Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Characterizing a Naturally-Fractured Carbonate Formation for a CO2 Storage Operation

Version 1 : Received: 23 May 2018 / Approved: 23 May 2018 / Online: 23 May 2018 (16:43:00 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Le Gallo, Y.; de Dios, J.C. Geological Model of a Storage Complex for a CO2 Storage Operation in a Naturally-Fractured Carbonate Formation. Geosciences 2018, 8, 354. Le Gallo, Y.; de Dios, J.C. Geological Model of a Storage Complex for a CO2 Storage Operation in a Naturally-Fractured Carbonate Formation. Geosciences 2018, 8, 354.


Investigation into geological storage of CO2 is underway at the Technology Development Plant (TDP) at Hontomín (Burgos, Spain), the only current onshore injection site in the European Union. The storage reservoir is a deep saline aquifer located within Low Jurassic Formations (Lias and Dogger), formed by fractured carbonates with low matrix permeability. Understanding the processes involved in CO2 migration within this kind of low-primary permeability carbonates influenced by fractures and faults is key to ensure safe operation and reliable plume prediction. During the hydraulic characterization tests, 2300 tons of liquid CO2 and 14000 m3 of synthetic brine were co-injected on site in various sequences to characterize the pressure response of the seal-storage pair [de Dios et al, 2017] The injection tests were analyzed with a compositional dual media model which accounts for both temperature effects (as the CO2 is liquid at the bottom of the wellbore) and multiphase flow hysteresis (to effectively simulate the alternating brine and CO2 injection tests that were performed). The pressure and temperature responses of the storage formation were history-matched mainly through the petrophysical characteristics of the fracture network [Le Gallo et al, 2017]. The dynamic characterization of the fracture network dominates the CO2 migration while the matrix does not appear to significantly contribute to the storage capacity. This initial modeling approach was improved using the characterization workflow developed within the European FP7 CO2ReMove project for sandstone fractured reservoirs [Ringrose et al., 2011; Deflandre et al., 2011]. Fractured reservoirs are challenging to handle because of their high level of heterogeneity that conditions the reservoir behaviour during the injection. In particular, natural fractures have a significant impact on well performance [Ray et al, 2012]. Furthermore, the understanding of the processes involved in CO2 migration within relatively low-permeability storage influenced by fractures and faults is essential for enabling safe storage operation [Iding and Ringrose, 2010]. As part of the European H2020 ENOS project, the site geological model is updated by integration of the recently acquired data such as the image log interpretations from injection and observation wells. The geological model is generated through the analysis and integration of data including borehole images and well test data. Following a methodology developed for naturally fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs [Ray et al., 2012], the image log analysis identified two sets of diffuse fractures. A Discrete Fracture Network [Bourbiaux et al., 2005] was built around both wells which encompass the caprock, storage and underburden formations. The fracture characteristics of the two sets of diffuse fractures, such as orientations, densities and conductivities, are calibrated upon the interpretation of the injection tests [Le Gallo et al, 2017]. For each facies, the DFN characteristics were then upscaled and propagated to the full-field reservoir simulation model as 3D fracture properties (fracture porosity, fracture permeability and equivalent block size).


CO2 geological storage, fractured carbonates, CO2 migration plume, updated geological model, Discrete Fracture Network


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Geology

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