Chemically reactive flow is of significant importance for EOR due to possible wettability alteration (low salinity and smart water brines), scaling and chemically enhanced compaction, which all can affect hydrocarbon transportation. In particular, chalks (Ekofisk, Valhall) are highly sensitive to the composition of the injected brine (typically modified seawater) as demonstrated on lab and field scale. We present numerical and analytical solutions to interpret the link between geochemical alterations and creep compaction in chalk cores.
A 1D core scale model is proposed for interpreting geochemical compaction during reactive brine injection into chalk cores loaded uniaxially in creep state (compaction under constant applied effective stresses). An analytical solution is derived to describe the steady state ion and dissolution rate distributions. An analytical model for creep compaction is proposed based on the applied affective stress and the rocks ability to carry that stress as function of porosity. The two models are coupled as follows: The compaction rate is assumed enhanced by the dissolution rate. Further, the solid volume changes by mineral dissolution and precipitation, also affecting the compaction rate. Brine-dependent and non-uniform compaction is therefore built into the model via the dissolution rate distribution.
The model is validated against data from ~ 25 core samples where simple Mg-Ca-Na-Cl brines were injected at Ekofisk reservoir conditions (130 °C), in particular experimentally measured effluent concentrations, distributions in mineralogy after flooding and creep compaction behavior. The model captures the effect of varying key parameters such as brine composition, injection rate and initial porosity and can predict ionic and mineralogical profiles along the core, axial and radial deformation profiles locally and with time. This model is a highly useful tool for interpreting experimental data, predicting in-situ mineralogical distributions where measurements have not been made, and for predicting compaction behavior at changes in brine composition, injection rate or effective stress.
The model is intended for giving a prediction of qualitative and quantitative trends during flooding-compaction tests in chalks. The model and its methodology are translatable to other systems but is validated for lab measurements on chalk samples. Current modeling approaches do not consider the complex interplay between brine and rock compositions, reaction and compaction. This work aims to contribute to the current understanding of this topic.