Onset of Convection in CO2 Sequestration in Deep Inclined Saline Aquifers
- M. Javaheri (University of Calgary) | J. Abedi (University of Calgary) | H. Hassanzadeh (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Petroleum Society of Canada
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 22 - 27
- 2009. Petroleum Society of Canada (now Society of Petroleum Engineers)
- 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.10.1 CO2 Capture and Sequestration, 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.8.3 Coal Seam Gas, 6.5.1 Air Emissions, 6.5.7 Climate Change, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation
- saline aquifers, convective mixing, CO2 sequestration
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CO2 sequestration in deep geological formations has been suggested as an option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Saline aquifers are one of the most promising options for carbon dioxide storage. It has been shown that the dissolution of CO2 into brine causes the density of the mixture to increase. If the corresponding Rayleigh number of the porous medium is enough to initiate convection currents, the rate of dissolution will increase. Early time dissolution of CO2 in brine is mainly dominated by molecular diffusion, while late time dissolution is predominantly governed by a convective mixing mechanism. In this paper, linear stability analysis of density-driven miscible flow for carbon dioxide sequestration in deep inclined and homogeneous saline aquifers is presented. The effect of inclination and its influence on the pattern of convection cells has been investigated and the results are compared with the horizontal layer. The current analysis provides approximations for the initial wavelength of the convective instabilities and the onset of convection that helps in selecting suitable candidates for geological CO2 sequestration sites.
Carbon dioxide sequestration is the capture and safe storage of carbon dioxide that would otherwise emit to the atmosphere. Sequestration refers to any storage scheme that can keep CO2 out of the atmosphere(1). In general, proposed storage sites of carbon dioxide can be divided into two categories: geological sites and marine sites. Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep geological formations has been suggested as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Geologic sequestration of CO2 is the capture of CO2 from major sources, transporting it usually by pipeline, and injecting it into underground formations such as oil and gas reservoirs, saline aquifers and unmineable coal seams for a significant period of time(2, 3). Unlike coalbed methane reserves and oil reservoirs, sequestration of CO2 in deep saline aquifers does not produce value-added by-products, but it has other advantages. While there are uncertainties regarding the scope, the world's total capacity to store CO2 deep underground is large(4). Underground formations are generally unused and are available in many parts of the world(5). It has been estimated that deep saline formations in the United States could potentially store up to 500 billion tonnes of CO2. Most existing large CO2 point sources are within easy access to a saline formation injection point and, therefore, sequestration in saline formations is compatible with a strategy of transforming large portions of the existing energy and industrial assets to near-zero carbon emissions via low-cost carbon sequestration retrofits(3). However, it is important to investigate the behaviour of CO2 injected into aquifers for effective and safe use of storage. Geological storage of CO2 as a greenhouse gas mitigation option was proposed in the 1970s(6), but little research was done until the early 1990s when the idea gained credibility through the work of individual research groups(7-10).
When CO2 is injected into the formation above its critical temperature and pressure, the density of supercritical carbon dioxide is usually less than brine. This density difference causes CO2 to migrate upwards to the top of the formation under an impermeable caprock.
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