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Title: Preliminary formation analysis for compressed air energy storage in depleted natural gas reservoirs :

The purpose of this study is to develop an engineering and operational understanding of CAES performance for a depleted natural gas reservoir by evaluation of relative permeability effects of air, water and natural gas in depleted natural gas reservoirs as a reservoir is initially depleted, an air bubble is created, and as air is initially cycled. The composition of produced gases will be evaluated as the three phase flow of methane, nitrogen and brine are modeled. The effects of a methane gas phase on the relative permeability of air in a formation are investigated and the composition of the produced fluid, which consists primarily of the amount of natural gas in the produced air are determined. Simulations of compressed air energy storage (CAES) in depleted natural gas reservoirs were carried out to assess the effect of formation permeability on the design of a simple CAES system. The injection of N2 (as a proxy to air), and the extraction of the resulting gas mixture in a depleted natural gas reservoir were modeled using the TOUGH2 reservoir simulator with the EOS7c equation of state. The optimal borehole spacing was determined as a function of the formation scale intrinsic permeability. Natural gas reservoirmore » results are similar to those for an aquifer. Borehole spacing is dependent upon the intrinsic permeability of the formation. Higher permeability allows increased injection and extraction rates which is equivalent to more power per borehole for a given screen length. The number of boreholes per 100 MW for a given intrinsic permeability in a depleted natural gas reservoir is essentially identical to that determined for a simple aquifer of identical properties. During bubble formation methane is displaced and a sharp N2methane boundary is formed with an almost pure N2 gas phase in the bubble near the borehole. During cycling mixing of methane and air occurs along the boundary as the air bubble boundary moves. The extracted gas mixture changes as a function of time and proximity of the bubble boundary to the well. For all simulations reported here, with a formation radius above 50 m the maximum methane composition in the produced gas phase was less than 0.5%. This report provides an initial investigation of CAES in a depleted natural gas reservoir, and the results will provide useful guidance in CAES system investigation and design in the future.« less
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States