Evolution of induced microseismicity at the Illinois Basin; Decatur Project

M. L. Coueslan, V. Smith, P. Jaques, R. Will, S. Maxwell, D. Raymer, O. Senel, Robert J. Finley

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


The Illinois Basin-Decatur Project (IBDP) is one of the most advanced US Department of Energy funded carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration projects and has a goal of injecting 1 million tons of CO2 over a three year period. In June 2013, the project already had injected 500,000 tons of anthropogenic CO2 in the Mt. Simon Sandstone at a depth of approximately 7,000 ft. Microseismic monitoring is one of key components of the monitoring, verification, and accounting plan for the project. The microseismic data is recorded using geophone arrays in two separate wells. Two deep geophone levels are located in the Mt. Simon Sandstone in the Injection well (CCS1) and a 31-level 3-component cemented array is located in an adjacent Geophysical Monitoring Well. IBDP has acquired one of the most comprehensive passive seismic datasets of any carbon sequestration project. Baseline microseismic data was recorded over an 18 month pre-injection period, and a total of 7894 microseismic events were detected. 99% of these events were determined to be associated with well drilling or other well related operations. Only 8 local microseismic events were detected that appear unrelated to well activity and are believed to be representative of the background level of microseismic activity. Over 2000 events have been located since injection commenced in November 2011 with an average moment magnitude of -0.86. In many cases, the microseismic activity appears to be clustered along pre-existing planes in the lower Mt. Simon Sandstone, Pre-Mt. Simon unit, and Precambrian basement. The microseismic activity is evenly distributed through all three units. The orientation of these planes is consistent with the in-situ stress regime. While the microseismic clusters do not seem to correlate to structural features in the 3D surface seismic data, one of clusters does correlate to a feature identified using a seismic curvature attribute. First motion analysis has been completed on the various clusters and indicates right lateral strike-slip motion on many of the clusters. The microseismic data is currently being used to calibrate and update the geomechanical models for the project. The calibrated geomechanical model will be used to develop forecasts for potential future microseismic activity under alternate injection scenarios. IBDP also records a number of operational parameters, such as pressure, temperature, and injection rate, from CCS1 and the Verification Well. The operational data and time-lapse RST* reservoir saturation tool measurements have been used to calibrate reservoir simulations. There has been an extensive effort to integrate the operational data, calibrated reservoir simulations, and the microseismic data to produce a unified interpretation. As a result, it appears that the microseismic activity is often associated with pressure perturbations in the all three units, and disruptions to injection operations often leads to increased microseismic event rates. * Mark of Schlumberger
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
StatePublished - 2013


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