CO2 storage projects involve the pumping CO2 from injection wells into porous underground rock formations. An important prerequisite is that the injection can be done in a safe and efficient manner, and this requires sufficient flow of CO2 from the well into the formation. CO2 injection has shown to be challenging in several cases, since there are many potential mechanisms than can lead to clogging of the near wellbore area. In this project, we have chosen to study some of the clogging mechanisms from an operational perspective; that is, we will try to understand how the conditions in the near wellbore area, such as stresses, pressure, temperature, flow, and rock type, as well as stops and starts in CO2 injection, influence the risk of clogging. This could be caused by e.g. salt precipitation, wax or hydrate formation, bacterial films, clay swelling, and transport of fines from partially crushed rock around the well. Small scale flow experiments will be performed to study fundamental clogging mechanisms. Medium scale injection experiments will be done on rock specimens formed as downscaled injection wells using a specially designed true triaxial instrument capable of replicating the unique stress, pressure, temperature and injection patterns of a real injection well. The results will be implemented in a simulator tool for planning and operation of CO2 injection wells.
The project is funded by The Research Council of Norway
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