CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Storage - Geologic Storage Technologies and Simulation and Risk Assessment

Prototype and Testing a New Volumetric Curvature Tool for Modeling Reservoir Compartments and Leakage Pathways in the Arbuckle Saline Aquifer: Reducing Uncertainty in CO2 Storage and Permanence

Performer: University of Kansas Center for Research

Project No: FE0004566

Project Description

The University of Kansas (KU) is evaluating the effectiveness of a new seismic tool (volumetric curvature analysis [VC]) to identify the presence, extent, and impact of paleokarst compartments (areas of carbonate dissolution like caves or sinkholes) and faulting structures in the Arbuckle Group, a saline carbonate formation in southwestern Kansas (Figure 1). This tool has the potential to be cost-effective for helping to assess geologic storage capacity and developing an understanding of CO2 plume migration and containment in deep saline aquifers.

The Arbuckle aquifer is an ideal candidate for carbon storage operations because of its thickness, total depth, and isolation from freshwater aquifers. However, the Arbuckle aquifer may contain areas of paleokarst which are often associated with faults. Identification of these potentially conductive, through-going fault systems is important for reducing risks associated with carbon storage operations, especially the risk of CO2 or saline formation fluids migrating into fresh water aquifers. Furthermore, the Arbuckle Group was selected based on its geological setting, geologic properties, and proximity to some of the state’s largest oil and gas producers.

Existing seismic and well data are being reprocessed and analyzed using VC analysis. An integrated geologic model is being developed to indirectly confirm the presence of VC identified compartments. This model will be used to locate a test boring in the vicinity of a VC-identified compartment boundary. KU will attempt to directly confirm the utility of VC as a means to analyze and identify subsurface features with a horizontal test boring (Figure 2) that intersects the paleokarst compartments and boundaries.

Project Details