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Title: CO 2 charged brines changed rock strength and stiffness at Crystal Geyser, Utah: Implications for leaking subsurface CO 2 storage reservoirs

CO 2 geological storage in saline aquifers results in acidification of resident brine. Chemical reactions between acidified brine and rock minerals lead to dissolution and precipitation of minerals at various time scales. Mineral dissolution and precipitation are often neglected in assessing the mechanical integrity of target storage formations, yet, changes in rock strength and deformational behavior can impact trapping mechanisms. This paper shows the impact of exposure to CO 2-charged brine on shear strength and stiffness of various outcrop rocks evaluated through triaxial testing. The tested rocks were exposed to CO 2-charged brine over geological time at a naturally occurring near-surface seepage along the Little Grand Wash Fault and Salt Wash Grabens, which include the Crystal Geyser site near the town of Green River, Utah. Prior work suggests that this site provides a near-surface structural analog for possible fault-controlled CO 2 leakage over time scales that exceed expected injection time scales (10–100 years). Results show mechanical alteration in various aspects: (1) CO 2-charged brine alteration at near-surface conditions results in mineral dissolution/precipitation and reduction of shear strength and brittleness of Entrada sandstone and Summerville siltstone samples, and (2) carbonate precipitation in fractured Mancos shale leads to matrix stiffening and fracturemore » mineralization resulting in overall stiffer and likely tighter shale. Additional discrete element simulations coupled with a bonded-particle-model confirm the role of cement bond size alteration as one of the main controls for rock chemo-mechanical alteration in sandstones. The chemo-mechanical alteration path that mimics cement dissolution (under stressed subsurface conditions) results in vertical compaction and lateral stress relaxation. Overall, results show that rock exposure to CO 2-charged brine can impart distinct petrophysical and geomechanical changes according to rock lithology and location with respect to major CO 2 conduits. Finally, while mineral dissolution in the storage rock may result in undesired reservoir strains and changes of stresses, mineral precipitation downstream from a leakage path can help seal potentially induced fractures.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Bureau of Economic Geology. Jackson School of Geosciences
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Geomechanics Dept.
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND-2018-9986J
Journal ID: ISSN 1750-5836; 667805
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0003525; SC0001114
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 73; Journal ID: ISSN 1750-5836
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (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
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; mechanical and chemical diagenesis; reactive fluid flow; mineral dissolution and precipitation; triaxial testing; DEM; fault reactivation
OSTI Identifier:
1473934

Espinoza, D. Nicolas, Jung, Hojung, Major, Jonathan R., Sun, Zhuang, Ramos, Matthew J., Eichhubl, Peter, Balhoff, Matthew T., Choens, R. Charles, and Dewers, Thomas A.. CO2 charged brines changed rock strength and stiffness at Crystal Geyser, Utah: Implications for leaking subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.03.017.
Espinoza, D. Nicolas, Jung, Hojung, Major, Jonathan R., Sun, Zhuang, Ramos, Matthew J., Eichhubl, Peter, Balhoff, Matthew T., Choens, R. Charles, & Dewers, Thomas A.. CO2 charged brines changed rock strength and stiffness at Crystal Geyser, Utah: Implications for leaking subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.03.017.
Espinoza, D. Nicolas, Jung, Hojung, Major, Jonathan R., Sun, Zhuang, Ramos, Matthew J., Eichhubl, Peter, Balhoff, Matthew T., Choens, R. Charles, and Dewers, Thomas A.. 2018. "CO2 charged brines changed rock strength and stiffness at Crystal Geyser, Utah: Implications for leaking subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.03.017. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1473934.
@article{osti_1473934,
title = {CO2 charged brines changed rock strength and stiffness at Crystal Geyser, Utah: Implications for leaking subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs},
author = {Espinoza, D. Nicolas and Jung, Hojung and Major, Jonathan R. and Sun, Zhuang and Ramos, Matthew J. and Eichhubl, Peter and Balhoff, Matthew T. and Choens, R. Charles and Dewers, Thomas A.},
abstractNote = {CO2 geological storage in saline aquifers results in acidification of resident brine. Chemical reactions between acidified brine and rock minerals lead to dissolution and precipitation of minerals at various time scales. Mineral dissolution and precipitation are often neglected in assessing the mechanical integrity of target storage formations, yet, changes in rock strength and deformational behavior can impact trapping mechanisms. This paper shows the impact of exposure to CO2-charged brine on shear strength and stiffness of various outcrop rocks evaluated through triaxial testing. The tested rocks were exposed to CO2-charged brine over geological time at a naturally occurring near-surface seepage along the Little Grand Wash Fault and Salt Wash Grabens, which include the Crystal Geyser site near the town of Green River, Utah. Prior work suggests that this site provides a near-surface structural analog for possible fault-controlled CO2 leakage over time scales that exceed expected injection time scales (10–100 years). Results show mechanical alteration in various aspects: (1) CO2-charged brine alteration at near-surface conditions results in mineral dissolution/precipitation and reduction of shear strength and brittleness of Entrada sandstone and Summerville siltstone samples, and (2) carbonate precipitation in fractured Mancos shale leads to matrix stiffening and fracture mineralization resulting in overall stiffer and likely tighter shale. Additional discrete element simulations coupled with a bonded-particle-model confirm the role of cement bond size alteration as one of the main controls for rock chemo-mechanical alteration in sandstones. The chemo-mechanical alteration path that mimics cement dissolution (under stressed subsurface conditions) results in vertical compaction and lateral stress relaxation. Overall, results show that rock exposure to CO2-charged brine can impart distinct petrophysical and geomechanical changes according to rock lithology and location with respect to major CO2 conduits. Finally, while mineral dissolution in the storage rock may result in undesired reservoir strains and changes of stresses, mineral precipitation downstream from a leakage path can help seal potentially induced fractures.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijggc.2018.03.017},
journal = {International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control},
number = ,
volume = 73,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}