Evaluating the impact of caprock and reservoir properties on potential risk of CO2 leakage after injection
Numerical models are essential tools in fully understanding the fate of injected CO2 for commercial-scale sequestration projects and should be included in the life cycle of a project. Common practice involves modeling the behavior of CO2 during and after injection using site-specific reservoir and caprock properties. Little has been done to systematically evaluate and compare the effects of a broad but realistic range of reservoir and caprock properties on potential CO2 leakage through caprocks. This effort requires sampling the physically measurable range of caprock and reservoir properties, and performing numerical simulations of CO2 migration and leakage. In this study, factors affecting CO2 leakage through intact caprocks are identified. Their physical ranges are determined from the literature from various field sites. A quasi-Monte Carlo sampling approach is used such that the full range of caprock and reservoir properties can be evaluated without bias and redundant simulations. For each set of sampled properties, the migration of injected CO2 is simulated for up to 200 years using the water–salt–CO2 operational mode of the STOMP simulator. Preliminary results show that critical factors determining CO2 leakage rate through caprocks are, in decreasing order of significance, the caprock thickness, caprock permeability, reservoir permeability, caprock porosity, and reservoir porosity. This study provides a function for prediction of potential CO2 leakage risk due to permeation of intact caprock and identifies a range of acceptable seal thicknesses and permeability for sequestration projects. The study includes an evaluation of the dependence of CO2 injectivity on reservoir properties.