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Hydromechanical characterization of CO2 injection sites

AutorVilarrasa, Víctor; Carrera Ramírez, Jesús; Olivella, Sebastià
Palabras claveDimensional analysis
Noordbergum effect
Induced microseismicity
Stress regime
Fault reactivation
Fecha de publicaciónnov-2013
CitaciónInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 19: 665–677 (2013)
ResumenClear understanding of coupled hydromechanical effects, such as ground deformation, induced microseismicity and fault reactivation, will be crucial to convince the public that geologic carbon storage is secure. These effects depend on hydromechanical properties, which are usually determined at metric scale. However, their value at the field scale may differ in orders of magnitude. To address this shortcoming, we propose a hydromechanical characterization test to estimate the hydromechanical properties of the aquifer and caprock at the field scale. We propose injecting water at high pressure and, possibly, low temperature while monitoring fluid pressure and rock deformation. Here, we analyze the problem and perform numerical simulations and a dimensional analysis of the hydromechanical equations to obtain curves for overpressure and vertical displacement as a function of the volumetric strain term. We find that these curves do not depend much on the Poisson ratio, except for the dimensionless vertical displacement at the top of the caprock, which does. We can then estimate the values of the Young's modulus and the Poisson ratio of the aquifer and the caprock by introducing field measurements in these plots. Hydraulic parameters can be determined from the interpretation of fluid pressure evolution in the aquifer. Reverse-water level fluctuations are observed, i.e. fluid pressure drops in the caprock as a result of the induced deformation that undergoes the aquifer-caprock system when injecting in the aquifer. We find that induced microseismicity is more likely to occur in the aquifer than in the caprock and depends little on their stiffness. Monitoring microseismicity is a useful tool to track the opening of fractures. The propagation pattern depends on the stress regime, i.e. normal, strike slip or reverse faulting. The onset of microseismicity in the caprock can be used to define the maximum sustainable injection pressure to ensure a permanent CO2 storage.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2012.11.014
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