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Title: Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO 2 in Fractured Aquifers

Abstract

This is the final scientific report for the award DE-FE0023305, entitled “Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO 2 in Fractured Aquifers.” The work has been divided into six tasks. In Task 2, we characterized rock properties, which are important when developing a quantitative approach for understanding and predicting geomechanical effects on large-scale CO 2 injection and long-term storage in the subsurface. Rock properties of interest for this characterization include porosity, permeability, elastic constants, strength, and heat capacity. We measured rock properties for three different rock types: concrete, sandstone and shale. These properties were obtained from the acoustic measurement, permeability and porosity measurement, Brazilian test, the uniaxial compressive test, and heat capacity measurement. Then, using the Brazilian technique to fracture samples, we measured their permeability under brine injection for varying effective stresses, followed by similar measurements of permeability under sc-CO 2 injection. Permeability to brine and sc-CO 2 decreased as the effective stress increased. The apparent permeability to sc-CO 2 was an order of magnitude less than that for brine, a consequence of CO 2 being the non-wetting fluid. In Task 3, we developed understandings and correlations for CO 2more » injection pressure induced fracturing. We initially fractured four eight inch cubes of concrete with brine to establish a standard test procedure. Then, additional concrete samples were fractured using brine. Confining stresses were exerted on the samples and brine was injected at a constant rate into a borehole that was previously drilled into the concrete cube. The borehole pressure was measured and fracture initiation was identified as a peak in the pressure profile. That was followed by fracture propagation, which was identified as a plateau in the pressure profile, and finally the fracture reached the sample surface. The sample surfaces were photographed before and after fracturing, which enabled determination of where the fracture reached the sample surface. Afterwards, aqueous food dye solution was injected into the fractured concrete samples to color the fracture planes. The borehole was filled with food dye solution in advance, a gas pulse was transmitted to the borehole, and the borehole was then shut in to allow the food dye to be driven into existing fractures. Then, the concrete samples were broken down by high-pressure gas injection to reveal the geometry and morphology of the hydraulic fractures. In addition, acoustic measurements were conducted on multiple locations on each face of the concrete samples before and after injection for comparison. This comparison was used to confirm changes in the internal structure of the concrete sample, namely the formation of fractures. There were six concrete samples fractured with brine. Afterwards, concrete samples were fracture using sc-CO 2. The main change in experimental procedure was the inclusion of temperature control, since in the field, we mostly encounter temperature and pressure conditions above the supercritical point of CO 2. The concrete samples were pre-heated in an oven to elevate their temperature, and thermal tape was used to heat the CO 2 to a temperature above its supercritical temperature. Two concrete samples were fractured using liquid CO 2, four concrete samples were fractured using gaseous CO 2, and twenty two concrete samples were fractured using sc-CO 2. For the concrete samples fractured using sc-CO 2, three had pre-existing hydraulic fractures on the surface near the wellbore, and two were water saturated (as opposed to containing only air). Two concrete samples were composite samples, with a high permeability ball in the center, in order to represent CO 2 injection into a high permeability zone surrounded by a low permeability sealing formation. Later, we fractured five shale samples, obtained from the Niobrara shale outcrop, with sc-CO 2. The injection rate was constant, confining stresses were applied, the shale samples were pre-heated in an oven to the desired temperature, and the sample was then fractured. An analysis of the failure type was done for many of the concrete samples, based on the predicted break down pressure for tensile and shear failure, and it was found that most samples fractured due to shear failure. Also, the presence of induced fractures has little to no effect on the fracture initiation pressure, but significantly changes the fracture morphology. The CO 2 fracturing in water saturated samples behaved much similar to brine induced fracturing. There was a significant difference of breakdown pressure for injection of CO 2 and brine, where the breakdown pressure for CO 2 induced fracturing is generally around the minimum horizontal stress and that for brine is much higher. Finally, the fracture orientation for most samples with large confining stress differential was perpendicular to the minimum horizontal stress. When the stress differential, especially the difference between the two directions with the smallest stresses was small, the fracture orientation was determined not only by the minimum stress direction, but also the magnitude of the confining stress, the tensile strength of the rock, and the breakdown pressure. In Task 4, we modified our coupled flow-geomechanical models to model fracture growth and propagation in storage formations and caprocks. These flow-geomechanical models are TOUGH2-CSM and TOUGH2-FLAC. The TOUGH2-CSM fluid and heat flow formulation is based on the TOUGH2 formulation of mass and energy conservation equations that govern fluid and heat flow in general multiphase, multicomponent, multi-porosity systems. The TOUGH2-CSM simplified geomechanical formulation is based on the linear theory of elasticity applied to multi-porosity non-isothermal (thermo-multi-poroelastic) media. We previously derived, from the fundamental relations of the linear theory of elasticity, an equation relating mean stress, pore pressures, temperatures, and body force (the Mean Stress equation) that we added to the TOUGH2-CSM fluid and heat flow equations. We extended the TOUGH2-CSM simplified geomechanical formulation to calculate the entire stress tensor by deriving equations for stress tensor components from derivatives of the Cartesian thermo-multi-poroelastic Navier equation components. In addition, we derived equations for stress tensor components in rz-coordinates. We solved these geomechanical equations using the integral finite difference method. This method utilizes momentum fluxes obtained by “factoring” a divergence operator out of each geomechanical equation. In Task 5, we did a literature survey to determine suitable correlations for fracture initiation, growth, and propagation. After surveying numerous papers, we modified TOUGH2-CSM to model stress dependent fracture initiation and growth using the Mohr-Coulomb criterion for shear failure in faults and caprock and the condition of negative minimum effective stress for tensile failure. Tensile failure results in a fracture whose width depends on the difference between fracture pressure and minimum stress and whose propagation is based on the difference between the stress intensity factor at the fracture tip and the rock toughness. The TOUGH-FLAC model is based on the FLAC3D ubiquitous joint model, extended for the modeling of permeability changes induced by changes in effective normal stress across fractures as well permeability changes caused by shearing along fractures. In Task 6, we validated our coupled flow-geomechanical models using analytical solutions and problems from the literature. We validated the TOUGH2-CSM modifications using analytical solutions to the displacement from a uniform load on a semi-infinite elastic medium and the two-dimensional Mandel-Cryer effect. Those were followed by a sample problem to test our stress tensor calculations, which was for injection into a single-phase reservoir with constant properties. Comparisons of our simulator to published results were done on for the depletion of a single-phase reservoir with stress dependent porosity, two examples from the In Salah gas project, an axisymmetric baserock–reservoir–caprock system with a normal faulting stress regime that had thermally induced shear stresses, simulations of CO 2 leakage through caprock in a two-dimensional reservoir in Cartesian coordinates, and predictions of caprock failure from CO 2 injection into an axisymmetric reservoir. Finally, we simulated CO 2 injection pressure-induced fracturing from one of our laboratory studies, Sample 39, and obtained a fracture profile. We also validated the TOUGH2-FLAC model for fluid driven fracture growth against solutions based on the KGD model and a case with an inclined fracture that was loaded from the boundaries to achieve wing-crack propagation. The strain softening tensile behavior and softening of modulus considering a simple damage approach was verified by a simulation representing hydraulic fracturing stress measurement around a vertical well. Finally, the model was validated against deep fracture zone opening and surface uplift at In Salah with inverses analysis used to improve the match of simulation with field data. In Task 7, we developed a scheme based on inverse modeling that can be used to identify caprock leakage. Injection of fluid into a reservoir results in a time varying pressure profile that depends on the properties of the rock and the fluid. The presence of significant caprock leakage would effect this pressure profile and we used inverse modeling, namely the Levenberg-Marquardt method, to determine the leakage location from the pressure profile. A two-dimensional and a three-dimensional example based on published data were presented. The published simulation was run and its results were considered as “field” data. In the two-dimensional example, a simulation of CO 2 injection into a two-dimensional aquifer-caprock system, the caprock had a vertical fault through which leakage could occur. The location of this leakage was obtained from our inverse modeling scheme. In the three-dimensional example, the simulation domain had four geological layers, one of which was the injection zone that contained a horizontal injection well. We simulated fractures as high permeability gridblocks, introduced a fracture that spanned the caprock depth, and ran a simulation to obtain “field” data. Then, using our inverse modeling scheme, we obtained the location of that fracture.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1487433
Report Number(s):
DOE-CSM-0023305
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0023305
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; carbon storage and sequestration; coupled flow and geomechanics; fractured aquifers

Citation Formats

Winterfeld, Philip, Wu, Yu-Shu, and Kneafsey, Timothy. Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO2 in Fractured Aquifers. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1487433.
Winterfeld, Philip, Wu, Yu-Shu, & Kneafsey, Timothy. Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO2 in Fractured Aquifers. United States. doi:10.2172/1487433.
Winterfeld, Philip, Wu, Yu-Shu, and Kneafsey, Timothy. Wed . "Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO2 in Fractured Aquifers". United States. doi:10.2172/1487433. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1487433.
@article{osti_1487433,
title = {Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO2 in Fractured Aquifers},
author = {Winterfeld, Philip and Wu, Yu-Shu and Kneafsey, Timothy},
abstractNote = {This is the final scientific report for the award DE-FE0023305, entitled “Quantitative Characterization of Impacts of Coupled Geomechanics and Flow on Safe and Permanent Geological Storage of CO2 in Fractured Aquifers.” The work has been divided into six tasks. In Task 2, we characterized rock properties, which are important when developing a quantitative approach for understanding and predicting geomechanical effects on large-scale CO2 injection and long-term storage in the subsurface. Rock properties of interest for this characterization include porosity, permeability, elastic constants, strength, and heat capacity. We measured rock properties for three different rock types: concrete, sandstone and shale. These properties were obtained from the acoustic measurement, permeability and porosity measurement, Brazilian test, the uniaxial compressive test, and heat capacity measurement. Then, using the Brazilian technique to fracture samples, we measured their permeability under brine injection for varying effective stresses, followed by similar measurements of permeability under sc-CO2 injection. Permeability to brine and sc-CO2 decreased as the effective stress increased. The apparent permeability to sc-CO2 was an order of magnitude less than that for brine, a consequence of CO2 being the non-wetting fluid. In Task 3, we developed understandings and correlations for CO2 injection pressure induced fracturing. We initially fractured four eight inch cubes of concrete with brine to establish a standard test procedure. Then, additional concrete samples were fractured using brine. Confining stresses were exerted on the samples and brine was injected at a constant rate into a borehole that was previously drilled into the concrete cube. The borehole pressure was measured and fracture initiation was identified as a peak in the pressure profile. That was followed by fracture propagation, which was identified as a plateau in the pressure profile, and finally the fracture reached the sample surface. The sample surfaces were photographed before and after fracturing, which enabled determination of where the fracture reached the sample surface. Afterwards, aqueous food dye solution was injected into the fractured concrete samples to color the fracture planes. The borehole was filled with food dye solution in advance, a gas pulse was transmitted to the borehole, and the borehole was then shut in to allow the food dye to be driven into existing fractures. Then, the concrete samples were broken down by high-pressure gas injection to reveal the geometry and morphology of the hydraulic fractures. In addition, acoustic measurements were conducted on multiple locations on each face of the concrete samples before and after injection for comparison. This comparison was used to confirm changes in the internal structure of the concrete sample, namely the formation of fractures. There were six concrete samples fractured with brine. Afterwards, concrete samples were fracture using sc-CO2. The main change in experimental procedure was the inclusion of temperature control, since in the field, we mostly encounter temperature and pressure conditions above the supercritical point of CO2. The concrete samples were pre-heated in an oven to elevate their temperature, and thermal tape was used to heat the CO2 to a temperature above its supercritical temperature. Two concrete samples were fractured using liquid CO2, four concrete samples were fractured using gaseous CO2, and twenty two concrete samples were fractured using sc-CO2. For the concrete samples fractured using sc-CO2, three had pre-existing hydraulic fractures on the surface near the wellbore, and two were water saturated (as opposed to containing only air). Two concrete samples were composite samples, with a high permeability ball in the center, in order to represent CO2 injection into a high permeability zone surrounded by a low permeability sealing formation. Later, we fractured five shale samples, obtained from the Niobrara shale outcrop, with sc-CO2. The injection rate was constant, confining stresses were applied, the shale samples were pre-heated in an oven to the desired temperature, and the sample was then fractured. An analysis of the failure type was done for many of the concrete samples, based on the predicted break down pressure for tensile and shear failure, and it was found that most samples fractured due to shear failure. Also, the presence of induced fractures has little to no effect on the fracture initiation pressure, but significantly changes the fracture morphology. The CO2 fracturing in water saturated samples behaved much similar to brine induced fracturing. There was a significant difference of breakdown pressure for injection of CO2 and brine, where the breakdown pressure for CO2 induced fracturing is generally around the minimum horizontal stress and that for brine is much higher. Finally, the fracture orientation for most samples with large confining stress differential was perpendicular to the minimum horizontal stress. When the stress differential, especially the difference between the two directions with the smallest stresses was small, the fracture orientation was determined not only by the minimum stress direction, but also the magnitude of the confining stress, the tensile strength of the rock, and the breakdown pressure. In Task 4, we modified our coupled flow-geomechanical models to model fracture growth and propagation in storage formations and caprocks. These flow-geomechanical models are TOUGH2-CSM and TOUGH2-FLAC. The TOUGH2-CSM fluid and heat flow formulation is based on the TOUGH2 formulation of mass and energy conservation equations that govern fluid and heat flow in general multiphase, multicomponent, multi-porosity systems. The TOUGH2-CSM simplified geomechanical formulation is based on the linear theory of elasticity applied to multi-porosity non-isothermal (thermo-multi-poroelastic) media. We previously derived, from the fundamental relations of the linear theory of elasticity, an equation relating mean stress, pore pressures, temperatures, and body force (the Mean Stress equation) that we added to the TOUGH2-CSM fluid and heat flow equations. We extended the TOUGH2-CSM simplified geomechanical formulation to calculate the entire stress tensor by deriving equations for stress tensor components from derivatives of the Cartesian thermo-multi-poroelastic Navier equation components. In addition, we derived equations for stress tensor components in rz-coordinates. We solved these geomechanical equations using the integral finite difference method. This method utilizes momentum fluxes obtained by “factoring” a divergence operator out of each geomechanical equation. In Task 5, we did a literature survey to determine suitable correlations for fracture initiation, growth, and propagation. After surveying numerous papers, we modified TOUGH2-CSM to model stress dependent fracture initiation and growth using the Mohr-Coulomb criterion for shear failure in faults and caprock and the condition of negative minimum effective stress for tensile failure. Tensile failure results in a fracture whose width depends on the difference between fracture pressure and minimum stress and whose propagation is based on the difference between the stress intensity factor at the fracture tip and the rock toughness. The TOUGH-FLAC model is based on the FLAC3D ubiquitous joint model, extended for the modeling of permeability changes induced by changes in effective normal stress across fractures as well permeability changes caused by shearing along fractures. In Task 6, we validated our coupled flow-geomechanical models using analytical solutions and problems from the literature. We validated the TOUGH2-CSM modifications using analytical solutions to the displacement from a uniform load on a semi-infinite elastic medium and the two-dimensional Mandel-Cryer effect. Those were followed by a sample problem to test our stress tensor calculations, which was for injection into a single-phase reservoir with constant properties. Comparisons of our simulator to published results were done on for the depletion of a single-phase reservoir with stress dependent porosity, two examples from the In Salah gas project, an axisymmetric baserock–reservoir–caprock system with a normal faulting stress regime that had thermally induced shear stresses, simulations of CO2 leakage through caprock in a two-dimensional reservoir in Cartesian coordinates, and predictions of caprock failure from CO2 injection into an axisymmetric reservoir. Finally, we simulated CO2 injection pressure-induced fracturing from one of our laboratory studies, Sample 39, and obtained a fracture profile. We also validated the TOUGH2-FLAC model for fluid driven fracture growth against solutions based on the KGD model and a case with an inclined fracture that was loaded from the boundaries to achieve wing-crack propagation. The strain softening tensile behavior and softening of modulus considering a simple damage approach was verified by a simulation representing hydraulic fracturing stress measurement around a vertical well. Finally, the model was validated against deep fracture zone opening and surface uplift at In Salah with inverses analysis used to improve the match of simulation with field data. In Task 7, we developed a scheme based on inverse modeling that can be used to identify caprock leakage. Injection of fluid into a reservoir results in a time varying pressure profile that depends on the properties of the rock and the fluid. The presence of significant caprock leakage would effect this pressure profile and we used inverse modeling, namely the Levenberg-Marquardt method, to determine the leakage location from the pressure profile. A two-dimensional and a three-dimensional example based on published data were presented. The published simulation was run and its results were considered as “field” data. In the two-dimensional example, a simulation of CO2 injection into a two-dimensional aquifer-caprock system, the caprock had a vertical fault through which leakage could occur. The location of this leakage was obtained from our inverse modeling scheme. In the three-dimensional example, the simulation domain had four geological layers, one of which was the injection zone that contained a horizontal injection well. We simulated fractures as high permeability gridblocks, introduced a fracture that spanned the caprock depth, and ran a simulation to obtain “field” data. Then, using our inverse modeling scheme, we obtained the location of that fracture.},
doi = {10.2172/1487433},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}