NETL has partnered with the West Virginia University (WVU) to conduct a threeyearstudy of the Citronelle field located in Mobile County, Alabama, to determine the diagenetic (physical, chemical, and biological) alteration of reservoir rock and formation fluid properties due to injection of supercritical CO2 into mature, conventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. The study is using comprehensive geochemical assessments of core and formation fluid from the Citronelle field to test a reactive transport model for prediction of supercritical CO2-fluid-rock interactions. This modeling can be used to predict dissolution and/or mineral trapping in the reservoir rock and guide engineering, assessment of storage capacity, development, and monitoring of CO2 storage sites. The Citronelle oil field (Figure 1) is an ideal site for CO2 storage because of its geology and the pre-existing CO2 infrastructure in the region. The Citronelle field is currently the focus of an on-going CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project led by the University of Alabama and NETL. CO2-EOR has been viewed as the most promising near term approach for CO2 storage, due to the economic return from extracted oil. Thus, this study is highly relevant to emerging technologies. Also, a state-of-the-art geologic model of the Rodessa Formation reservoir, a major oil and gas reservoir in the eastern Mississippi Interior Salt Basin and promising EOR target, has been created as aresult of the on-going CO2-EOR DOE project.
Fundamental and applied research on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies is necessary in preparation for future commercial deployment. These technologies offer great potential for mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions intothe atmosphere without adversely influencing energy use or hindering economic growth. Deploying these technologies in commercial-scale applications requires a significantlyexpanded workforce trained in various CCUS technical and non-technical disciplines that are currently under-represented in the United States. Education and training activitiesare needed to develop a future generation of geologists, scientists, and engineers whopossess the skills required for implementing and deploying CCUS technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL),through funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, manages 43 projects that received more than $12.7 million in funding. The focus ofthese projects has been to conduct geologic storage training and support fundamentalresearch projects for graduate and undergraduate students throughout the UnitedStates. These projects include such critical topics as simulation and risk assessment;monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA); geological related analytical tools;methods to interpret geophysical models; well completion and integrity for longterm CO2 storage; and CO2 capture
Overall the results of the project will make a vital contribution to the scientific, technical, and institutional knowledge base needed to establish frameworks for the development of commercial-scale CCUS. The results of this research are expected to provide technological advancements in modeling and predicting the behavior of rock-fluid interactions of CO2 storage reservoirs as well as understanding efficiency of storage operations, particularly in combined CO2 storage/enhanced oil recovery projects. Additionally, the project is helping to train students in the skills and competencies that will be required from a workforce needed to implement CCUS technologies on a commercial-scale.
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