When CO2 is injected into a subsurface rock formation, it forms a separate free, supercritical phase which is commonly referred to as the CO2 plume. The CO2 phase is less dense than the formation water and will therefore start to rise upwards. CO2 is typically injected under a sealing rock, in which the capillary pressure inside pore throats is greater than the bouyancy pressure of the CO2. The seal will form a top surface on the permeable rock and prevent a direct upward movement of CO2. If the top seal is sloping, the CO2 will form a thin layer underneath that slowly migrates in the upslope direction.
In general there are four basic mechanisms that will prevent the CO2 from leaking back to the atmosphere:
MRST-co2lab focuses on the three trapping mechanisms: structural, residual, and solubility trapping. To this end, the module offers the following capabilities:
For those seeking a more conventional simulation approach, CO2 sequestration can be simulated using MRST's standard reservoir simulation capabilities on structured and unstructured grid:
We also have several examples of compositional flow capabilities inhouse (these may be available upon request).
The development of the Numerical CO2 Laboratory is funded by CLIMIT, the Norwegian research programme for accelerating the commercialisation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
MRST-co2lab can be used for several purposes:
Read more about structural trapping, spill-point analysis, vertical-equilibrium models, and their applications in the following papers:
Illustration of the chain of tools implemented in MRST-co2lab: from identification of structural traps, via spill-paths from injection point, to vertical-equilbrium simulations accounting for the combined long-term, large-scale effects of structural, residual, and solubility trapping.
Optimized injection plan for large-scale storage in the Utsira Formation. Color shows CO2 content, red lines outline the plume, whereas structural traps are shown in purple.
Two of the developers, Halvor Møll Nilsen and Olav Møyner, demonstrating the interactive viewer for identifying structural traps and performing vertical-equilibrium simulations.
Since 2014a, MRST-co2lab comes bundled with the standard MRST release.
Published November 16, 2009