Comparison of Fracture Gradient Methods for the FutureGen 2.0 Carbon Storage Site, Ill., USA.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Delphine Appriou1, Frank Spane1, Signe Wurstner White1, Mark E Kelley2, Elsie C Sullivan1, Alain Bonneville1 and Tyler J Gilmore1, (1)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (2)Battelle Columbus, Columbus, OH, United States
As part of a first-of-its-kind carbon dioxide storage project, FutureGen Industrial Alliance is planning to inject 1.1 MMt/yr of supercritical CO2 over a 20-year period within a 1240 m deep saline aquifer (Mount Simon Sandstone) located in Morgan County, Illinois, USA. Numerous aspects of the design and operational activities of the CO2 storage site are dependent on the geomechanical properties of the targeted reservoir zone, as well as of the overlying confining zone and the underlying crystalline Precambrian basement. Detailed determination of the state-of-stress within the subsurface is of paramount importance in successfully designing well drilling/completion aspects, as well as assessing the risk of induced seismicity and the potential for creating and/or reopening pre-existing fractures; all of which help ensure the safe long-term storage of injected CO2. The quantitative determination of the subsurface fracture gradient is one of the key geomechanical parameters for the site injection design and operational limits (e.g., maximum safe injection pressure). A characterization well drilled in 2011 provides subsurface geomechanical characterization information for the FutureGen 2.0 site, and includes: 1) continuous elastic properties inferred from sonic/acoustic wireline logs 2) discrete depth geomechanical laboratory core measurements and 3) results obtained from hydraulic fracturing tests of selected borehole/depth-intervals. In this paper, the precise fracture gradients derived from borehole geomechanical test results are compared with semi-empirical, fracture gradient calculation/relationships based on elastic property wireline surveys and laboratory geomechanical core test results. Implications for using various fracture-gradients obtained from the different methods are assessed using PNNL’s subsurface multiphase flow and transport simulator STOMP-CO2. The implications for operational activities at the site (based on using different fracture gradients) are also discussed.