Carbon dioxide injection and associated hydraulic fracturing of reservoir formations

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doi: 10.1007/s12665-013-3018-3
Authors:Eshiet, Kenneth Imo-Imo; Sheng, Yong
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Leeds, School of Civil Engineering, Leeds, United Kingdom
Volume Title:Environmental Earth Sciences
Source:Environmental Earth Sciences, 72(4), p.1011-1024. Publisher: Springer, Berlin, Germany. ISSN: 1866-6280
Publication Date:2014
Note:In English. 82 refs.; illus., incl. 3 tables
Summary:The storage potential of subsurface geological systems makes them viable candidates for long-term disposal of significant quantities of CO2. The geo-mechanical responses of these systems as a result of injection processes as well as the protracted storage of CO2 are aspects that require sufficient understanding. A hypothetical model has been developed that conceptualises a typical well-reservoir system comprising an injection well where the fluid (CO2) is introduced and a production/abandoned well sited at a distant location. This was accomplished by adopting a numerical methodology (discrete element method), specifically designed to investigate the geo-mechanical phenomena whereby the various processes are monitored at the inter-particle scale. Fracturing events were simulated. In addition, the influence of certain operating variables such as injection flow rate and fluid pressure was studied with particular interest in the nature of occurring fractures and trend of propagation, the pattern and magnitude of pressure build-up at the well vicinity, pressure distribution between well regions and pore velocity distribution between well regions. Modelling results generally show an initiation of fracturing caused by tensile failure of the rock material at the region of fluid injection; however, fracturing caused by shear failure becomes more dominant at the later stage of injection. Furthermore, isolated fracturing events were observed to occur at the production/abandoned wells that were not propagated from the injection point. This highlights the potential of CO2 introduced through an injection well, which could be used to enhance oil/gas recovery at a distant production well. The rate and magnitude of fracture development are directly influenced by the fluid injection rate. Likewise, the magnitude of pressure build-up is greatly affected by the fluid injection rate and the distance from the point of injection. The DEM modelling technique illustrated provides an effective procedure that allows for more specific investigations of geo-mechanical mechanisms occurring at subsurface systems. The application of this methodology to the injection and storage of CO2 facilitates the understanding of the fracturing phenomenon as well as the various factors governing the process. Copyright 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subjects:Abandoned oil wells; Aquifers; Boundary conditions; Carbon dioxide; Carbon sequestration; Deep aquifers; Failures; Fluid dynamics; Fluid flow; Greenhouse gases; Hydraulic fracturing; Injection; Migration of elements; Mitigation; Numerical models; Oil wells; Pollution; Porous materials; Propagation; Reservoir properties; Shear; Simulation; Tensile strength; Water-rock interaction
Record ID:2014086528
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Springer Verlag, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
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