Countercurrent Flow Enhances CO2 Accumulation During Upward Migration in Storage Aquifers

8 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2019 Last revised: 20 Apr 2019

See all articles by Bo Ren

Bo Ren

Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Larry Lake

University of Texas at Austin

Steven Bryant

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 30, 2018

Abstract

Using high-resolution numerical simulation, we model the purely buoyant flow of CO2 in a two-dimensional (2D) closed aquifer domain. The domain is composed of two heterogeneous layers with different average permeabilities. The high permeability layer is overlain by the low permeability layer, and each layer has heterogeneous capillary pressure functions correlated with geostatistically-assigned permeabilities. Initially, CO2 is emplaced at the bottom with a given column height and then allowed to rise. During CO2 upward migration, two types of CO2 accumulations are observed: one accumulation is capillary-barrier trapping, and the other is permeability-retarded. More importantly, capillary-trapped CO2 interacts with the permeability-retarded CO2. The former CO2 trapping exhibits a much higher saturation, which causes the latter CO2, under countercurrent flow (i.e., CO2 rises and while water falls), to move upward much slowly. Thus, accurate evaluation of CO2 upward migration should consider the interaction between capillary-trapping and permeability-retardation.

Keywords: countercurrent flow; concurrent flow; CO2 accumulation; buoyant flow; geological carbon sequestration

Suggested Citation

Ren, Bo and Lake, Larry and Bryant, Steven, Countercurrent Flow Enhances CO2 Accumulation During Upward Migration in Storage Aquifers (September 30, 2018). 14th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference Melbourne 21-26 October 2018 (GHGT-14) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3366342

Bo Ren (Contact Author)

Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin ( email )

200 E. Dean Keeton St., Stop C0300
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Larry Lake

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712-1179
United States

Steven Bryant

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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