Model complexity in carbon sequestration:A design of experiment and response surface uncertainty analysis

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Shuiquan Li and Ye Zhang, Univ of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States
Geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) is proposed for the Nugget Sandstone in Moxa Arch, a regional saline aquifer with a large storage potential. For a proposed storage site, this study builds a suite of increasingly complex conceptual “geologic” model families, using subsets of the site characterization data: a homogeneous model family, a stationary petrophysical model family, a stationary facies model family with sub-facies petrophysical variability, and a non-stationary facies model family (with sub-facies variability) conditioned to soft data. These families, representing alternative conceptual site models built with increasing data, were simulated with the same CO2 injection test (50 years at 1/10 Mt per year), followed by 2950 years of monitoring. Using the Design of Experiment, an efficient sensitivity analysis (SA) is conducted for all families, systematically varying uncertain input parameters. Results are compared among the families to identify parameters that have 1st order impact on predicting the CO2 storage ratio (SR) at both end of injection and end of monitoring. At this site, geologic modeling factors do not significantly influence the short-term prediction of the storage ratio, although they become important over monitoring time, but only for those families where such factors are accounted for. Based on the SA, a response surface analysis is conducted to generate prediction envelopes of the storage ratio, which are compared among the families at both times. Results suggest a large uncertainty in the predicted storage ratio given the uncertainties in model parameters and modeling choices: SR varies from 5–60% (end of injection) to 18–100% (end of monitoring), although its variation among the model families is relatively minor. Moreover, long-term leakage risk is considered small at the proposed site. In the lowest-SR scenarios, all families predict gravity-stable supercritical CO2 migrating toward the bottom of the aquifer. In the highest-SR scenarios, supercritical CO2 footprints are relatively insignificant by the end of monitoring.