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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Geophysical monitoring using active seismic techniques at the Citronelle Alabama CO2 storage demonstration site

  • Author(s): Trautz, R
  • Daley, T
  • Miller, D
  • Robertson, M
  • Koperna, G
  • Riestenberg, D
  • et al.

Between August 2012 and September 2014, about 114,000 metric tonnes of CO was captured from the coal-fired Plant Barry Power Station at Bucks Alabama and injected into the Paluxy Formation above the oil pool in the southeast unit of the Citronelle Oilfield. Various monitoring methods were deployed at land surface and in project wells to measure system performance, comply with permit requirements and test new and innovative monitoring tools. The monitoring program relied heavily on active seismic methods for subsurface imaging of geologic structure and time-lapse seismic techniques to track the CO migration in the injection interval. Both conventional geophone/hydrophone and fiber-optic based Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) arrays were deployed and tested, allowing a side by side comparison of the equipment and techniques. Geophysical imaging of the subsurface was successful using DAS in the offset vertical seismic profile (OVSP) survey configuration. A high resolution OVSP image of the subsurface was obtained in 2014 with DAS, which exceeded project expectations in comparison to a lower resolution image obtained in 2012 using a conventional 80-level geophone array. A time-lapse image of the redistribution of CO after injection ended in September 2014 was obtained with two DAS OVSP surveys from June 2014 and December 2015, thus successfully demonstrating its proof-of-concept. Unfortunately, a pre-injection baseline survey with DAS, which was in its initial stage of technology development in 2012, did not have sufficient quality for use, making it difficult to interpret the acquired DAS time-lapse difference. Additional research in this area has since demonstrated the utility of time-lapse DAS OVSP. DAS data were also acquired during a cross-well seismic survey conducted in 2014. Unfortunately, the DAS technique was not success in the cross-well survey configuration because the system noise level was too high in the crosswell frequency output range (100–1200 Hz) of the piezoelectric source (increasing by a factor of ten compared to VSP frequency band). Additionally, the cross-well geometry causes sub-horizontal (broadside) incidence on the vertical DAS fiber cable, which is known to be problematic. Current research is focused on improving the DAS cable response to broadside acoustic energy. Time-lapse seismic surveys using commercially available conventional arrays were also acquired. In contrast to the DAS acquired data, the cross-well seismic results obtained with the conventional array was highly successful and clearly showed the CO remained in zone at the end of injection. Time-lapse differencing of the OSVP surveys acquired with the conventional arrays proved to be inconclusive. Changes in wellbore conditions between surveys and unavoidable changes in equipment (the array used for the baseline survey was retired) affected data quality, making it difficult to interpret the OVSP results. 2 2 2 2

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