skip to main content

Title: Optimizing accuracy of determinations of CO₂ storage capacity and permanence, and designing more efficient storage operations: An example from the Rock Springs Uplift, Wyoming

At a potential injection site on the Rock Springs Uplift in southwest Wyoming, an investigation of confining layers was undertaken to develop and test methodology, identify key data requirements, assess previous injection scenarios relative to detailed confining layer properties, and integrate all findings in order to reduce the uncertainty of CO₂ storage permanence. The assurance of safe and permanent storage of CO₂ at a storage site involves a detailed evaluation of the confining layers. Four suites of field data were recognized as crucial for determining storage permanence relative to the confining layers; seismic, core and petrophysical data from a wellbore, formation fluid samples, and in-situ formation tests. Core and petrophysical data were used to create a vertical heterogenic property model that defined porosity, permeability, displacement pressure, geomechanical strengths, and diagenetic history. These analyses identified four primary confining layers and multiple redundant confining layers. In-situ formation tests were used to evaluate fracture gradients, regional stress fields, baseline microseismic data, step-rate injection tests, and formation perforation responses. Seismic attributes, correlated with the vertical heterogenic property models, were calculated and used to create a 3-D volume model over the entire site. The seismic data provided the vehicle to transform the vertical heterogenic propertymore » model into a horizontal heterogenic property model, which allowed for the evaluation of confining layers across the entire study site without risking additional wellbore perforations. Lastly, formation fluids were collected and analyzed for geochemical and isotopic compositions from stacked reservoir systems. These data further tested primary confining layers, by evaluating the evidence of mixing between target reservoirs (mixing would imply an existing breach of primary confining layers). All data were propagated into a dynamic, heterogenic geologic property model used to test various injection scenarios. These tests showed that the study site could retain 25MT of injected CO₂ over an injection lifespan of 50 years. Major findings indicate that active reservoir pressure management through reservoir fluid production (minimum of three production wells) greatly reduces the risk of breaching a confining layer. To address brine production, a well completion and engineering study was incorporated to reduce the risks of scaling and erosion during injection and production. These scenarios suggest that the dolostone within the Mississippian Madison Limestone is the site’s best injection/production target by two orders of magnitude, and that commercial well equipment would meet all performance requirements. This confirms that there are multiple confining layers in southwest Wyoming that are capable of retaining commercial volumes of CO₃, making Wyoming’s Paleozoic reservoirs ideal storage targets for low-risk injection and long-term storage. This study also indicates that column height retention calculations are reduced in a CO₂-brine system relative to a hydrocarbon-brine system, which is an observation that affects all potential CCS sites. Likewise, this study identified the impacts that downhole testing imparts on reservoir fluids, and the likelihood of introducing uncertainty in baseline site assumptions and later modeling.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States