CO2 Injection Performance in the Fruitland Coal Fairway, San Juan Basin: Results of a Field Pilot
- Anne Y. Oudinot (Advanced Resources International, Inc.) | George J. Koperna (Advanced Resources International, Inc.) | Zeno G. Philip (Halliburton) | Ning Liu (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Jason E. Heath (New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology) | Arthur Wells (US Department of Energy NETL) | Genevieve B.C. Young (BG Group) | Tom Wilson (West Virginia University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 864 - 879
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.8.3 Coal Seam Gas, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.1.6 Near-Well and Vertical Seismic Profiles, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 4.3.4 Scale
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The Pump Canyon CO2-enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM)/sequestration demonstration in New Mexico has the primary objective of demonstrating the feasibility of CO2 sequestration in deep, unmineable coal seams through a small-scale geologic sequestration pilot. This project is not the first of its kind; several small- or large-scale pilots were already conducted previously in the United States [Allison Unit (Reeves et al. 2003) in the San Juan, Appalachian, and Warrior basins] as well as internationally [the Recopol (Reeves and Oudinot 2002) project in Poland, and the Yubari project in Japan, Canada, and Australia]. Additional pilots are currently under way.
At the project site, a new CO2-injection well was drilled within an existing pattern of coalbed-methane-production wells. Primarily operated by ConocoPhillips, these wells produce from the Late Cretaceous Fruitland coals. CO2 injection into these coal seams was initiated in late July 2008 and ceased in August 2009. A variety of monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) methods were employed to track the movement of the CO2 in order to determine the occurrence of leakage. Within the injection well, MVA methods included continuous measurement of injection volumes, pressures, and temperatures. The offset production wells sampled gas-production rates, pressures, and gas composition through CO2 sensors, tracers in the injected CO2, time-lapse vertical seismic profiling, and surface tiltmeter arrays. A detailed study of the overlying Kirtland shale was also conducted to investigate the integrity of this primary caprock. This information was used to develop a detailed geologic characterization and reservoir model that has been used to further understand the behavior of this reservoir.
The CO2-injection pilot has ended with no significant CO2 buildup occurring in the offset production wells. However, a small but steady increase in CO2 and N2 at two of the offset wells may have been an indication of imminent breakthrough. More recent gas samples are, however, showing a decrease in CO2 and N2 content at those wells. This paper describes the project, covering the regulatory process and injection-well construction, the different techniques used to monitor for CO2 leakage, and the results of the modeling work.
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