skip to main content


Title: Enhancing capillary trapping effectiveness through proper time scheduling of injection of supercritical CO 2 in heterogeneous formations

The impact of geologic heterogeneity on capillary trapping of supercritical CO 2 (scCO 2) has been recognized and appraised through laboratory experimentation and modeling. However, how different injection strategies can be optimized to improve capillary trapping has not received adequate attention. Here, we present a study based on stochastic analysis to show the impact of injection scheduling on capillary trapping of scCO 2 in heterogeneous geological formations. Improvement of trapping efficiency consists of maximizing the trapped volume within a predefined secure zone of the storage formation with the goal of avoiding plume intersection with potential leakage pathways. Using knowledge acquired from physical experiments in intermediate-scale tanks with controlled heterogeneity, we conduct numerical simulations following a stochastic approach to extend the observed outcomes to a series of equally probable permeability scenarios. Our simulations involve the same combination of surrogate fluids that are used in the experiments to mimic viscosity and density contrasts between scCO 2 and brine. To account for uncertainty of formation heterogeneity, several permeability fields with three different variances and two horizontal correlation lengths are generated. The same volume of scCO 2 is emplaced using four different modes of injection scheduling. Results suggest that injection strategies aimed at enhancingmore » capillary trapping of scCO 2 and increasing the probability of constraining the plume within a secure zone are strictly related to the specific heterogeneity of the reservoir. Finally, this preliminary theoretical finding suggests the potential for maximizing secure capillary trapping through the proper selection of injection schedule to fit the formation heterogeneity.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States). Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes (CESEP); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Geosciences Division
  2. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Gulf Coast Carbon Center. Bureau of Economic Geology
  3. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Geosciences Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; FE0004630; EAR-1045282
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2152-3878
Society of Chemical Industry, Wiley
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
capillary trapping; carbon sequestration; injection strategy; permeability heterogeneity; stochastic analysis; storage capacity
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1401721