Coupled hydro-mechanical processes and fault reactivation induced by Co-2 Injection in a three-layer storage formation
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, ISSN 1750-5836, Vol. 39, 432-448 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The interaction between mechanical deformation and fluid flow in fault zones gives rise to a host of coupled hydro-mechanical processes fundamental to fault instability, induced seismicity, and associated fluid migration. Fault stability is studied in the context of the Heletz site which was chosen as a test site for CO2 injection experiment in the framework of the EU-MUSTANG project. The potential reservoir for CO2 storage at the Heletz site consists of three sandstone layers that are approximately one, two and nine meters in thickness, separated by impermeable shale layers of various thicknesses, and overlaid by a five-meter limestone and a thick impermeable shale, which serves as caprock. The storage formation is intersected by two pre-existing sub-vertical normal faults (F1 and F2) on two opposite sides of the injection point. A hydro-mechanical model was developed to study the interaction between mechanical deformation and fluid flow in the two faults during CO2 injection and storage. We evaluate the consequences caused by potential fault reactivation, namely, the fault slip and the CO2 leakage through the caprock. The difference in the results obtained by considering the three-layer storage formation as an equivalent single-layer storage formation is analysed. It was found that for the two cases the pore pressure evolution is similar, but the differences in the evolution of CO2 saturation are significant, which is attributed to the differences in CO2 spread in a single and three-layer storage. No fault reactivation was observed in either case. A sensitivity analysis was made to study the influence of the fault dip angle, the ratio between the horizontal and vertical stresses, the offset of the layers across fault F2, the initial permeability of the fault and the permeability of the confinement formations. Results show that reactivation of faults Fl and F2 is most sensitive to the stress ratio, the initial permeability of the faults and the permeability of the confinement formations. The offset of the layers across the fault F2 was also found to be an important parameter, mainly because an offset leads to an increase in CO2 leakage. Changes in permeability were found to be small because plastic shear strains induced by the reactivation of the faults and associated increase in volumetric strains and permeability, occur mainly in a fault section of only 10 m length, which is the approximate total thickness of the storage layers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 39, 432-448 p.
Carbon dioxide CO2, Equivalent and three-layer storage formation, Fault reactivation, Hydro-mechanical effects
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260817DOI: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.06.008ISI: 000358627100038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260817DiVA: diva2:849391