The research effort integrates well completion design including effects of geomechanical stresses into engineering design and operations of an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) site to assess geologic and fluid effects and factors on CO2 injection, capacity, and plume migration. The DOE Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center (RMOTC) Teapot Dome site (Figure 1) has collected seismic and reservoir data that was targeting the Crow Mountain aquifer. These data are being used as a realistic proxy to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed methods.
A geomechanical reservoir tool (STIMSIM) will be coupled with a commercial reservoir transport tool (reservoir simulator -- RESSIM) and a method for seamless data input and output will be developed. This integrated wellbore and reservoir software tool will be integrated with a static geocellular reservoir model. Dynamic fluid flow in the reservoir and the migration of the CO2 plume due to vertical and lateral heterogeneity, pressure migration, fault, and seal integrity during injection will be evaluated. In addition, the effects of complex structures in the geologic CO2 storage process on plume migration in a brine aquifer will be investigated, and the impact of multilateral horizontal well (opposed to vertical or single lateral wells) deployment on the potential of CO2 capacity and injectivity and trapping mechanisms will be evaluated (Figure 2).
The overall goal of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Program is to develop and advance technologies that will significantly improve the effectiveness of geologic carbon storage, reduce the cost of implementation, and prepare for widespread commercial deployment between 2020 and 2030. Research conducted to develop these technologies will ensure safe and permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth.
Geologic carbon storage involves the injection of CO2 into underground formations that have the ability to securely contain the CO2 permanently. Technologies being developed for geologic carbon storage are focused on five storage types: oil and gas reservoirs, saline formations, unmineable coal seams, basalts, and organic-rich shales. Technologies being developed will work towards meeting carbon storage programmatic goals of (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity +/- 30 percent in geologic formations; (2) ensuring 99 percent storage permanence; (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals. These technologies will lead to future CO2 management for coal-based electric power generating facilities and other industrial CO2 emitters by enabling the storage and utilization of CO2 in all storage types.
The DOE Carbon Storage Program encompasses five Technology Areas: (1) Geologic Storage and Simulation and Risk Assessment (GSRA), (2) Monitoring, Verification, Accounting (MVA) and Assessment, (3) CO2 Use and Re-Use, (4) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP), and (5) Focus Area for Sequestration Science. The first three Technology Areas comprise the Core Research and Development (R&D) that includes studies ranging from applied laboratory to pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for GHG mitigation through carbon storage. This project is part of the Core R&D GSRA Technology Area and works to develop technologies and simulation tools to ensure secure geologic storage of CO2. It is critical that these technologies are available to aid in characterizing geologic formations before CO2-injection takes place in order to predict the CO2 storage resource and develop CO2 injection techniques that achieve optimal use of the pore space in the reservoir and avoid fracturing the confining zone (caprock). The program’s R&D strategy includes adapting and applying existing technologies that can be utilized in the next five years, while concurrently developing innovative and advanced technologies that will be deployed in the decade beyond. This project is researching modeling tools to characterize the geomechanical stresses that engineering and scientific impacts from carbon storage operations have on an oil and gas site.
This project will benefit carbon storage in geologic reservoirs by analyzing how CO2 can be efficiently stored and contained in the subsurface under a variety of scenarios. The data generated by these modeling simulations will allow for a more cost-effective carbon storage operation. This supports the Carbon Storage Programmatic goals of demonstrating 99 percent storage permanence and improving the efficiency of storage operations, in addition to aiding in the development of a best practices manual for geomechanical modeling and EOR operations.
This integration of various wellbore geomechanic, dynamic, and static reservoir simulation tools will allow the evaluation of impacts of fractures on the engineering of injection well configuration, construction, and placement, as well as impacts on the CO2 injectivity, capacity, plume migration, and seal integrity in a CO2 utilization/storage site. Additional sensitivity and optimization analysis can be accounted for in the presence of multiple rock types (e.g. dolomite, sandstone, shales, etc.); 2013 petrophysical parameters - particularly relative permeability model effects, structural and mechanical characteristic effects including vertical layering, areal petrographic and petrologic and stress controls on fluid flow; and the impact and risk of fracturing on CO2 injectivity and capacity on CO2 utilization and storage.
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