Geophysical Monitoring of Gaseous and Supercritical CO2 Fracture Flow Through a Brine-Saturated Shale Caprock
11 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019 Last revised: 27 Oct 2020
Pre-existing and induced fractures and faults can play a role as bypass conduits and fast leaking channels in CO2 storage sites. They should therefore be well characterized during site selection, and monitored thoroughly during operation to track the movement and fate of the CO2 plume. Despite to date extensive research on the geophysical properties of brine- and CO2-saturated porous reservoir rocks, changes in acoustic velocity and electrical resistivity during a sole fracture fluid displacement are, however, rather little investigated. Hence, we herein present a laboratory study of core-scale geophysical monitoring during drainage-imbibition cycles of the brine-CO2 system through a shale caprock core sample with a vertical fracture. The experiments were conducted using both gaseous and scCO2 with 4 and 9 MPa pore pressures, respectively, at 12 MPa confining pressure. The tests were performed at 40°C during the loading and unloading stages in order to look into the hysteresis effect. We used a fractured core sample from the Upper Jurassic organic-rich shales of the Draupne Formation, which is the primary caprock for the Smeaheia CO2 storage site – a full-scale CCS project in Norway. The primary objective of the experiment was to compare the geophysical measurements using gaseous and scCO2 drainage-imbibition cycles during the tests in a core-scale experiment. Moreover, we were interested to see how sensitive acoustic velocity and electrical resistance techniques are to the fracture fluid displacement using different CO2 phase states. The outcomes of our high-pressure high-temperature experiment of simultaneous measurements of fracture flow and geophysical properties indicate that potential leakage of injected CO2 through the fractured-shale caprock can be detected in the core-scale laboratory experiments. The performed drainage-imbibition cycles using gaseous and scCO2 resulted in different behaviors in P-wave velocity (Vp) and electrical resistance in axial and radial directions for these two phase states. The measured Vp during the displacement of fracture fluid, CO2-brine subsequent cycles, showed a limited sensitivity in terms of magnitude and relative change. The electrical resistance, on the other hand, shows higher sensitivity and larger variation during fluid displacement along the fracture. It was also observed that the crossplot of Vp versus electrical resistance could detect and even differentiate the different phases during the loading and unloading stages.
Keywords: Fracture flow; Electrical resistance; P-wave velocity; Geophysical monitoring; Draupne shale; Caprock integrity; CO2 storage; CCS
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