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CO2 Storage Simulation Results Integrating Historical Injection Data and Geotechnical Information for the Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone in the Arches Province of the Midwest United States

Joel Sminchak¹, Signe White², Srikanta Mishra¹, Yagna Oruganti¹, and Evan Zeller¹
¹Battelle, Columbus, OH, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
²Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Numerical simulations of CO2 storage were completed for the Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone in the Arches Province of the Midwestern United States. The Arches Province includes areas of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio along several regional arch and platform structures between the Appalachian, Illinois, and Michigan basins. The simulations integrated a large amount of historical injection data from Mt. Simon injection wells with geotechnical information from wells and rock cores. Geophysical well logs, rock samples, drilling logs, and geotechnical tests were evaluated for a 500,000 km² study area centered on the Arches Province. Data from Mt. Simon injection sites included hydraulic parameters and historical operational information such as injection rates and pressures. This information was integrated into a geocellular model for the Arches Province. The geocellular model depicts the parameters and conditions in a numerical array. The geologic and hydraulic data were integrated into a three-dimensional grid of porosity and permeability, which are key parameters regarding fluid flow and pressure buildup due to CO2 injection. Permeability data were corrected in locations where reservoir tests have been performed in Mt. Simon injection wells.

The geocellular model was used to develop a series of numerical simulations designed to support CO2 storage applications in the Arches Province. Variable density fluid flow simulations were initially run to evaluate model sensitivity to input parameters. Two dimensional, multiple-phase simulations were completed to evaluate issues related to arranging injection fields in the study area. A basin-scale, multiple-phase model was developed to evaluate large scale injection effects across the region. Finally, local scale simulations were also completed with more detailed depiction of the Eau Claire formation to investigate to the potential for upward migration of CO2. Results indicate that injection of 70-140 million metric tons CO2 per year over several decades is feasible in the Arches Province. These injection rates may require several injection fields with 5-10 wells each connected by a pipeline distribution network. Injection wells may require 5-10 km separation to manage pressure buildup and CO2 saturation fronts.

This work was supported by U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory award DE-FE0001034 and Ohio Department of Development grant D-10-03.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90154©2012 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, 22-26 September 2012