CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Storage - Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships/Injection Projects

Central Appalachian Basin Unconventional (Coal/Organic Shale) Reservoir Small Scale CO2 Injection Test

Performer: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Project No: FE0006827

Project Description

The project awarded to Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research (VCCER) will evaluate unconventional geologic storage options in the Central Appalachian Basin (Figure 1). Previous RCSP research studies have identified promising storage reservoirs for CO2 storage (conventional and unconventional) in central Appalachia and tested coal seam storage through a nearly 1,000 metric ton field validation test. Results from these studies form the basis to inject up to 20,000 metric tons into unconventional geologic formations in the Oakwood coal bed methane (CBM) field in Buchanan County, Virginia. Recent evaluations indicate the potential for promising opportunities for carbon storage are Pennsylvanian age coal seams and Devonian age organic-rich shales.

This project will design and implement characterization, injection, and monitoring activities to test unconventional formations (coal and organic shales) ability to store CO2 economically and safely as well as track the migration of CO2 throughout the injection and post-injection phases. In addition, this research will test the injectivity of CO2 into unmineable coal seams and the potential for enhanced coalbed methane recovery (ECBM) by stressing the coal under continuous CO2 injection for a period of one year. Storage of CO2 in developed and depleted organic shale layers, such as the Marcellus, Lower Huron and Chattanooga, will also be investigated with a targeted CO2 injection test into a depleted shale gas well. Different reservoir models will be used before, during, and after injection to simulate injectivity and track plume behavior. Multiple MVA technologies will be used to obtain critical data needed to perform tracking and characterize the behavior of the CO2 coal seam interaction. Overall monitoring of plume migration, injection operations, and CO2 injectate/formation reactions will be accomplished using downhole seismic, advanced geophysical logging, gas desorption and adsorption analysis, and analyzing gas and water from nearby recovery wells. Additional leakage monitoring will be performed using the near surface techniques of soil gas and soil flux measurements, tracer and isotope studies, vegetative stress and geo-microbiology studies, and ambient CO2 and methane (CH4) analysis.

Project Details