Simulation of Fault Reactivation Using the HISS Model
- Jenny Ryu (The University of Texas at Austin) | D. Nicolas Espinoza (The University of Texas at Austin) | Matthew T. Balhoff (The University of Texas at Austin) | Shayan Tavassoli (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 30 September - 2 October, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Carbon Storage, Geomechanics, Fault Reactivation, Geology
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Long-term integrity and practical storage of CO2 is contingent upon its seal performance and the dynamic sealing capacity of faults for the CO2 storage site. Faults are prone to reactivation with reservoir pressurization caused by CO2 injection. The goal of this study is to create and verify a reservoir elasto-plastic model capable of capturing short-term evolution of fault reactivation and the resulting change of permeability. This model is then used to explore the effects of coupling geomechanics with reservoir fluid flow on the reactivation of faults.
In this paper, we introduce a workflow for modeling of fault reactivation with fault elements as gridblocks instead of surfaces. Reservoir simulation, with coupled fluid flow and geomechanics, was used for this purpose. The simulation models utilize a geomechanical module to capture elasto-plasticity and a compositional numerical scheme based on an equation of state (EOS) to calculate CO2-brine interaction. The geomechanical module used in this study is based on Hierarchical Single Surface (HISS) model that captures strain softening and hardening, and therefore post-yield plastic deformations related to fault reactivation. The compositional numerical scheme based on EOS calculates the amount of CO2 solubilization in brine as well as the density and viscosity of the CO2- and aqueous-rich phase. In this approach, the flow properties, i.e. permeability and porosity, dynamically change in response to geomechanical effects. The dynamic change was captured through a volumetric strain-permeability law.
Our simulation results show that the model is capable of capturing short-term evolution of fault reactivation and the resulting change of permeability along the fault. The dynamic changes of fault properties control the extent of fault reactivation, the pressure relief during injection, and the fault sealing capacity.
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