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Title: A modeling of buoyant gas plume migration

Abstract

This work is motivated by the growing interest in injecting carbon dioxide into deep geological formations as a means of avoiding its atmospheric emissions and consequent global warming. Ideally, the injected greenhouse gas stays in the injection zone for a geologic time, eventually dissolves in the formation brine and remains trapped by mineralization. However, one of the potential problems associated with the geologic method of sequestration is that naturally present or inadvertently created conduits in the cap rock may result in a gas leakage from primary storage. Even in a supercritical state, the carbon dioxide viscosity and density are lower than those of the formation brine. Buoyancy tends to drive the leaked CO{sub 2} plume upward. Theoretical and experimental studies of buoyancy-driven supercritical CO{sub 2} flow, including estimation of time scales associated with plume evolution and migration, are critical for developing technology, monitoring policy, and regulations for safe carbon dioxide geologic sequestration. In this study, we obtain simple estimates of vertical plume propagation velocity taking into account the density and viscosity contrast between CO{sub 2} and brine. We describe buoyancy-driven countercurrent flow of two immiscible phases by a Buckley-Leverett type model. The model predicts that a plume of supercritical carbonmore » dioxide in a homogeneous water-saturated porous medium does not migrate upward like a bubble in bulk water. Rather, it spreads upward until it reaches a seal or until it becomes immobile. A simple formula requiring no complex numerical calculations describes the velocity of plume propagation. This solution is a simplification of a more comprehensive theory of countercurrent plume migration (Silin et al., 2007). In a layered reservoir, the simplified solution predicts a slower plume front propagation relative to a homogeneous formation with the same harmonic mean permeability. In contrast, the model yields much higher plume propagation estimates in a high-permeability conduit like a vertical fracture.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Earth Sciences Division
OSTI Identifier:
948573
Report Number(s):
LBNL-1552E
TRN: US200907%%115
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54; 58; BRINES; BUBBLES; CAP ROCK; CARBON DIOXIDE; GREENHOUSE EFFECT; GREENHOUSE GASES; HARMONICS; MINERALIZATION; MONITORING; PERMEABILITY; PLUMES; REGULATIONS; SIMULATION; STORAGE; SUPERCRITICAL STATE; VELOCITY; VISCOSITY; WATER

Citation Formats

Silin, D, Patzek, T, and Benson, S M. A modeling of buoyant gas plume migration. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.09.003.
Silin, D, Patzek, T, & Benson, S M. A modeling of buoyant gas plume migration. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.09.003.
Silin, D, Patzek, T, and Benson, S M. Mon . "A modeling of buoyant gas plume migration". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.09.003. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/948573.
@article{osti_948573,
title = {A modeling of buoyant gas plume migration},
author = {Silin, D and Patzek, T and Benson, S M},
abstractNote = {This work is motivated by the growing interest in injecting carbon dioxide into deep geological formations as a means of avoiding its atmospheric emissions and consequent global warming. Ideally, the injected greenhouse gas stays in the injection zone for a geologic time, eventually dissolves in the formation brine and remains trapped by mineralization. However, one of the potential problems associated with the geologic method of sequestration is that naturally present or inadvertently created conduits in the cap rock may result in a gas leakage from primary storage. Even in a supercritical state, the carbon dioxide viscosity and density are lower than those of the formation brine. Buoyancy tends to drive the leaked CO{sub 2} plume upward. Theoretical and experimental studies of buoyancy-driven supercritical CO{sub 2} flow, including estimation of time scales associated with plume evolution and migration, are critical for developing technology, monitoring policy, and regulations for safe carbon dioxide geologic sequestration. In this study, we obtain simple estimates of vertical plume propagation velocity taking into account the density and viscosity contrast between CO{sub 2} and brine. We describe buoyancy-driven countercurrent flow of two immiscible phases by a Buckley-Leverett type model. The model predicts that a plume of supercritical carbon dioxide in a homogeneous water-saturated porous medium does not migrate upward like a bubble in bulk water. Rather, it spreads upward until it reaches a seal or until it becomes immobile. A simple formula requiring no complex numerical calculations describes the velocity of plume propagation. This solution is a simplification of a more comprehensive theory of countercurrent plume migration (Silin et al., 2007). In a layered reservoir, the simplified solution predicts a slower plume front propagation relative to a homogeneous formation with the same harmonic mean permeability. In contrast, the model yields much higher plume propagation estimates in a high-permeability conduit like a vertical fracture.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijggc.2008.09.003},
journal = {International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {12}
}