Geomechanics of CO2 Reservoir Seals Email Page
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Performer:  University of Texas at Austin Location:  Austin, Texas
Project Duration:  09/01/2014 – 04/30/2018 Award Number:  FE0023316
Technology Area:  Geologic Storage Total Award Value:  $993,717
Key Technology:  GS: Geomechanical Impacts DOE Share:  $739,874
Performer Share:  $253,843

Fractures and faulting noted in potential CO<sub>2</sub><br/>confining layers at the Crystal Geyser site.
Fractures and faulting noted in potential CO2
confining layers at the Crystal Geyser site.

Project Description

The University of Texas is developing and validating geomechanical models for subcritical fracture growth in carbon, capture, and storage (CCS) top seal lithologies. Outcomes of the proposed project include the development of predictive models for top seal failure by fracture growth that are calibrated using field observations and experimental data on rock fracture properties under chemically reactive conditions representative of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage reservoirs. The results from this project can also provide tools to aid in risk assessment.

Project Benefits

The project is designed to provide calibrated and validated numerical tools for long-term prediction of reservoir seal integrity beyond the engineering (injection) time scale. Understanding long term seal integrity is important to the Carbon Storage Program goal of ensuring long term storage of 99 percent of injected CO2. Specifically, the project is performing laboratory fracture testing and validating results against fractures from natural CO2 seeps. These results will provide inputs for the numerical simulations that will be run to predict top seal integrity. These will be upscaled to reservoir models that couple geomechanics with multiphase flow and leakage.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager William Aljoe:
Technology Manager Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator Peter Eichhubl: