Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Numerical Modeling of CO2 and Brine Leakage through Open Fracture in a Fault Zone: Open Channel Flow or Darcy Flow
- Author(s): Liu, N
- Pan, L
- Cheng, J
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/9035032
© 2017 Ning Liu et al. Understanding fluids migration and leakage risk along the fault zone is necessary to guarantee the safety of CO2 geological storage. The validity of Darcy's law gets challenged in dealing with the flow in open fractures since the occurring of turbulence flow. In this study, we develop a 2D model with usage of T2Well, an integrated wellbore-reservoir simulator, to investigate the leakage problem along open fractures which are embedded in a fault zone from the deep injection reservoir to shallow aquifers. The results record a positive feedback of gas expansion and pressure response in fracture, which causes a quick downward propagation of highly gas saturated zone from the top of fracture and an easy gas breakthrough in the shallower aquifers. The decreasing of aperture size of fracture significantly enhances the leakage rates in fracture, but with less influences as aperture increases. In comparison, the Equivalent PorousMedia models show a good approximation with the momentum model of large apertures but poor for the small one. Nevertheless, the differences are small in terms of final CO2 distribution among various aquifers, suggesting that Darcy's law may be still "effective" in solving flow problem along fractures in a constant injection system at a large time scale.