Use of 3-dimensional dynamic modeling of CO₂ injection for comparison to regional static capacity assessments of Miocene sandstone reservoirs in the Texas State Waters, Gulf of Mexico
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Geologic sequestration has been suggested as a viable method for greenhouse gas emission reduction. Regional studies of CO₂ storage capacity are used to estimate available storage, yet little work has been done to tie site specific results to regional estimates. In this study, a 9,258,880 acre (37469.4 km²) area of the coastal and offshore Texas Miocene interval is evaluated for CO₂ storage capacity using a static volumetric approach, which is essentially a discounted pore volume calculation. Capacity is calculated for the Miocene interval above overpressure depth and below depths where CO₂ is not supercritical. The goal of this study is to determine the effectiveness of such a regional capacity assessment, by performing refinement techniques that include simple analytical and complex reservoir injection simulations. Initial refinement of regional estimates is performed through net sand picking which is used instead of the gross thickness assumed in the standard regional calculation. The efficiency factor is recalculated to exclude net-to-gross considerations, and a net storage capacity estimate is calculated. Initial reservoir-scale refinement is performed by simulating injection into a seismically mapped saline reservoir, near San Luis Pass. The refinement uses a simplified analytical solution that solves for pressure and fluid front evolution through time (Jain and Bryant, 2011). Porosity, permeability, and irreducible water saturation are varied to generate model runs for 6,206 samples populated using data from the Atlas of Northern Gulf of Mexico Gas and Oil Reservoirs (Seni, 2006). As a final refinement step, a 3D dynamic model mesh is generated. Nine model cases are generated for homogeneous, statistically heterogeneous, and seismic-based heterogeneous meshes to observe the effect of various geologic parameters on injection capacity. We observe downward revisions (decreases) in total capacity estimation with increasingly refined geologic data and scale. Results show that estimates of storage capacity can decrease significantly (by as much as 88%) for the single geologic setting investigated. Though this decrease depends on the criteria used for capacity comparison and varies within a given region, it serves to illustrate the potential overestimation of regional capacity assessments compared to estimates that include additional geologic complexity at the reservoir scale.