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Title: Impact of layer thickness and well orientation on caprock integrity for geologic carbon storage

Abstract

Economic feasibility of geologic carbon storage demands sustaining large storage rates without damaging caprock seals. Reactivation of pre-existing or newly formed fractures may provide a leakage pathway across caprock layers. In this study, we apply an equivalent continuum approach within a finite element frame work to model the fluid-pressure induced reactivation of pre-existing fractures within the caprock during high-rate injection of super-critical CO2 into brine-saturated reservoir. We investigate the impact of reservoir to caprock layer thickness, wellbore orientation, and injection rate on overall performance of the system with respect to caprock failure and leakage. We find that vertical wells result in locally higher reservoir pressures relative to horizontal injection wells for the same injection rate, with higher pressure favoring caprock leakage along reactivated opening-mode fractures in the caprock. After prolonged injection, leakage along reactivated fractures in the caprock is similar for vertical and horizontal injection wells. Furthermore, we find that low ratios of reservoir to caprock thickness favor high excess pressure and thus fracture reactivation in the caprock. Injection into thick reservoir units thus lowers the risk associated with CO2 leakage.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Engineering Sciences Center
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Jackson School of Geosciences. Bureau of Economic Geology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES); Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), Oil & Natural Gas; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Contributing Org.:
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1340243
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1461959; OSTI ID: 1495815
Report Number(s):
SAND2016-3923J
Journal ID: ISSN 0920-4105; PII: S092041051630300X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000; FE0023316; SC0001114
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 155; Journal ID: ISSN 0920-4105
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Fracture; Geomechanics; Geological CO2 sequestration; Multiphysics

Citation Formats

Newell, P., Martinez, M. J., and Eichhubl, P. Impact of layer thickness and well orientation on caprock integrity for geologic carbon storage. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.petrol.2016.07.032.
Newell, P., Martinez, M. J., & Eichhubl, P. Impact of layer thickness and well orientation on caprock integrity for geologic carbon storage. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2016.07.032
Newell, P., Martinez, M. J., and Eichhubl, P. Fri . "Impact of layer thickness and well orientation on caprock integrity for geologic carbon storage". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2016.07.032. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340243.
@article{osti_1340243,
title = {Impact of layer thickness and well orientation on caprock integrity for geologic carbon storage},
author = {Newell, P. and Martinez, M. J. and Eichhubl, P.},
abstractNote = {Economic feasibility of geologic carbon storage demands sustaining large storage rates without damaging caprock seals. Reactivation of pre-existing or newly formed fractures may provide a leakage pathway across caprock layers. In this study, we apply an equivalent continuum approach within a finite element frame work to model the fluid-pressure induced reactivation of pre-existing fractures within the caprock during high-rate injection of super-critical CO2 into brine-saturated reservoir. We investigate the impact of reservoir to caprock layer thickness, wellbore orientation, and injection rate on overall performance of the system with respect to caprock failure and leakage. We find that vertical wells result in locally higher reservoir pressures relative to horizontal injection wells for the same injection rate, with higher pressure favoring caprock leakage along reactivated opening-mode fractures in the caprock. After prolonged injection, leakage along reactivated fractures in the caprock is similar for vertical and horizontal injection wells. Furthermore, we find that low ratios of reservoir to caprock thickness favor high excess pressure and thus fracture reactivation in the caprock. Injection into thick reservoir units thus lowers the risk associated with CO2 leakage.},
doi = {10.1016/j.petrol.2016.07.032},
journal = {Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering},
number = ,
volume = 155,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

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Cited by: 2 works
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Works referencing / citing this record:

Hydromechanical reactivation of natural discontinuities: mesoscale experimental observations and DEM modeling
journal, March 2019

  • Tsopela, Alexandra; Donzé, Frédéric-Victor; Guglielmi, Yves
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