Bulk-phase CO2 injection into saline aquifers can provide substantive reduction in CO2 emissions if the risk arising from aquifer pressurization is addressed adequately through mechanisms such as brine production out of the system (Anchliya 2009). While this approach addresses the risks associated with aquifer pressurization it does not address the problem of ensuring CO2 trapping as an immobile phase and its accumulation at the top of the aquifer. The performance of bulk-CO2-injection schemes highly depends on the seal-integrity assessment and presence of thief zones. The accumulated pocket of free CO2 can readily leak through a breach in the aquifer seal. Ideally, the aquifer should be monitored as long as the free CO2 is present, but if the CO2 is not immobilized, it is expected to remain underneath the seal rock for more than 1,000 years. Therefore, long-term monitoring of the seal integrity and avoiding leakage will be very costly.
To minimize the free CO2 below the caprock, we propose an engineered system to reduce aquifer pressurization and accelerate CO2 dissolution and trapping. We achieve these objectives through effective placement of brine injection and production wells to facilitate the lateral movement (hence, residual and solubility trapping) of CO2 in the aquifer and impede its upward movement. The simulation results for example engineered well configurations in this paper suggest that substantial improvements in immobilizing CO2 can be achieved through increasing enhanced solubility and residual trapping that result from better CO2-injection sweep efficiency. This approach has the potential to greatly reduce the risk of CO2 leakage both during and after injection. The controlled injection of CO2 with this technique reduces the uncertainty about the long-term fate of the injected CO2, prevents CO2 from migrating toward potential outlets or sensitive areas, and increases the volume of CO2 that can be stored in a closed aquifer volume during the CO2-injection period. Field-scale compositional simulation cases are discussed, and sensitivity studies are used to provide guidelines for well spacing and flow rates depending on aquifer properties and the volume of CO2 to be stored. Although it requires additional drilled wells, the active engineered configuration proposed for CO2 injection significantly reduces the reservoir volume required to effectively sequester a given volume of CO2, and the increase in the cost caused by additional wells is recovered by dramatic reduction in monitoring cost.
Pei, Peng (Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota) | Zeng, Zhengwen (Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota) | Liu, Hong (Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota) | Ahmed, Salowah (Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota)
The prediction of dynamic elastic constants of reservoir rocks is one of the most important aspects of petroleum engineering. In recent years, several studies have been performed for this purpose. Because of uncertainty and variability in natural materials, deterministic prediction of rock properties in the reservoir is not reasonable. The purpose of this study is to evaluate uncertainty in dynamic-elastic-constant prediction for reservoir rock. Dipole-shear-sonic-image (DSI) log data from one of the Saudi Arabian reservoirs are used to evaluate uncertainty in dynamic-elastic-property prediction. For this purpose, a multiple linear regression (MLR) is carried out to present an empirical equation for shear-wave (S-wave) velocity prediction. Then, probabilistic analysis using Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) is performed to evaluate the uncertainty and reliability in prediction of dynamic elastic constants (Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio). On the basis of the analysis, uncertainty and variability of rock elastic constants are considered, and the value of Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio in a special interval from the reservoir are determined with a certain probability. Finally, the impact of log-data parameters on the value of rock elastic constants in the reservoir interval is assessed.
Exploitation of thin oil zones in a mature field with complex carbonate geology under strong water drive offers many challenges. The primary objective is effective oil recovery from the thin oil zones without excessive water production. The initial development phase targeting thin remaining oil zones in a giant, mature carbonate field in Saudi Arabia has been guided by reservoir simulation results, with performance generally exceeding expectations. However, performance of individual horizontal wells has varied greatly. Multivariate statistical methods have been applied across the gamut of reservoir parameters for these wells to gain further insights into critical success factors and mechanisms. Response variables were established (producing time to reach various watercut thresholds) to gauge well performance. Principal component, factor, and multiple regression analyses were applied to independent reservoir parameters for a population of 20 horizontal wells placed in the target zone. These parameters included zone thickness, standoff from fluid contacts, vertical permeability contrast, thickness of low-permeability interval, reservoir contact, net/gross ratio, completion design, extent of fracturing, zone porosity, proximity to injectors, and trajectory orientation. Multivariate analysis conclusively demonstrated that the principal factor governing well performance in the early period (up to three years) was the vertical permeability contrast or in other words, the extent to which a permeability baffle exists between the thin low-permeability zone and the underlying thick high-permeability zone. Other parameters may contribute to well performance beyond the 30% watercut threshold and will be addressed in a future paper. The findings from this study have been translated into Best Practices for exploiting thin oil zones and have been applied in further developing the thin oil zone in the subject field.