Proof of Feasibility of Using Well Bore Deformation as a Diagnostic Tool to Improve CO2 Sequestration


Images of a well casing deforming due to changes in<br/>applied loads. Measuring the deformation can be<br/>used to infer loads, formation properties<br/>and structure, completion performance.
Images of a well casing deforming due to changes in
applied loads. Measuring the deformation can be
used to infer loads, formation properties
and structure, completion performance.
Clemson University
Website:  Clemson University
Award Number:  FE0004542
Project Duration:  10/01/2010 – 02/28/2015
Total Award Value:  $561,500
DOE Share:  $449,208
Performer Share:  $112,292
Technology Area:  Geologic Storage
Key Technology:  Wellbore
Location:  Clemson, South Carolina

Project Description

Clemson University has characterized wellbore deformation under conditions anticipated during geologic CO2 storage, identifying and evaluating techniques for interpreting the results of simultaneous measurements of displacement and pressures during well testing or operations, and evaluating capabilities and requirements for downhole geomechanical instrumentation. Wellbores can deform in response to the injection or recovery of fluid. In extreme cases, the deformation is catastrophic and the well can be compromised. Wellbores can potentially deform during carbon storage operations, and effective monitoring of this process can be used to detect early precursors to fracturing within the injection formation, induced faulting, and failure of wellbore seals so they can be addressed before becoming catastrophic.

Project Benefits

This project focuses on the feasibility of using wellbore deformations to assess the changing conditions of geologic storage formations, confining zones, and well boreholes. Project results should improve the characterization of geologic storage formations, confining zone compressibility, and pressure-dependent permeability and may allow the prediction of the formation or propagation of faults and fractures near a wellbore as well as catastrophic wellbore collapse. This contributes to improved storage techniques, thus reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Specifically, this project achieves its targets via improved well borehole characterization, including improvements in the understanding of the bond and integrity between the well casing, the cemented or grouted well annulus (the space between the well casing and the perimeter of the borehole), and the geologic formation itself.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Brian Dressel:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Larry Murdoch:

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