The overall objective of this project is to obtain the first rigorous assessment of the amount and extent of local capillary trapping expected to occur in typical storage formations. The University of Texas Austin is gathering variogram models typical of CO2 storage formations and generating a large number of geostatistical realizations of permeability from these models. The realizations are being populated with key petrophysical properties using crossproperty correlations and the spatial properties of the resulting model formations are being analyzed to determine the potential for local capillary trapping. The emplacement and buoyancy-driven migration of CO2 and the onset of a leakage path in the overlying seal is being simulated and the simulation was analyzed to determine the extent of filling of the local capillary traps and the degree of immobilization within them. Final-scale CO2 saturation distributions were extracted from the simulations and bench-scale buoyant displacements in heterogeneous 2D sand packs were performed.
This project focuses on the development of a methodology to identify and quantify the extent of capillary trapping of CO2 in heterogeneous geologic storage formations. Extensive capillary trapping of CO2 provides confidence that storage is permanent. Specifically, this project is conducting laboratory experiments and performing numerical simulations to assess the extent and location of trapping in geologic repositories thereby reducing the risks associated with long-term CO2 storage.
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