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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 Himar
f5cdbc61-326b-424d-a90f-593a8698a4d2
Livo, Kurt
3e470794-64ba-44cf-a32e-5bf7a8717d66
Callow, Ben
15166203-d3e6-4b28-8369-e99e1bd00240
Marin-Moreno, Hector
e466cafd-bd5c-47a1-8522-e6938e7086a4
Prasad, Manika
7416a895-d5ed-4ecc-b078-c4981e62b17c
Best, Angus Ian
f962ede8-2ff2-42b6-baa1-88d93dfb08dd
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael Himar
f5cdbc61-326b-424d-a90f-593a8698a4d2
Livo, Kurt
3e470794-64ba-44cf-a32e-5bf7a8717d66
Callow, Ben
15166203-d3e6-4b28-8369-e99e1bd00240
Marin-Moreno, Hector
e466cafd-bd5c-47a1-8522-e6938e7086a4
Prasad, Manika
7416a895-d5ed-4ecc-b078-c4981e62b17c
Best, Angus Ian
f962ede8-2ff2-42b6-baa1-88d93dfb08dd

Falcon-Suarez, Ismael Himar, Livo, Kurt, Callow, Ben, Marin-Moreno, Hector, Prasad, Manika and Best, Angus Ian (2020) Geophysical early warning of salt precipitation during geological carbon sequestration. Scientific Reports, 10, [16472]. (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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s41598-020-73091-3 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 August 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 October 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: we have received funding from the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/ R013535/1 GASRIP), the Research Council of Norway through RCN-CLIMIT (grant OASIS—280472) and the DHI/Fluids consortium at the Center for Rock Abuse at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) for laboratory micro X-ray CT tests. We acknowledge support from Dr Mathias Pohl and Dr Mandy Schindler during the construction of the setup for the micro X-ray CT tests, from Dr Laurence North regarding the geophysical data, from Dr Sourav Sahoo regarding the sample preparation in the rock physics laboratory at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Richard Pearce regarding the XRD and SEM-EDS analysis, and the British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF) for their expertise and facilities.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449745
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449745
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 76ab1c92-9bba-4edd-8eb6-8d8a9621f506
ORCID for Hector Marin-Moreno: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3412-1359

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jun 2021 16:32
Last modified: 14 Jun 2024 02:07

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Contributors

Author: Ismael Himar Falcon-Suarez
Author: Kurt Livo
Author: Ben Callow
Author: Hector Marin-Moreno ORCID iD
Author: Manika Prasad
Author: Angus Ian Best

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