We present an efficient compositional framework for simulation of CO2 storage in saline aquifers with complex geological geometries during a lifelong injection and migration process. To improve the computation efficiency, the general framework considers the essential hydrodynamic physics, including hysteresis, dissolution and capillarity, by means of parameterized space. The parameterization method translates physical models into parameterized spaces during an offline stage before simulation starts. Among them, the hysteresis behavior of constitutive relations is captured by the surfaces created from bounding and scanning curves, on which relative permeability and capillarity pressure are determined directly with a pair of saturation and turning point values. The new development also allows for simulation of realistic reservoir models with complex geological features. The numerical framework is validated by comparing simulation results obtained from the Cartesian-box and the converted corner-point grids of the same geometry, and it is applied to a field-scale reservoir eventually. For the benchmark problem, the CO2 is injected into a layered formation. Key processes such as accumulation of CO2 under capillarity barriers, gas breakthrough and dissolution, are well captured and agree with the results reported in literature. The roles of various physical effects and their interactions in CO2 trapping are investigated in a realistic reservoir model using the corner-point grid. It is found that dissolution of CO2 in brine occurs when CO2 and brine are in contact. The effect of residual saturation and hysteresis behavior can be captured by the proposed scanning curve surface in a robust way. The existence of capillarity causes less sharp CO2-brine interfaces by enhancing the imbibition of the brine behind the CO2 plume, which also increases the residual trapping. Moreover, the time-dependent characteristics of the trapping amount reveals the different time scales on which various trapping mechanisms (dissolution and residual) operate and the interplay. The novelty of the development is that essential physics for CO2 trapping are considered by the means of parameterized space. As it is implemented on corner-point grid geometries, it casts a promising approach to predict the migration of CO2 plume, and to assess the amount of CO2 trapped by different trapping mechanisms in realistic field-scale reservoirs.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.