault to unstable failure on the locked 1906 segment. The authors investigate this transition and the rupture characteristics of the 1989 earthquake using a 3-D P wave velocity model of the southern Santa Cruz Mountains section of the fault zone. The model images a large anomalous high-velocitymore » body at midcrustal depths within the rupture zone of the 1989 earthquake that the available evidence suggests might have gabbroic or other mafic composition. On the basis of the relationship of the lithological features interpreted from the velocity model to the seismicity and surface creep the authors propose a model in which the high-velocity body is primarily responsible for the transition from stable to unstable fault slip at Pajaro Gap. The active plane of the San Andreas fault cuts throughout the body. The fault system attempts to circumvent this barrier by transferring slip to secondary faults, including splay faults that have propagated along the frictionally favorable contact between the high-velocity rock mass and Franciscan country rocks. However, the near arrest of the stable sliding causes stress to concentrate within the body, and the high-strength, unstable contact within it evolves from a barrier to the asperity that failed in the 1989 earthquake. The general features of the 1989 rupture predicted by this asperity model agree with several rupture histories computed for the earthquake. The model implies that as proposed by other workers, the Loma Prieta earthquake did not involve a repeat of the 1906 slip, which has an important bearing on earthquake recurrence estimates for the Santa Cruz Mountains segment of the fault. 114 refs., 11 figs.« less
  • The Alquist-Priolo Act was enacted in 1971 and became operational in 1972 as an aftermath of the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake. State Senator Alfred E. Alquist and Assemblyman Paul V. Priolo are to be commended for moving rapidly toward improved earthquake loss reduction. Unfortunately, those who were worried about the concept that too much knowledge will adversely impact the economy of California were more influential and politically astute than those who support the concept that proper use of science and technology can reduce the loss of life as well as the astronomically high dollar losses associated with earthquakes. The estimatedmore » dollar loss of over $5.9 billion for the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (McNutt and Sydnor, 1990) clearly indicates that the Alquist-Priolo Act may be of little value, even along a strike-slip plate boundary, as none of the damage or losses resulted from surface fault rupture. Similar notable absence of fault rupture damage is reported for the 1987 Whittier earthquake (over $100 million loss; Shakal, 1987) and the 1983 Coalinga earthquake ($31 million loss; Tierney, 1985). The damage, property loss and loss of life from these earthquakes resulted from factors which are not addressed by the Alquist-Priolo Act. Even though considerable fault-rupture damage occurred during the 1992 Landers earthquake, most of the problems were associated with rupture of lifelines, such as water mains, and not collapse of structures for human occupancy.« less
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