Evaluation of CO2 storage capacity in an upper Knox Group sandstone (Cambrian-Ordovician Knox Group), southern Illinois Basin, Kentucky

J. Richard Bowersox, David A. Williams, David C. Harris, John C. Hickman, Hannes E. Leetaru

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


The Kentucky Geological Survey drilled a test well to a total depth of 2,477 m in Hancock County, Kentucky, southern Illinois Basin, to test CO (sub 2) injection and storage in deep saline reservoirs in the Knox Group. Testing was completed in two phases: phase 1 injected supercritical CO (sub 2) in the entire Knox, whereas phase 2 focused on a sandstone in the upper Knox (previously termed Gunter Sandstone). A 49-m section of interbedded sandstone and dolomite was mechanically-isolated by plugging the wellbore with cement at 1,606 m, then cementing 14-cm (51/2-in) casing from 1,470-1,536 m in the overlying dolomite section to ensure a seal for an inflatable injection packer run on tubing. Before a step-rate test to verify injection rates and pressures was conducted, static reservoir temperature and pressure of 40.9 degrees C and 15.9 Mpa, respectively, were measured at 1,593 m pressure-gauge depth. Injection of 333 tonnes of supercritical CO (sub 2) was followed by a second step-rate test that determined the fracture gradient in the reservoir to be 15.2 kPa/m (0.672 psi/ft), after which shut-in pressure fall-off was monitored. Pressure transient analysis modeled a two-porosity system in the reservoir, with average 9.7% porosity and 12.5 mD permeability. Near-wellbore permeability was likely enhanced by the previous CO (sub 2) injection test. A net isopach map of the sandstone in the 221.8 km2 evaluation area was constructed at the industry-standard 7% porosity cutoff. Average reservoir thickness at the cutoff was 23 m and sandstone/dolomite facies-weighted porosity was 10.2%. Supercritical CO (sub 2) storage capacity was calculated using industry-standard methodology, with CO (sub 2) density under reservoir conditions of 784 kg/m3 and using facies-weighted storage efficiencies. Supercritical CO (sub 2) storage capacity ranged from P10 capacity of 1.1 Mt/km2 to P90 capacity of 9.8 Mt/km2, with a P50 capacity of 3.8 Mt/km2. P50 storage capacity in the evaluation area is 8.4 Gt, or an average surface area of 26.2 ha required to achieve 1 Mt of supercritical CO (sub 2) storage capacity. Due to the low fracture gradient and permeability of the Gunter, multiple wells would be required for an industrial-scale injection project. It is more likely, however, that the sandstone would contribute storage capacity to a stacked deep saline reservoir project developed in the larger Knox section.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeological Society of America, 2018 annual meeting & exposition
Volume50 (6)
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America


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