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Leveraging operational information from wastewater injection wells to evaluate CO2 injection performance for carbon storage applications in the Appalachian Basin

Manoj Valluri, Joel Sminchak, Lydia Cumming, Joel Main and Glenn Larsen

Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 2020, vol. 10, issue 2, 268-282

Abstract: Geologic parameters, geophysical logging, injection testing, and operational metrics from wastewater injection wells were integrated to develop a preliminary design of a carbon storage facility in the Appalachian Basin. A scattered group of 10–20 commercial wastewater injection wells dispose off produced water from oil and gas wells in the region, utilizing a sequence of stacked deep saline formations for injection zones. These wastewater injection wells provide practical benchmarks for understanding the feasibility of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. Geologic models were developed based on characterization data from the wastewater injection wells. Reservoir simulations were calibrated according to injection testing and operational data from the wastewater injection wells. Long‐term operational data on injection flow rates and pressures measured in the wastewater injection wells were especially useful to evaluate the performance of carbon storage applications. The simulations were used to estimate injection pressures, radius of CO2 saturation, and pressure response for industrial scale CO2 storage applications. Results were also used to provide a design basis in terms of number of injection wells, well spacing, area of review, injection system components, monitoring plan, and CO2 pipeline distribution system. The analysis demonstrates that there is sufficient injectivity in the deep saline formations in the west‐central Appalachian Basin to store commercial volumes of anthropogenic CO2. The geologic system appears suitable for supporting CO2 injection rates of 0.5–1.0 million metric tons per year at injection pressures below formation fracture pressure in a single well. The long‐term operational data of wastewater injection wells within the study area suggested a lower permeability‐thickness values than indicated by initial reservoir tests. A workflow for developing realistic permeability values for input into reservoir simulations is presented. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date: 2020
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