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Characterization of Pliocene and Miocene Formations in the Wilmington Graben, Offshore Los Angeles, for Large- Scale Geologic Storage of CO2

Childers, William E.*1; White, Nicky 1
(1) Terralog Technologies USA, Inc., Monrovia, CA.

The Los Angeles Basin presents a unique and special combination of high need and significant opportunity for large scale geologic storage of CO2. Terralog Technologies USA, Inc. was selected by the Department of Energy to manage a research project with the objective to characterize Pliocene and Miocene sediments within the Wilmington Graben, located offshore Los Angeles, for high volume CO2 sequestration. These sediments are suspected to span more than 5000 feet of vertical interval, with an estimated capacity to store more than 50 million metric tons of CO2.

The Wilmington Graben is situated between the Palos Verdes and the THUMS-Huntington Beach faults, both of which act as sealing faults. While geologically isolated from the onshore area, thus reducing migration and communication risks, the graben remains easily accessible via directional drilling from the existing onshore oil and gas infrastructure. These Pliocene and Miocene sediments, primarily saline aquifers, have not been fully characterized.

To accurately evaluate and quantify sediments within the Wilmington Graben, we have drilled the first of 3 characterization wells. A complete suite of wireline logs, core samples and reservoir data were acquired as a result. We have also mapped the Wilmington Graben using previously drilled well logs and seismic data, new and old. A CO2 gas migration model has begun simulating the injection of 1 million metric ton per year of CO2. In addition, we have identified the top industrial sources of CO2 emissions in the Los Angeles Basin. To complement this effort, potential geologic sinks and pipeline infrastructure for transporting CO2 from sources to sinks are also being identified.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California