A Probabilistic Assessment of the Geomechanical Response to CO2 Injections in Large Igneous Provinces


Reservoir characterization at the Wallula test site in<br/>the state of Washington. The test site<br/>characterization initiated in 2007 and has undergone<br/>a 1,000 metric ton CO<sub>2</sub> injection in August 2013.
Reservoir characterization at the Wallula test site in
the state of Washington. The test site
characterization initiated in 2007 and has undergone
a 1,000 metric ton CO2 injection in August 2013.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Website:  Northern Illinois University
Award Number:  FE0023381
Project Duration:  10/01/2014 – 08/31/2018
Total Award Value:  $574,266
DOE Share:  $433,497
Performer Share:  $140,769
Technology Area:  Geologic Storage
Key Technology:  GS: Risk Assessment
Location:  DeKalb, Illinois

Project Description

This project is undertaking a probabilistic risk assessment of pressure-induced fracture dilation, hydraulic fracture, and shear failure during industrial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) at the Wallula Basalt Sequestration Pilot Project. Core-flood experiments are being used to determine multi-phase fluid properties of variably saturated rock, and the project team is measuring stress-dependent permeability changes with increasing formation pressure. Monte Carlo numerical simulations are being used to assess the probability of tensile, shear, and breakdown failure within the reservoir rock and overlying formations. The results of the study will be an improved accuracy of existing models to understand impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) injection on reservoir permeability.

Project Benefits

The project is performing an assessment of geomechanical reservoir integrity at the Wallula Basalt Storage Site and developing a mechanistic model for predicting stress-dependent reservoir properties of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). Successful completion of this project will directly contribute towards the Carbon Storage Program goal of improving reservoir storage efficiency while ensuring containment effectiveness. Specifically, the project will study fracture structure of CRBG basalt outcrops and perform core flood experiments on samples to determine permeability and capillary pressure ranges resulting from different CO2/brine conditions. This information will be used to perform numerical simulations of three different CO2 injection scenarios at the Wallula site. The results will be used to perform a geomechanical risk assessment for the basalt at the site.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrea McNemar: andrea.mcnemar@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta: traci.rodosta@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Ryan Pollyea: rpollyea@niu.edu

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