Capillary trapping of CO (sub 2) in reservoirs with fluvial architecture

Robert W. Ritzi, Naum I. Gershenzon, David F. Dominic, Edward Mehnert, Roland T Okwen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The idea of reducing the Earth's greenhouse effect by sequestration of CO (sub 2) into the Earth's crust has been discussed and evaluated for more than two decades. Deep saline aquifers are primary candidates for CO (sub 2) reservoirs. Evaluation of reservoir capacity and the risk of CO (sub 2) leakage require a detailed modeling of the post-injection migration and distribution of CO (sub 2) . Capillary trapping may be very important to storage efficacy, and is the focus of our investigation. A number of important candidate CO (sub 2) reservoirs exhibit sedimentary architecture reflecting fluvial deposition. Recent studies have led to new conceptual and quantitative models for sedimentary architecture in fluvial deposits over a range of scales that are relevant to CO (sub 2) injection and storage. These, in turn, have led to new geocellular modelling approaches for representing this architecture, and to new computational studies of CO (sub 2) plume dynamics during and after injection. The processes of CO (sub 2) trapping depend upon a complex system of non-linear and hysteretic characteristic relationships including how relative permeability and capillary pressure vary with brine and CO (sub 2) saturation. New computational studies of capillary trapping in conglomeratic reservoirs strongly suggest that representing small-scale (decimeter to meter) textural facies among different rock types, including their organization within a hierarchy of larger-scale stratification, representing differences in characteristic relationships between rock types, and representing hysteresis in characteristic curves can all be critical to understanding trapping processes. In this context, CO (sub 2) trapping was evaluated in conglomeratic reservoirs with fluvial architecture including different rock types with different and hysteretic characteristic curves, and with capillary pressure defined for each rock type. The results show that in these reservoirs the capillary trapping rates are quite sensitive to differences between the approaches, and that heterogeneity and hysteresis in characteristic relationships must both be represented.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
Place of PublicationBoulder, CO
PublisherGeological Society of America
ISBN (Print)0016-7592
StatePublished - 2015


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