GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 4-1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


DEWERS, Thomas1, EICHHUBL, Peter2, GANIS, Ben3, WHEELER, Mary3, WHITE, Deandra3, MAJOR, Jonathan2, HEATH, Jason1, JAMMOUL, Mohamad3, KOBOS, Peter4, LIU, Ruijie5, MATTEO, Ed6, RINEHART, Alex7, SOBOLIK, Steve8, STORMONT, John9, TAHA, Mahmoud9 and NEWELL, Pania10, (1)Geomechanics, Sandia National Laboratories, P.O. Box 5800, MS 0751, Albuquerque, NM 87123, (2)Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758, (3)Center for Subsurface Modeling, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, (4)Water Power Technologies, Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM, (5)Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, (6)Nuclear Waste Disposal Research and Analysis, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, (7)New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, (8)Geotechnology and Engineering Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, (9)Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, (10)Computational Shock Physics and Applications, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM,

Subsurface engineering for waste storage or resource extraction aims for controllable outcomes. In geologic carbon storage, these include using pore space with unprecedented efficiency, sustaining injectivity over the lifetime of an injection project, and avoiding unwanted or emergent risky consequences. We discuss field, experimental, and modeling examples of these and the challenges posed for research and implementation. Observed changes in reservoir response accompanying CO2 injection at the Cranfield site, along with a suite of lab tests, shows potential for use of injectate chemistry as a means to alter fracture permeability (with concomitant improvements for sweep and storage efficiency). Further control of reservoir sweep attends brine extraction from reservoirs, with further benefit for pressure control, mitigation of reservoir and wellbore damage, and water use. State-of-the-art validated models predict the extent of damage and deformation associated with pore pressure hazards in reservoirs, timing and location of networks and cascades of fractures, and development of localized leakage pathways in caprock. Experimentally validated geomechanics models can show where wellbore failure occurs during injection, and efficiency of repair methods using nanocomposites. Perhaps the simplest route to control is knowledge of heterogeneity and where best to inject (or not). An example is use of waste zones or leaky seals to both reduce pore pressure hazards and enhance residual trapping. Together, these examples highlight current research aimed at prevention of emergent subsurface failure modes, assurance of caprock integrity, and subsurface storage security.

This work was supported as part of the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001114. Additional funding is from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.