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Title: Experimental analysis of spatial correlation effects on capillary trapping of supercritical CO 2 at the intermediate laboratory scale in heterogeneous porous media

Abstract

Several numerical studies have demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of typical sedimentary formations can favorably dampen the accumulation of mobile CO 2 phase underneath the caprock. Core flooding experiments have also shown that contrasts in capillary entry pressure can lead to buildup of nonwetting fluid phase (NWP) at interfaces between facies. Explicit representation of geological heterogeneity at the intermediate (cm-to-m) scale is a powerful approach to identify the key mechanisms that control multiphase flow dynamics in porous media. The ability to carefully control flow regime and permeability contrast at a scale that is relevant to CO 2 plume dynamics in saline formations offers valuable information to understand immiscible displacement processes and provides a benchmark for mathematical models. To provide insight into the impact of capillary heterogeneity on flow dynamics and trapping efficiency of supercritical CO 2 under successive drainage and imbibition conditions, we present an experimental investigation conducted in a synthetic sand reservoir. By mimicking the interplay of governing forces at reservoir conditions via application of surrogate fluids, we performed three immiscible displacement experiments to observe the entrapment of NWP in heterogeneous porous media. Capillary trapping performance is evaluated for each scenario through spatial and temporal variations of NWP saturation;more » for this reason we adopted X-ray attenuation to precisely measure phase saturation throughout the flow domain and apply spatial moment analysis. Furthermore, the sweeping performance of two different permeability fields with comparable variance but distinct spatial correlation was compared against a homogeneous base case with equivalent mean permeability by means of spatial moment analysis.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [3];  [5]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
  2. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  5. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1474889
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1402307
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; FE0004630
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 51; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; intermediate‐scale experiments; surrogate fluids; capillary heterogeneity; trapping models

Citation Formats

Trevisan, Luca, Pini, Ronny, Cihan, Abdullah, Birkholzer, Jens T., Zhou, Quanlin, and Illangasekare, Tissa H. Experimental analysis of spatial correlation effects on capillary trapping of supercritical CO2 at the intermediate laboratory scale in heterogeneous porous media. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1002/2015WR017440.
Trevisan, Luca, Pini, Ronny, Cihan, Abdullah, Birkholzer, Jens T., Zhou, Quanlin, & Illangasekare, Tissa H. Experimental analysis of spatial correlation effects on capillary trapping of supercritical CO2 at the intermediate laboratory scale in heterogeneous porous media. United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR017440.
Trevisan, Luca, Pini, Ronny, Cihan, Abdullah, Birkholzer, Jens T., Zhou, Quanlin, and Illangasekare, Tissa H. Wed . "Experimental analysis of spatial correlation effects on capillary trapping of supercritical CO2 at the intermediate laboratory scale in heterogeneous porous media". United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR017440. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1474889.
@article{osti_1474889,
title = {Experimental analysis of spatial correlation effects on capillary trapping of supercritical CO2 at the intermediate laboratory scale in heterogeneous porous media},
author = {Trevisan, Luca and Pini, Ronny and Cihan, Abdullah and Birkholzer, Jens T. and Zhou, Quanlin and Illangasekare, Tissa H.},
abstractNote = {Several numerical studies have demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of typical sedimentary formations can favorably dampen the accumulation of mobile CO2 phase underneath the caprock. Core flooding experiments have also shown that contrasts in capillary entry pressure can lead to buildup of nonwetting fluid phase (NWP) at interfaces between facies. Explicit representation of geological heterogeneity at the intermediate (cm-to-m) scale is a powerful approach to identify the key mechanisms that control multiphase flow dynamics in porous media. The ability to carefully control flow regime and permeability contrast at a scale that is relevant to CO2 plume dynamics in saline formations offers valuable information to understand immiscible displacement processes and provides a benchmark for mathematical models. To provide insight into the impact of capillary heterogeneity on flow dynamics and trapping efficiency of supercritical CO2 under successive drainage and imbibition conditions, we present an experimental investigation conducted in a synthetic sand reservoir. By mimicking the interplay of governing forces at reservoir conditions via application of surrogate fluids, we performed three immiscible displacement experiments to observe the entrapment of NWP in heterogeneous porous media. Capillary trapping performance is evaluated for each scenario through spatial and temporal variations of NWP saturation; for this reason we adopted X-ray attenuation to precisely measure phase saturation throughout the flow domain and apply spatial moment analysis. Furthermore, the sweeping performance of two different permeability fields with comparable variance but distinct spatial correlation was compared against a homogeneous base case with equivalent mean permeability by means of spatial moment analysis.},
doi = {10.1002/2015WR017440},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
issn = {0043-1397},
number = 11,
volume = 51,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {10}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Storage of CO2 in saline aquifers: Effects of gravity, viscous, and capillary forces on amount and timing of trapping
journal, October 2007

  • Taku Ide, S.; Jessen, Kristian; Orr, Franklin M.
  • International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 1, Issue 4, p. 481-491
  • DOI: 10.1016/S1750-5836(07)00091-6

Design of carbon dioxide storage in aquifers
journal, March 2009

  • Qi, R.; LaForce, T.; Blunt, M.
  • International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 3, Issue 2, p. 195-205
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.08.004