Rock Mechanical Aspects of Geological Storage of CO2 in Deep Sedimentary Formations

Rutqvist, Jonny (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)


The importance of rock mechanics associated with geological storage of CO2 (GCS) is now widely recognized among GCS stakeholders, especially with respect to the potential for triggering notable (felt) seismic events and how such events could impact the long-term integrity of a CO2 repository (as well as how it could impact the public perception of GCS). To date, no notable seismic event has been reported from any of the current CO2 storage projects, although unfelt microseismic activities have been detected by geophones. However, potential future commercial GCS operations from large power plants will require injection at a much larger scale. For such large-scale injections, a staged, learn-as-you-go approach is recommended, involving a gradual increase of injection rates combined with continuous monitoring of geomechanical changes, as well as siting beneath a multiple layered overburden for multiple flow barrier protection, should an unexpected deep fault reactivation occur.