- Copyright ©2011. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Division of Environmental Geosciences. All rights reserved.
With almost 200 coal-burning power plants in the region, the Ohio River Valley is an important region to evaluate potential formations for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. In this study, we consider whether injection-induced stress changes affect the viability of the Rose Run Sandstone, considered as a potential effective storage unit. Our study uses a coupled geomechanical and reservoir simulator that couples fluid flow to induced stress and strain in all the significant stratigraphic units from the surface to the crystalline basement.
The pressure and stress variations were modeled during CO2 injection, focusing on injection from a single well. The model uses a constant pressure condition on the boundary of the system. Both reservoir and surface deformation were simulated, and the possibility of reaching shear failure in the reservoir was tested. Carbon dioxide injection in the Rose Run Sandstone aquifer is not likely to cause any significant surface deformation.
To consider the potential of increasing injectivity, simulation of a static fracture with a half-length of 300 m (984.3 ft) was considered. As the modeling shows that, with constant injection rate, the fracture can propagate beyond the propped length, a dynamic fracture propagation was also studied. This was achieved by allowing the fracture to grow as a function of a propagation criteria based on effective stress. Because of the favorable stress state of the Rose Run Sandstone, the propagation is primarily in the lateral direction, and no upward fracture propagation through the cap rock has been observed in the model. Finally, we demonstrate that dynamic fracture propagation significantly increases the possible injection rates, and its modeling is useful for determining optimal injection rates.
Somayeh Goodarzi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, working toward reservoir engineering and energy and environmental systems specializations. Her research is focused on the geomechanical effects of carbon dioxide storage in underground formations. She received her M.Eng. degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Calgary in Canada and her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the Petroleum University of Technology in Iran.
Antonin Settari holds the endowed chair in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary and is president of Taurus Reservoir Solutions, Ltd. He works on reservoir simulation, fracturing, and geomechanics. He is a distinguished member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and received several international prizes including the Society of Petroleum Engineers Anthony B. Lucas Gold Medal and the Eni Prize Frontiers in Hydrocarbons.
Mark Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page professor of earth sciences and professor of geophysics at Stanford University. His principal research interests are related to the forces that act within the Earth's crust and their influence on processes related to plate tectonics, earthquakes, oil and gas reservoirs, and carbon dioxide sequestration.
David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for 20 yr. His work in energy technology assessment has centered on the capture and storage of and the technology and the implications of global climate engineering. He founded Carbon Engineering, a start-up company developing technology to capture carbon dioxide from air. He placed first in Canada's national physics prize examination, won Massachusetts Institute of Technology's prize for experimental physics, and was one of Time Magazine's 2009 Heroes of the Environment.