Carbonate reservoirs are more geochemically reactive than sandstones and can experience big changes in porosity and permeability because of mineral reactions. In this work, we analysed the calcite dissolution and precipitation in chalk reservoirs during injection of seawater and CO2 bearing fluids.
We performed reactive transport simulations with injection of seawater, carbonated water, CO2 gas, CO2 SWAG and CO2 WAG. We evaluated the mineral reactions that occur in the injector and producer blocks. Moreover, the calcite dissolution rate was calculated and its relationship with flow rate was investigated.
Simulation results showed that during injection of CO2 gas alone, calcite dissolution was fast but limited, and occurred everywhere. On the other hand, for the other injected fluids the dissolution around the injector was continuous and, with the exception of the seawater scenario, precipitation was observed downstream. In addition, the calcite dissolution per injected water pore volumes for both CO2 SWAG and CO2 WAG was higher because of higher dissolution of gaseous CO2 in injected and formation waters. Moreover, the dissolution rate was found to be proportional to the water flow rate which confirms the assumption that calcite kinetics are fast compared to reservoir flow.
This knowledge is valuable when planning CO2 WAG projects in carbonate reservoirs. As dissolution rates increase with flow rates, high permeability zones will show faster porosity changes, which may compromise the injector wellbore integrity and may lead to a more severe and growing calcite scaling risk around the producer wellbore.