Monitoring Induced Seismicity in Geologic Carbon Storage

CO2 spelled out using cloud fonts.

The interest in geologic carbon storage is on the rise. It’s proving to be an effective method to reduce CO2 emissions in an effort to mitigate climate change. Geologic carbon storage can serve several purposes—straightforward CO2 storage, injection into wells for enhanced recovery method, or storage of natural gas for commercial use. Injecting gas into deep reservoirs changes reservoir attributes, specifically pore pressure and stress regimes. These changes could lead to induced seismicity that could jeopardize the success of the project.

These risks can be minimized with software tools that give reservoir engineers the ability to visualize and model carbon storage reservoirs. With this information, reservoir engineers can plan strategies to eliminate the risk of induced seismicity in geologic carbon storage and promote safe operations.

Identify Potential Sources of Induced Seismicity in Geologic Carbon Storage

Access to a range of relevant reservoir data and the ability to combine data and present it as a detailed 3D visualization of the reservoir give reservoir engineers a clearer understanding of reservoir characteristics than any single data set can provide. Combined and visualized, these data provide details regarding:

  • Geological layers, including caprock, secondary caprocks, the carbon storage formation, and sublayers
  • Fault locations, and orientation, magnitude, and variation of stress tensors that affect fault stability
  • Hydraulic, thermal, and geomechanical properties provided by core samples
  • Permeability, porosity, pressure, and temperature profiles

Insight into the reservoir characteristics—and the ability to see those which enhance or diminish a reservoir’s ability to store carbon—helps to estimate formation volume, determine maximum sustainable injection pressure, and identify faults that could induce seismicity. reduces uncertainty in evaluating the suitability of injection sites and facilitates the design of an optimal and safe injection strategy.

Microseismic data can easily be incorporated into the 3D reservoir models to show the location and extent of any geologic changes induced by carbon injection. Data courtesy Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center and U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Stress changes in storage formations and caprock resulting from pressure buildup
  • Thermal stress from as rock surrounding injection wells cools down and contract

By monitoring CO2 pressure and cumulative injection volumes and any incidents of seismicity, reservoir engineers can control injection operations and help minimize induced seismicity.

CoViz 4D: An Essential Tool for Planning and Monitoring Geologic Carbon Storage

Software tools like CoViz 4D give reservoir engineers a definitive advantage in planning and monitoring carbon storage reservoirs. The ability to integrate, visualize, and analyze the data that characterize carbon storage formations leads to a better understanding of reservoir properties and potential. With that understanding, reservoir engineers can plan injection strategies to maximize the reservoir’s potential and minimize the risk of induced seismicity in geologic carbon storage.

Software tools like CoViz 4D give reservoir engineers a definitive advantage in planning and monitoring carbon storage reservoirs. The ability to integrate, visualize, and analyze the data that characterize carbon storage formations leads to a better understanding of reservoir properties and potential.

CoViz 4D goes even further by incorporating microseismic surveys as well as operational data into the 3D reservoir model to enable reservoir teams to correlate injection metrics with induced seismicity in geologic carbon storage.

Continuous monitoring and measurement of carbon storage reservoir operations throughout their lifetime is the surest means of ensuring that injection strategies are not inducing seismicity in geologic carbon storage reservoirs. A current 3D model of reservoir geology and operational data provided by CoViz 4D helps reservoir engineers maximize the potential of the formation and safely store carbon while minimizing economic and environmental risk.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir engineers the ability to easily access and combine all relevant data associated with subsurface environments. Powerful analytic capabilities enable users to explore data relationships, analyze the accuracy of depth conversion of 3D seismic, and visualize seismic well ties and velocity models to facilitate decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.


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