Original Article

Environmental Geology

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 1695-1706

First online:

Quick-look assessments to identify optimal CO2 EOR storage sites

  • Vanessa Núñez-LópezAffiliated withGulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at AustinChevron Energy Technology Company, Process Technology Unit Email author 
  • , Mark H. HoltzAffiliated withGulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
  • , Derek J. WoodAffiliated withGulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
  • , William A. AmbroseAffiliated withGulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
  • , Susan D. HovorkaAffiliated withGulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin

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Abstract

A newly developed, multistage quick-look methodology allows for the efficient screening of an unmanageably large number of reservoirs to generate a workable set of sites that closely match the requirements for optimal CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) storage. The objective of the study is to quickly identify miscible CO2 EOR candidates in areas that contain thousands of reservoirs and to estimate additional oil recovery and sequestration capacities of selected top options through dimensionless modeling and reservoir characterization. Quick-look assessments indicate that the CO2 EOR resource potential along the US Gulf Coast is 4.7 billion barrels, and CO2 sequestration capacity is 2.6 billion metric tons. In the first stage, oil reservoirs are screened and ranked in terms of technical and practical feasibility for miscible CO2 EOR. The second stage provides quick estimates of CO2 EOR potential and sequestration capacities. In the third stage, a dimensionless group model is applied to a selected set of sites to improve the estimates of oil recovery and storage potential using appropriate inputs for rock and fluid properties, disregarding reservoir architecture and sweep design. The fourth stage validates and refines the results by simulating flow in a model that describes the internal architecture and fluid distribution in the reservoir. The stated approach both saves time and allows more resources to be applied to the best candidate sites.

Keywords

Gulf Coast CO2 EOR screening CO2 sequestration CO2 reserve growth US oil reservoirs