Reservoir Simulation of CO2 Storage in Aquifers
- Ajitabh Kumar (U. of Texas at Austin) | Myeong H. Noh (U. of Texas at Austin) | Robin C. Ozah (U. of Texas at Austin) | Gary A. Pope (U. of Texas at Austin) | Steven L. Bryant (U. of Texas at Austin) | Kamy Sepehrnoori (U. of Texas at Austin) | Larry W. Lake (U. of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- September 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 336 - 348
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.10.1 CO2 Capture and Sequestration, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 2 Well Completion, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow
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We present the results of compositional reservoir simulation of aprototypical CO2 sequestration project in a deep saline aquifer. The objectivewas to better understand and quantify estimates of the most important CO2storage mechanisms under realistic physical conditions. Simulations of a fewdecades of CO2 injection followed by 103 to 105 years of natural gradient flowwere performed. The impact of several parameters was studied, including averagepermeability, the ratio of vertical to horizontal permeability, residual gassaturation, salinity, temperature, aquifer dip angle, and permeabilityheterogeneity. The storage of CO2 in residual gas emerges as a potentially verysignificant issue meriting further study. Under some circumstances this form ofimmobile storage can be larger than storage in brine and minerals. Mostimportantly, we find that permanent storage is feasible. That is, the storageprocess can be designed to place large volumes of CO2 in forms that will notescape the aquifer any faster than fluids originally present in theaquifer.
Geological Storage.Geological sequestration of CO2 is one of the fewways to remove combustion emissions in sufficient volumes1 to mitigate thegreenhouse effect. Several groups have reported aquifer-scale simulations ofthe storage process, usually in order to estimate the volume that can bestored.1-14 Most schemes that have been put forward depend on storing CO2 inthe supercritical state. In these schemes, buoyancy forces will drive theinjected CO2 upward in the aquifer until a geological seal is reached. Thepermanence of this type of sequestration depends entirely on the integrity ofthe seal over very long periods of time. Assuring such integrity in advance isdifficult, and long-term monitoring for integrity will be costly.
Our study focuses on three modes of CO2 sequestration that avoid thisconcern: 1) pore-level trapping of the CO2-rich gas phase within the geologicformation; 2) dissolution into brine in the aquifer; and 3) precipitation ofdissolved CO2 as a mineral (e.g., calcite). All three modes are well knownphenomena among reservoir engineers and others familiar with flow in permeablemedia. To date, however, little attention has been paid to the practicalimplications of the first mode for storage in aquifers.
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