Prototype and Testing a New Volumetric Curvature Tool for Modeling Reservoir Compartments and Leakage Pathways in the Arbuckle Saline Aquifer: Reducing Uncertainty in CO2 Storage and Permanence Email Page
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Performer:  University of Kansas Center for Research Location:  Lawrence, Kansas
Project Duration:  10/01/2010 – 12/28/2014 Award Number:  FE0004566
Technology Area:  Geologic Storage Total Award Value:  $1,998,729
Key Technology:  Fluid Flow, Pressure, and Water Management DOE Share:  $1,597,269
Performer Share:  $401,460

Overview of the Arbuckle Group geologic setting
Overview of the Arbuckle Group geologic setting

Project Description

The project was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a new seismic tool, volumetric curvature (VC), to identify the presence, extent, and impact of paleokarst heterogeneity and faulting structures on geologic CO2 storage in the Arbuckle Group, a saline carbonate formation in southwestern Kansas. Existing seismic and well data were reprocessed and analyzed using VC analysis. An integrated geologic model was then developed to indirectly confirm the presence of VC identified compartments, as well as to estimate geologic storage capacity, optimum CO2 injection rate that could occur, potential CO2 plume migration, reservoir containment, and CO2 leakage risk. A horizontal well was installed to intersect the paleokarst features and confirm that the imaged seismic feature was present.

Project Benefits

This project focused on the evaluation of a seismic tool (volumetric curvature analysis) to identify the presence, extent, and impact of paleokarst compartments and faulting structures in the Arbuckle Group. Identification of these potentially conductive, through-going fault systems is important for reducing risks associated with carbon storage operations, especially the risk of CO2 or saline formation fluids migrating into fresh water aquifers. This project contributed to improved storage and characterization techniques, thus reducing the risk of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Specifically, this project achieved its targets by analyzing the seismic data and confirming the presence of identified paleokarst features via a horizontal test boring that intersects the paleokarst compartments and boundaries. The result is a tool that has the potential to be cost-effective for helping to assess geologic storage capacity and CO2 flow.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Brian Dressel:
Technology Manager Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator Jason Rush: