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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Radial storage efficiency for CO2 injection: Quantifying effectiveness of local flow control methods

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Basin-scale geologic carbon sequestration will require hundreds of injection wells, each of which has costs related to property rights and regulatory requirements that correlate with the areal size of the carbon dioxide plume. These surface-footprint-related issues motivate maximizing storage efficiency radially away from each well. Radial storage efficiency (RSE) is defined here as the ratio of the volumetrically weighted carbon dioxide free-phase saturation within a given radius away from the injection well to the available pore space within that same radius. Maximizing RSE effectively minimizes the radial extent of the CO2 plume. Optimizing RSE around individual wells requires local flow control injection strategies that can increase the uniformity of the filling of pore space around the well over the entire length of the perforated injection interval despite differences in local formation transmissivity. The goal of uniform filling of the storage reservoir starting from the well outward is to maximize carbon dioxide sweep and trapping locally outward from the well in all of the layers of the storage region before buoyancy forces predominate and drive carbon dioxide upward where it will spread laterally under lower-permeability layers. Example simulations of carbon dioxide injection into a layered storage system with and without local flow control are presented to show the advantage of uniformly filling all layers and how RSE can be used to quantify storage efficiency for the two different injection approaches. Published 2021. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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