Environmental Science and Technology

Multiwell CO2 injectivity: Impact of boundary conditions and brine extraction on geologic CO2 storage efficiency and pressure buildup

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CO2 storage efficiency is a metric that expresses the portion of the pore space of a subsurface geologic formation that is available to store CO2. Estimates of storage efficiency for large-scale geologic CO 2 storage depend on a variety of factors including geologic properties and operational design. These factors govern estimates on CO 2 storage resources, the longevity of storage sites, and potential pressure buildup in storage reservoirs. This study employs numerical modeling to quantify CO2 injection well numbers, well spacing, and storage efficiency as a function of geologic formation properties, open-versus-closed boundary conditions, and injection with or without brine extraction. The set of modeling runs is important as it allows the comparison of controlling factors on CO2 storage efficiency. Brine extraction in closed domains can result in storage efficiencies that are similar to those of injection in open-boundary domains. Geomechanical constraints on downhole pressure at both injection and extraction wells lower CO2 storage efficiency as compared to the idealized scenario in which the same volumes of CO2 and brine are injected and extracted, respectively. Geomechanical constraints should be taken into account to avoid potential damage to the storage site. © 2013 American Chemical Society.