Verification Well how a deep monitoring well was used and adapted to meet the evolving monitoring needs and challenges at the Illinois Basin- Decatur Project

R. Locke, II, A. Iranmanesh, B. Wimmer, J. Kirksey, N. Malkewicz, S. Greenberg

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


The Illinois Basin - Decatur Project (IBDP) is a one million tonne deep saline geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage project led by the Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), one of the United States Department of Energy (US DOE) - National Energy Technology Laboratory's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships. IBDP is a fully integrated demonstration project located on the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company property in Decatur, Illinois USA. Storage is in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, the largest-capacity saline reservoir in the Illinois Basin, and the project is currently in the post-injection monitoring phase. IBDP is linked to another major storage demonstration in Decatur, the Illinois Industrial Sources CCS (IL-ICCS) Project. These projects hold the first-ever Underground Injection Control (UIC) permits for Class VI, a class specifically developed for the subsurface storage of CO2, in the United States. An extensive Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) program has been undertaken for the IBDP and is focused on the 0.65 km2 (0.25 mi2 ) project site. Multiple environmental monitoring networks were established with the intent to demonstrate that project activities were: 1) effective for long-term storage of the injected carbon dioxide and 2) protective of human health and the environment. Deep monitoring activities include a deep monitoring well known as Verification Well #1 (VW1), which was drilled to a depth of 2,201 m (7,264 ft). The original well completion activities occurred in May 2011 and included perforation over eleven zones ranging in depth from 1,499 m (4,917 ft) to 2,153 m (7,061 ft). The original well configuration included a Westbay multilevel groundwater characterization and monitoring system. The Westbay system employed a single tubing string deployed with 28 inflatable packers that isolated sections of the well and used valved ports to provide access through the tubing to the individual monitoring zones. Wireline probes and tools were used to access the ports to collect fluid samples, conduct hydraulic tests, and make measurements of in situ 2 pressure and temperature. Given the importance of the fluid sampling program to validate storage effectiveness and reservoir conditions, a protocol for rapid verification of fluid sample integrity was developed. Throughout the life of the Westbay system, more than 100 fluid samples were collected during eleven sampling events occurring from May 2011 through May 2017. The IBDP Westbay system was experimental and complex, and the system was deployed in a highly saline and corrosive subsurface environment. The originally planned length of the post-injection monitoring period was three years after IBDP injection was concluded (i.e., 2017). However, the Class VI permits for the IBDP and IL-ICCS project include VW1 as part of IL-ICCS post-injection monitoring through 2032. Given the mechanical condition of the Westbay system in 2015 and the extended use of the well beyond the original IBDP timeline, a decision was made to recomplete the well to better address the long-term monitoring needs. Four recompletion options were assessed: 1) rehabilitate the existing Westbay installation and install new Westbay system components; 2) install a new Schlumberger intelligent completion system; 3) install a new Baker Hughes intelligent completion system; or 4) drill a new well. The options were ranked based on estimated cost, schedule, project objectives, and overall project risk factors. The well was successfully recompleted with a three-zone Baker Hughes system during May/June 2017. VW1 operation with the new system is now scheduled to continue through the injection and post-injection monitoring periods of the IL-ICCS project to approximately 2032. Main ideas to be conveyed in the presentation and paper are: 1. IBDP used an experimental well completion system designed for a research project which was successfully operated for six years. The system was essential to general and specialized subsurface characterization and monitoring. 2. As the project progressed, fluid chemistry data showed movement of non-native brine into monitored zones above the injection zone. This presentation will provide information about how movement of fluids in the annular space were identified, monitored, and mitigated. 3. The well recompletion was time sensitive because of concerns about the integrity of the aging installation and an increase in the required length of regulatory post-injection monitoring. VW1 was transitioned from the experimental system to a more robust, longer-term design. The recompletion offered a rare opportunity to evaluate system and wellbore integrity after six years of service in a highly corrosive environment. 4. Multilevel completions can be used successfully, however, simplified well constructions may be desirable for longer-term hydraulic isolation. Most importantly, safeguards pertaining to well construction, maintenance, and monitoring activities should be included in the original design of deep monitoring wells and reevaluated periodically throughout a project. 5. In addition, we will provide key information and experiences from the use of each of the well completions as deployed. This information is expected to be of direct benefit to existing and future carbon storage projects because it relates to aspects of verification of reservoir containment, well bore integrity, long-term project costs, and an adaptive monitoring strategy
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGHGT-14, Greenhouse gas control technologies conference 14
StatePublished - 2018


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