CO2-Storage Engineering: Real Solutions to Real Problems
- Vello Alex Kuuskraa (Advanced Resources International, Inc.) | George Jonathan Koperna (Advanced Resources International, Inc.) | Karine Chrystel Schepers (Advanced Resources International, Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE International Conference on CO2 Capture, Storage, and Utilization, 10-12 November, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 2 Well Completion, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.10.1 CO2 Capture and Sequestration, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
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Deep saline aquifers offer the potential for storing large volumes of CO2. However, with conventional CO2 storage well design and operating practices, only a small fraction of this large CO2 storage potential can be productively used. Numerous alternative designs and practices, which utilize the reservoir's internal architecture and draw on CO2 storage engineering expertise, could enable CO2 storage operators to more efficiently and fully utilize a saline formation's storage capacity. This would help reduce the areal extent of the CO2 plume and its risk footprint. It would also help reduce the number of CO2 injection wells and patterns that would need to be developed.
This paper, entitled "CO2 Storage Engineering: Real Solution to Real Problems??, discusses practical CO2 storage options that have been proposed for significantly increasing CO2 storage performance at three challenging saline reservoir settings.
With large-scale CCS projects on the horizon, it is now timely to call on the emerging discipline of CO2 Storage Engineering for concepts and designs that optimize the storage of CO2. The purpose of this paper - - "CO2 Storage Engineering: Real Solutions to Real Problems?? - - is to put into perspective the challenges of increasing CO2 injection and usable CO2 storage capacity while reducing the areal extent of the CO2 plume. The benefits from this include lower costs due to drilling fewer CO2 injection wells and lower CO2 storage risks due to a smaller area underlain by CO2. In addition, this paper sets forth a more rigorous reservoir characterization protocol essential for applying optimum CO2 storage engineering practices.
The paper draws on three specific saline formation CO2 storage sites for which detailed reservoir characterization, CO2 plume modeling, and CO2 storage design have been conducted, namely:
- The low permeability, moderately thick Oriskany saline formation in the Appalachian Basin;
- The moderate permeability, thick Paluxy saline formation in the Gulf Coast with discontinuous sand deposition; and
- The high permeability, thick Lower Tuscaloosa saline formation also in the Gulf Coast with continuous sand deposition.
For each saline formation, the paper discusses improvements in usable CO2 storage capacity and reductions in well requirements from applying innovative CO2 storage engineering practices.
Low Permeability Saline Formation
Background. A sizeable portion of the CO2 storage capacity provided by saline formations is in reservoirs with low permeability and only moderate thickness. For example:
- In the western Pennsylvania portion of the Appalachian Basin, the Oriskany Formation, a major CO2 storage option in this region, has low to moderate permeability.
- In the deeper portion of the Illinois Basin, the Mt. Simon Formation, the dominant CO2 storage option for the Midwest, also appears to have low to moderate permeability.
Because of permeability-based restriction on CO2 injection rates, alternatives to traditional vertical well drilling and completion designs will likely be essential for these reservoirs.
Reservoir Setting. The Oriskany is an important low permeability, moderately thick saline formation in the Appalachian Basin, with reservoir properties for the area we examined set forth in Table 1. Our objective was to assess the CO2 injectivity and storage capacity of this formation under alternative well drilling and completion designs. Our first step was to construct a geological model and then place this model into a reservoir simulator. Table 2 shows the model layers and reservoir properties for the Oriskany saline reservoir.
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