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Pereira Research - Permanent Trapping CO2|School of Energy Resources

Maximization of permanent trapping of CO2 and co-contaminants in the highest-porosity formations of the Rock Springs Uplift (RSU): Experimentation and multi-scale modeling

Research Group

Mohammad Piri (PI), Victor Ginting, Frederico Furtado, Lamia Goual, Felipe Pereira and Shunde Yin (Co-PIs), Marcos Mendes and Arunasalam Rahunanthan (Research Scientists) and graduate students.

Funding

Department of Energy

Project Cost

$2,905,129 (2010-2013)

Abstract

This project aims at making accurate predictions for the trapping of injected mixed scCO2 in the deep saline aquifers of the Rock Springs Uplift (RSU) in Southwest Wyoming. Such predictions will be based on new, state-of-the-art experimental measurements of relevant flow functions that will be used in a recently developed, high-performance, high-resolution simulation tool. It can take into account rock data that results from the site characterization work in the RSU that is currently being conducted under an existing DOE-NETL project (DE-FE0002142).  Results of laboratory experiments using core samples from the RSU will be used in a physically-based dynamic core-scale pore network model that will lead to improved understanding of mixed scCO2 trapping mechanisms.  This, in turn, will allow the identification of pore-level flow conditions under which permanent capillary trapping can be maximized. Insights and data gained from this work will be communicated to an advanced reservoir model through various flow properties (e.g., relative permeabilities and residual saturations). The high performance simulation tool will allow for geomechanical deformation of the underlying formations and equilibrium calculations for mixed scCO2, water, and salt.  The simulation tool will also be used for uncertainty quantification using geological models within a recently developed statistical, Bayesian-type prediction framework. The project team will combine reservoir condition core-flooding experiments and physically-based core-scale pore network modeling techniques to improve the current understanding of mixed scCO2 trapping mechanisms.  This knowledge will be used to inform reservoir scale simulations utilizing detailed and realistic geologic models of RSU formations in order to identify schemes that maximize permanent trapping of mixed scCO2. The research will include investigations in three fundamental areas: (i) the experimental determination of two-phase flow relative permeability functions, relative permeability hysteresis, and residual saturations under reservoir conditions for mixed scCO2-brine systems in the rock samples from the RSU; (ii) improved understanding of permanent trapping mechanisms; (iii) scientifically correct, fine grid numerical simulations of the injection of mixed scCO2 and reservoir brine into deep saline aquifers taking into account the underlying rock heterogeneity leading to improved storage performance and storage estimates.

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