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The Lower Tuscaloosa Formation in Southeastern Mississippi - a Large-Capacity Sandstone Reservoir for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Petrusak, Robin L.1; Schepers, Karine 1; Esposito, Richard A.2
1 Advanced Resources International, Arlington, VA.
2 Southern Company, Birmingham, AL.

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) is engaged in a research project to demonstrate safe, long-term injection and storage of CO2 in sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Lower Tuscaloosa Formation. The CO2 sequestration project is a key part of the SECARB’s research program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.The Lower Tuscaloosa sandstones in southeast Mississippi offer a regionally significant, large capacity reservoir for geologic sequestration of CO2. Basal Lower Tuscaloosa sandstones comprise a thick package of porous and very permeable deltaic and coastal marine sandstones.

Two levels of geologic characterization of the Lower Tuscaloosa for CO2 sequestration include: (1) regional assessment along its full extent across the U.S. Gulf Coast, and (2) site-specific reservoir characterization in southeast Mississippi. The site-specific characterization incorporates data from the 2008 CO2 injection pilot test at the Mississippi Power Company’s Victor J. Daniel Power Plant in Jackson County.

Two Tuscaloosa wells were drilled at Plant Daniel during 2008 for the purpose of injection and monitoring of a test volume (approx. 3000 tons) of relatively pure CO2 into the basal Lower Tuscaloosa sandstones. Two Tuscaloosa cores were obtained from the observation well, plus sidewall cores from the injection well. Detailed core description and core analyses including porosity, horizontal and vertical permeability, capillary pressure, CO2-brine relative permeability, thin section petrology and x-ray diffraction mineralogy are incorporated into both a geologic model for the basal Tuscaloosa sandstones in southeast Mississippi, and a reservoir simulation of the CO2 injection test at Plant Daniel.

Detailed reservoir characterization at the Plant Daniel test site improves the regional assessment of the Lower Tuscaloosa for CO2 storage by improving the stratigraphic framework and pore volume estimates that underpin the assessment of CO2 storage capacity. The site-specific characterization of the Lower Tuscaloosa in southeast Mississippi is used to extrapolate key reservoir properties from available well logs where no core data exist. Reservoir simulations highlight features of internal reservoir architecture that could affect long-term CO2 storage in the Tuscaloosa sandstones.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009