Interplay Between Permeability Retardation and Capillary Trapping of Rising Carbon Dioxide in Storage Reservoirs
- Bo Ren (University of Texas at Austin) | Jennifer M. Delaney (University of Texas at Austin) | Larry W. Lake (University of Texas at Austin) | Steven L. Bryant (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- October 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,866 - 1,879
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- permeability-retardation, geological carbon sequestration, CO2 buoyant flow, capillary-trapping
- 13 in the last 30 days
- 189 since 2007
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The main objective of this work is to understand, by analytical and numerical study, how permeability retardation interacts with capillary-barrier trapping to cause accumulation as carbon dioxide (CO2) migrates upward in saline aquifers during geological sequestration.
The study is of one-dimensional (1D) two-phase (CO2 and water) countercurrent flow. The analytical model describes CO2 buoyant migration and accumulation at a “flow-barrier zone” (low permeability) above a “flow-path zone” (high permeability). The relative importance of permeability retardation and capillary trapping is examined under different magnitudes of buoyant-source fluxes and porous-media properties. In the limiting case of zero capillary pressure, the model equation is solved using the method of characteristics (MOC). Permeability-retarded accumulation, induced by the permeability difference between the flow path and the barrier zone, is illustrated through CO2-saturation profiles and time/distance diagrams. Capillary trapping is subsequently accounted for by graphically incorporating a capillary pressure curve and capillary-threshold effect.
Results demonstrate that the accumulation contributions from both the permeability hindrance and capillary trapping are convolved at sufficiently large fluxes. At a given time, the total CO2 accumulated by permeability hindrance is greater than that accumulated by capillary trapping, but the former approaches the latter at large time. The low-permeability zone need not be completely impermeable for accumulation to occur. We demonstrate that considering only capillary trapping understates the amount of CO2 accumulated beneath low-permeability structures during significant periods of a sequestration operation.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||14|
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