SmallScale Field Test Demonstrating CO2 Sequestration in Arbuckle Saline Aquifer and by CO2-EOR at Wellington Field, Sumner County, Kansas


University of Kansas Center for Research
Award Number:  FE0006821
Project Duration:  10/01/2011 – 09/30/2016
Total Award Value:  $13,983,734.00
DOE Share:  $10,747,494.00
Performer Share:  $3,236,240.00
Technology Area:  Storage Infrastructure
Key Technology: 

Project Description

This project aims to inject at least 40,000 metric tons of CO2 under super-critical conditions into the Lower Arbuckle Group in Sumner County, Kansas. The Arbuckle Group is an extensive saline aquifer in southern Kansas consisting of dolomitic sandstone and dolomite. An additional 30,000 metric tons will be injected into the overlying oilbearing dolomite of the Wellington Oilfield so that both geologic storage of CO2 in a saline aquifer and miscible CO2-enhanced oil recovery potential can be investigated. The Wellington Field is similar to other oil fields in southern Kansas that have produced over 300 million barrels of oil and in excess of 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Data previously collected from the study area have been used to develop a robust Arbuckle geomodel (Figure 1) from which reservoir simulation studies will be used to predict the location and composition of the CO2 plume. Additional activities conducted during pre-injection will aid refinement of geologic, seismic, and engineering models.

The project will use state-of-the-art monitoring techniques to track and visualize the location of stored CO2 as well as estimate the amount of CO2 in solution, as residual gas, and mineralized for both injection efforts. These techniques also will provide data to detect potential CO2 leakage, conduct efficient CO2 fateand transport analyses, and validate a CO2 storage simulation model. Monitoring will include: (1) in situ and surface seismic methods; (2) gas and fluid sampling at five levels including in situ Arbuckle, underpressured Mississippian reservoir, near-surface (~600 ft) shallow sub evaporite, shallow unconfined freshwater aquifer (<100 ft), and soil; (3) InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) and LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to detect mm-scale scale surface deformation, and (4) continuous GPS and array of sensitive seismometers to measure earthquake activity. In situ measurements of seismic and fluid properties will establish location and composition of the CO2 plume. In situ monitoring instruments include CASSM (continuous active source seismic monitoring), time-lapse crosshole seismic tomography, and U-Tube fluid sampler to record CO2 plume velocity and composition. In situ sampling will include migrated CO2 and tracers, pressure, and temperature. Soil gas probes will measure concentrations and flux chemical constituents.

Project Benefits

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is supporting small-scale field projects (injection of less than 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year) to explore various geologic CO2 storage opportunities within the United States and portions of Canada. DOE’s small-scale field projects efforts are designed to validate the CO2 storage capability in various depositional systems within the potential storage types. Understanding these different storage classes provides insight into how their depositional systems influence current fluid flow within these reservoirs and how stored CO2 would be anticipated to migrate through the storage reservoir for a larger volume commercial scale project. The data gathered during these small-scale field projects provide valuable information about specific formations that have not been extensively evaluated for CO2 storage potential. DOE’s Carbon Storage Program strategy includes an established set of field test objectives applicable to small-scale projects, including (1) confirming storage resources and injectivity; (2) validating the effectiveness of simulation models and monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) technologies; (3) developing guidelines for well completion, operations, and abandonment in order to maximize CO2 storage potential and mitigate any potential release; (4) developing public outreach plans and communicating the benefits of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) to stakeholders; and (5) satisfying the regulatory permitting requirements for small-scale CCUS projects.

Existing small-scale field projects have been conducted by the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) during their Validation Phase. These small-scale tests have provided valuable data, but complex issues surrounding the processes associated with geologic CO2 storage and monitoring across various types of formations and depositional environments still remain. Due to the need to further understand CO2 behavior in various formations and depositional environments, the Carbon Storage Program is supporting additional research to augment the information gathered during the Validation Phase RCSP small-scale field projects. University of Kansas will be conducting a stacked reservoir injection pilot study to further evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of long-term CO2 storage in saline reservoirs and the use of CO2 in enhanced oil recovery operations (EOR) in the mid-continent.

This effort supports the NETL Carbon Storage Program goals described in NETL’s Carbon Storage Technology Program Plan. Specifically, it supports goals for small-scale injection studies that include:

The University of Kansas dual injection/EOR project will advance the science and practice of carbon storage in the mid-continent by providing a highly constrained analog model, evaluating MVA best practices tailored to the geologic setting, optimizing remediation methods and risk management, and providing technical information and training to foster additional projects and facilitate public discourse on liability and risk management issues.


The primary objective of the DOE’s Carbon Storage Program is to develop technologies to safely and permanently store CO2 and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth. The Programmatic goals of Carbon Storage research are: (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations; (2) demonstrating that 99 percent of injected CO2 remains in the injection zone(s); (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals (BPMs).

This project is addressing these goals through its efforts to monitor and track the CO2 plumes in both the saline aquifer and the oil-bearing Mississippian formation. Data obtained from the study will aid the development of a rapid-response mitigation plan to minimize any potential CO2 leakage, a comprehensive risk management strategy, and best practice methodologies for MVA and injection site closure. The proposed simulation and experiments will systematically establish proof-of-feasibility of a novel concept that uses multiple in situ and ex situ monitoring systems in tandem to track the location of injected CO2. The data gathered as part of this research effort and pilot study will be shared with the RCSP Southwest Regional Partnership (SWP), integrated into the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB), and integrated into the U.S. 2012 Carbon Utilization and Storage Atlas.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Technology Manager 
Principal Investigator 

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