Enhanced Analytical Simulation Tool for CO2 Storage Capacity Estimation and Uncertainty Quantification

 

Performer: 
University of Texas at Austin

Website: 
Award Number:  FE0009301
Project Duration:  05/01/2013 – 04/30/2016
Total Award Value:  $994,942.00
DOE Share:  $795,896.00
Performer Share:  $199,046.00
Technology Area:  Carbon Storage
Key Technology: 
Location: 

Project Description

This three year research effort will develop an Enhanced Analytical Simulation Tool (EASiTool), which is intended for both technical and nontechnical users to achieve a fast, reliable, scientific estimate of CO2 storage capacity for any potential geologic reservoir containing brine. The EASiTool will include three major features: (1) an advanced, closed-form, analytical solution for pressure-buildup calculations that is used to estimate both injectivity and reservoir-scale pressure elevation, in both closed- and open-boundary aquifers; (2) a simple geomechanical model coupled with a base model to evaluate and avoid the possibility of fracturing reservoir rocks by injecting cold, supercritical CO2 into hot formations, for the model will also be able to evaluate rock deformation; and (3) a net-present-value (NPV)-based optimization algorithm used to integrate brine-management processes so that profit can be assessed assuming a carbon-storage credit-based structure is in place.

This analytical simulation tool will allow stakeholders to a CO2 storage project to screen geologic formations and assess which reservoir might be able to accommodate storage needs over a given period of time. The project team is investigating integrating all features using an analytical or semianalytical form that allows for fast calculations. Full physics, numerical simulations will be used to validate analytical models, and a simulation tool will be applied to several reservoirs.

This analytical simulation tool will allow stakeholders to a CO2 storage project to screen geologic formations and assess which reservoir might be able to accommodate storage needs over a given period of time. The project team is investigating integrating all features using an analytical or semianalytical form that allows for fast calculations. Full physics, numerical simulations will be used to validate analytical models, and a simulation tool will be applied to several reservoirs.

Project Benefits

The overall goal of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Program is to develop and advance technologies that will significantly improve the effectiveness of geologic carbon storage, reduce the cost of implementation, and prepare for widespread commercial deployment between 2020 and 2030. Research conducted to develop these technologies will ensure safe and permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth.

Geologic carbon storage involves the injection of CO2 into underground formations that have the ability to securely contain the CO2 permanently. Technologies being developed for geologic carbon storage are focused on five storage types: oil and gasreservoirs, saline formations, unmineable coal seams, basalts, and organic-rich shales. Technologies being developed will work towards meeting carbon storage programmatic goals of (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity +/- 30 percent in geologic formations; (2) ensuring 99 percent storage permanence; (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals. These technologies will lead to future CO2 management for coal-based electric power generating facilities and other industrial CO2 emitters by enabling the storage and utilization of CO2 in all storage types.

The DOE Carbon Storage Program encompasses five Technology Areas: (1) Geologic Storage and Simulation and Risk Assessment (GSRA), (2) Monitoring, Verification, Accounting (MVA) and Assessment, (3) CO2 Use and Re-Use, (4) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP), and (5) Focus Area for Sequestration Science. The first three Technology Areas comprise the Core Research and Development (R&D) that includes studies ranging from applied laboratory to pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for GHG mitigation through carbon storage. This project is part of the Core R&D GSRA Technology Area and works to develop technologies and simulation tools to ensure secure geologic storage of CO2. It is critical that technologies are available to aid in characterizing geologic formations before CO2-injection takes place in order to predict the CO2 storage resource and develop CO2 injection techniques that achieve optimal use of the pore space in the reservoir and avoid fracturing the confining zone (caprock). The program’s R&D strategy includes adapting and applying existing technologies that can be utilized in the next five years, while concurrently developing innovative and advanced technologies that will be deployed in the decade beyond. This project seeks to develop an enhanced analytical simulation tool for simplified reservoir models to predict pressure impact on CO2 injectivity and reservoir-storage capacity of geologic formations.

Through integration of rock mechanics, brine evaporation, salt precipitation, and brine-management, a science-based, simulation tool will be made available to major stakeholders. Analysis of brine extraction for pressure relief could be a technique that would improve pressure management, improve storage capacity, and help meet the Carbon Storage Programmatic goal of improving CO2 storage efficiency. Improving CO2 storage capacity estimates in regions that were previously considered unsuitable for storage (because of small size of reservoirs) could provide more potential sites for geologic CO2 storage; some of which could be in proximity to anthropogenic CO2. In addition, NPV-based analysis is designed to ensure maximization of stakeholders’ profits by optimizing the number of injection/extraction wells need to conduct carbon storage operations. In many numerical simulation packages, managing uncertainty of results is difficult because of the computationally expensive calculations. The EASiTool benefits include fast calculations and minimal input requirements from the user, allowing efficient uncertainty-quantification methods to be integrated into the EASiTool. Such an array of features would attract nontechnical, as well as technical, users to the EASiTool as a resource for the evaluation of carbon storage reservoirs.

Objectives

The overall objective of this project is to develop the EASiTool for simplified reservoir modeling to predict pressure impact on CO2 injectivity and reservoir-storage capacity of geological formations. In addition, the EASiTool will be used to consider brine management as an option to control pressure elevation and provide uncertainty analysis of model prediction. An NPV-based estimation of the number of required injection/extraction wells is also being developed. Specific project objectives include the following:


Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrea McNemar:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
:
 

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