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Title: Potential seal bypass and caprock storage produced by deformation-band-to-opening-mode-fracture transition at the reservoir/caprock interface

Here, we examined the potential impact on CO 2 transport of zones of deformation bands in reservoir rock that transition to opening-mode fractures within overlying caprock. Sedimentological and petrophysical measurements were collected along an approximately 5 m × 5 m outcrop of the Slick Rock and Earthy Members of the Entrada Sandstone on the eastern flank of the San Rafael Swell, Utah, USA. Measured deformation band permeability (2 mD) within the reservoir facies is about three orders of magnitude lower than the host sandstone. Average permeability of the caprock facies (0.0005 mD) is about seven orders of magnitude lower than the host sandstone. Aperture-based permeability estimates of the opening-mode caprock fractures are high (3.3 × 10 7 mD). High-resolution CO 2–H 2O transport models incorporate these permeability data at the millimeter scale. We then varied fault properties at the reservoir/caprock interface between open fractures and deformation bands as part of a sensitivity study. Numerical modeling results suggest that zones of deformation bands within the reservoir strongly compartmentalize reservoir pressures largely blocking lateral, cross-fault flow of supercritical CO 2. Significant vertical CO 2 transport into the caprock occurred in some scenarios along opening-mode fractures. The magnitude of this vertical CO 2more » transport depends on the small-scale geometry of the contact between the opening-mode fracture and the zone of deformation bands, as well as the degree to which fractures penetrate caprock. Finally, the presence of relatively permeable units within the caprock allows storage of significant volumes of CO 2, particularly when the fracture network does not extend all the way through the caprock.« less
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  1. New Mexico Tech., Socorro, NM (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science
  2. Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Dept. of Geology
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1468-8115
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; FE0004844; SC0001114; AC04-94AL85000; DEFE0004844
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1468-8115
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; caprock; carbon storage; deformation bands; fractures; multiphase flow; reservoir rock; seal bypass
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1400767