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Geophysical early warning of salt precipitation during geological carbon sequestration

Geophysical early warning of salt precipitation during geological carbon sequestration
Geophysical early warning of salt precipitation during geological carbon sequestration
Sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geological saline aquifers is needed to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions; monitoring the mechanical integrity of reservoir formations is essential for effective and safe operations. Clogging of fluid transport pathways in rocks from CO2-induced salt precipitation reduces injectivity and potentially compromises the reservoir storage integrity through pore fluid pressure build-up. Here, we show that early warning of salt precipitation can be achieved through geophysical remote sensing. From elastic P- and S-wave velocity and electrical resistivity monitoring during controlled laboratory CO2 injection experiments into brine-saturated quartz-sandstone of high porosity (29%) and permeability (1660 mD), and X-ray CT imaging of pore-scale salt precipitation, we were able to observe, for the first time, how CO2-induced salt precipitation leads to detectable geophysical signatures. We inferred salt-induced rock changes from (i) strain changes, (ii) a permanent ~ 1.5% decrease in wave velocities, linking the geophysical signatures to salt volume fraction through geophysical models, and (iii) increases of porosity (by ~ 6%) and permeability (~ 7%). Despite over 10% salt saturation, no clogging effects were observed, which suggests salt precipitation could extend to large sub-surface regions without loss of CO2 injectivity into high porosity and permeability saline sandstone aquifers.
2045-2322
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael
f5cdbc61-326b-424d-a90f-593a8698a4d2
Livo, Kurt
3e470794-64ba-44cf-a32e-5bf7a8717d66
Callow, Ben
15166203-d3e6-4b28-8369-e99e1bd00240
Marin-Moreno, Hector
3fe1141c-c2f4-475a-89ea-bec8a87388bd
Prasad, Manika
7416a895-d5ed-4ecc-b078-c4981e62b17c
Best, Angus I.
cad03726-10f8-4f90-a3ba-5031665234c9
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael
f5cdbc61-326b-424d-a90f-593a8698a4d2
Livo, Kurt
3e470794-64ba-44cf-a32e-5bf7a8717d66
Callow, Ben
15166203-d3e6-4b28-8369-e99e1bd00240
Marin-Moreno, Hector
3fe1141c-c2f4-475a-89ea-bec8a87388bd
Prasad, Manika
7416a895-d5ed-4ecc-b078-c4981e62b17c
Best, Angus I.
cad03726-10f8-4f90-a3ba-5031665234c9

Falcon-Suarez, Ismael, Livo, Kurt, Callow, Ben, Marin-Moreno, Hector, Prasad, Manika and Best, Angus I. (2020) Geophysical early warning of salt precipitation during geological carbon sequestration. Scientific Reports, [16472 (2020)]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-020-73091-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geological saline aquifers is needed to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions; monitoring the mechanical integrity of reservoir formations is essential for effective and safe operations. Clogging of fluid transport pathways in rocks from CO2-induced salt precipitation reduces injectivity and potentially compromises the reservoir storage integrity through pore fluid pressure build-up. Here, we show that early warning of salt precipitation can be achieved through geophysical remote sensing. From elastic P- and S-wave velocity and electrical resistivity monitoring during controlled laboratory CO2 injection experiments into brine-saturated quartz-sandstone of high porosity (29%) and permeability (1660 mD), and X-ray CT imaging of pore-scale salt precipitation, we were able to observe, for the first time, how CO2-induced salt precipitation leads to detectable geophysical signatures. We inferred salt-induced rock changes from (i) strain changes, (ii) a permanent ~ 1.5% decrease in wave velocities, linking the geophysical signatures to salt volume fraction through geophysical models, and (iii) increases of porosity (by ~ 6%) and permeability (~ 7%). Despite over 10% salt saturation, no clogging effects were observed, which suggests salt precipitation could extend to large sub-surface regions without loss of CO2 injectivity into high porosity and permeability saline sandstone aquifers.

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Published date: 5 October 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449745
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449745
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 76ab1c92-9bba-4edd-8eb6-8d8a9621f506

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Date deposited: 15 Jun 2021 16:32
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:42

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Contributors

Author: Ismael Falcon-Suarez
Author: Kurt Livo
Author: Ben Callow
Author: Hector Marin-Moreno
Author: Manika Prasad
Author: Angus I. Best

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