Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The objective of any carbon sequestration project is to store CO2 safely for hundreds or thousands of years with a goal of reducing global climate change. A depleted hydrocarbon reservoir is one of the potential storage sites being considered for long-term CO2 storage. The dynamic, geochemical, and geomechanics changes that occur during CO2 injection are inter-related. For example, when injected CO2 causes dissolution of reservoir rock, on one hand, porosity increases while rock strength decreases. On the other hand, reduced rock strength could cause additional compaction thus reducing porosity, whereas increase in pressure due to injection could cause dilation. Hence, it is critical to have an integrated model that captures effect of all changes on the storage capacity and integrity of the reservoir.
Three major depleted gas reservoirs in Central Luconia field, located offshore Sarawak, are being evaluated for future CO2 storage. A 3-way coupled modelling approach that integrates dynamic model, geochemistry model, and geomechanics model is utilized to obtain cumulative effect of all three changes. This integrated model provides a more accurate estimate of 1) CO2 storage capacity, 2) Caprock integrity evaluation, 3) CO2 plume migration path, and 4) Volume of CO2 stored through different storage mechanisms (viz. hydrodynamic trapping, capillary trapping, solubility trapping, and mineral trapping). Apart from providing storage capacity, this model also provides inputs for evaluating integrity of caprock, fault reactivation study, MMV (Measurement, Monitoring, and Verification) planning, and estimating potential leak rates through plugged and abandoned wells.
Using a 3-way coupled model, it is estimated that there is an average reduction in porosity of 5-10% (of initial porosity). This translates to an equivalent reduction in CO2 storage capacity of 5-10% compared to dynamic model. It is observed that pore collapse as a result of pressure depletion is primarily responsible for this reduction in porosity. It has also been observed that the injection can be continued till initial reservoir pressure is reached without breaching caprock integrity. CO2 plume migration path significantly affects MMV planning. Potential leak rate estimation is critical in mitigation and contingency planning.