Reactive transport modeling of CO2 injection in the Farnsworth, Texas hydrocarbon field
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
The Farnsworth hydrocarbon field in northern Texas has been an experimental site for CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery for the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Southwest Partnership (SWP) since April, 2013. CO2 is to be injected into the Pennsylvanian Morrow Sandstone at a rate of 200,000 tonnes per year for at least five years. The Morrow is a quartz-rich sandstone that lies at a depth of about 2400 m. Pore water in the Morrow has a total dissolved solids content of about 3600 mg/L dominated by Na, Cl, bicarbonate, and Ca. A reactive solute transport model was constructed for a 1700 × 1700 × 95 m volume using the TOUGHREACT software and the ECO2N equation of state for aqueous brine and CO2. Simulations were carried out to 100 years. The results showed immiscible CO2 gas to be concentrated in a lateral plume extending radially from the well screen, its ascent impeded by vigorous lateral groundwater flow in the more permeable upper Morrow. CO2 was much more widespread in aqueous solution, lowering pH throughout much of the model volume after 100 years, to a minimum of about 4.7. The low reactivity of the Morrow Sandstone due to its quartz-rich matrix and dilute pore fluid resulted in little mineral precipitation or dissolution, with net volume changes for any mineral no higher than order 10−4. The simulations predicted net dissolution of albite, calcite, and chlorite, and net precipitation of dawsonite, illite, and magnesite. The Morrow matrix was predicted to undergo slight net dissolution overall, resulting in porosity increases of up to 0.01%, suggesting that the Morrow would be resistant to significant changes in hydraulic properties as a result of the proposed amount of CO2 injection. For the 100 year simulation times calculated thus far, only a small fraction of the injected CO2 would be sequestered as carbonate minerals, with most of the injected CO2 dissolved in the aqueous phase.