Geomechanical Response of Jointed Caprock During CO2 Geological Sequestration

Friday, 19 December 2014
Pania Newell, Mario J Martinez and Joseph E Bishop, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States
Geological sequestration of CO2 refers to the injection of supercritical CO2 into deep reservoirs trapped beneath a low-permeability caprock formation. Maintaining caprock integrity during the injection process is the most important factor for a successful injection. In this work we evaluate the potential for jointed caprock during injection scenarios using coupled three-dimensional multiphase flow and geomechanics modeling.

Evaluation of jointed/fractured caprock systems is of particular concern to CO2 sequestration because creation or reactivation of joints (mechanical damage) can lead to enhanced pathways for leakage. In this work, we use an equivalent continuum approach to account for the joints within the caprock. Joint’s aperture and non-linear stiffness of the caprock will be updated dynamically based on the effective normal stress. Effective permeability field will be updated based on the joints’ aperture creating an anisotropic permeability field throughout the caprock. This feature would add another coupling between the solid and fluid in addition to basic Terzaghi’s effective stress concept. In this study, we evaluate the impact of the joint’s orientation and geometry of caprock and reservoir layers on geomechanical response of the CO2 geological systems.

This work is supported as part of the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001114. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.