In this study, we demonstrate geomechanical modeling with fully automatic parameter calibration to estimate the full geomechanical stress fields of a prospective US CO2 storage site, based on sparse measurement data. The goal is to compute full stress tensor field estimates (principal stresses and orientations) that are maximally compatible with observations within the constraints of the model assumptions, thereby extending point-wise, incomplete partial stress measurement to a simulated full formation stress field, as well as a rough assessment of the associated error. We use the Perch site, located in Otsego Country, Michigan, as our case study. Input data consists of partial stress tensor information inferred from in-situ borehole tests, geophysical well logs and processing of seismic data. A static earth model of the site was developed, and geomechanical simulation functionality of the open-source MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST) used to model the stress field. Adjoint-based nonlinear optimization was used to adjust boundary conditions and material properties to calibrate simulated results to observations. Results were interpreted through a Bayesian framework.

The focus of this article is to demonstrate how the fully automatic calibration procedure works and discuss the results obtained but does not attempt a detailed analysis of the stress field in the context of the proposed CO2 storage initiatives. Our work is part of a larger effort to non-invasively determine in-situ stresses in deep formations considered for CO2 storage. Guided by previously published research on geomechanical model calibration, our work presents a novel calibration approach supporting a potentially large number of linear or nonlinear calibration parameters, in order to produce results optimally agreeing with available measurements and thus extend partial point-wise estimates to full tensor fields compatible with the physics of the site.

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