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Detailed CO2 Storage Reservoir Site Characterization: The Key to Optimizing Performance and Maximizing Storage Capacity

Surdam, Ronald; Jiao, Zunsheng; Ganshin, Yuri; Bentley, Ramsey; Garcia-Gonzalez, Mario; Quillinan, Scott; McLaughlin, J. F.; Stauffer, Philip; Deng, Hailin

This study - funded under U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory award DE-FE-0002142 - uses outcrop and core observations, a diverse electric log suite, a VSP survey, in-bore testing (i.e., DST, injection tests, and fluid sampling), a variety of rock/fluid analyses, and a wide range of seismic attributes derived from a 3-D seismic survey. The primary data sources used in this study are a 5-mile by 5-mile seismic survey, a 12,810-foot-deep stratigraphic test well, 916 feet of high-quality core, and regional outcrop observations.

The robust databases derived from the sources listed above were designed to optimize the characterization of the potential CO2 storage site at the Rock Springs Uplift, Wyoming for the Madison Limestone and Weber/Tensleep Sandstone: prime storage reservoirs in the northern Rocky Mountain basins. This study aims to build a realistic 3-D geological property model by combining lithofacies/petrophysical analyses with seismic attribute computations and mapping. Using this approach - along with outstanding correlations between laboratory-measured porosity and permeability, sonic velocity and log porosity, and acoustic impedance and density porosity - geological property models for the Madison and Weber/Tensleep were constructed. Inherent to the geological property models of the targeted reservoir intervals are the heterogeneities observed in outcrop, core, petrophysical logs, and seismic attributes. Three-dimensional computational grids were populated with the geological property models, and the grids were then used to numerically simulate a variety of CO2 injection scenarios for specific reservoir intervals. These scenarios demonstrate that even in the most favorable reservoir interval - for example, the middle Madison Limestone - injection well sites in the 5-mile by 5-mile study area vary by an order of magnitude both in injection rates and storage capacity. Despite these heterogeneities, the dolomitized middle Madison on the Rock Springs Uplift remains an outstanding potential commercial CO2 storage site. Siting a commercial-scale CO2 storage facility requires a comprehensive reservoir/site characterization study similar to that described above for the Rock Springs Uplift, in order to optimize CO2 injection/storage and reduce risk.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013