Geomechanical Studies on CO2 Sequestrated Rocks in an Aqueous Saline Environment

Tariq, Zeeshan (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Abdulraheem, Abdulazeez (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Elkatatny, Salaheldin (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Mahmoud, Mohamed (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Muqtadir, Arqam (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals) | Murtaza, Mobeen (King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals)



In a quest to reduce the greenhouse gasses, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in an underground hydrocarbon rock formation or aquifer is one of the most promising alternative to reduce the amount of CO2 release in an open environment. However, long-term storage of CO2 effects the geomechanical and geochemical properties of the host rock. In carbonate aquifers, water dissolves the injected CO2 gas forming carbonic acid which has the tendency to dissolve calcium compounds present in the formation. The dissolution of calcium is particularly worrying since it contributes to the matrix of the rock. Thus, the mechanical properties of the rock are altered, which left unattended could result and in compaction of the formation and surface subsidence.

This paper aims to study the degradation of the petrophysical and mechanical properties of two types of rocks namely limestone and sandstone due to the storage of supercritical CO2 for desired amount of time. Supercritical CO2 has low viscosity but high density and has ability to store in large amount within the same space and with the high pumping efficiency. Two different carbonate rocks and one sandstone rock were exposed to a CO2-brine solution at a pressure of 1200 psi and at 120 °C for durations ranging from 10 to 120 days. The mechanical properties were then examined by both static and dynamic mechanical tests along with the routine core analysis (RCA).

Results showed that long term CO2 storage affected the mechanical, acoustic and petrophysical parameters of rocks examined in this study, viz., Khuff limestone, Berea Sandstone, and ordinary limestone. The duration of solubility time brine-CO2-rock has a considerable impact on the petrophysical and mechanical parameters of the rock samples. Outcomes of this study also shows that the rock mechanical and petrophysical properties significantly affected when CO2 store for the longer period of time. CO2, rock, and brine interaction is dependent on time consequently the rock mechanical and petrophysical parameters changes are also time dependent. The potential candidate found for geological sequestration of CO2 studied is limestone because of its minimal rock properties altered.


Release of CO2 gas in the environment is one of the main concern and reason for the rise in the global warming because CO2 has the tendency to trap heat. Although about half of the greenhouse gasses are absorbed naturally (into deeper seas), the rest stays in the Earth's atmosphere for centuries.