Assessment of CO2 storage potential in naturally fractured reservoirs with dual-porosity models

Rafael Castaneda Neto, Florian Doster, Sebastian Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)


Naturally Fractured Reservoirs (NFR's) have received little attention as potential CO2 storage sites. Two main facts deter from storage projects in fractured reservoirs: 1) CO2 tends to be non-wetting in target formations and capillary forces will keep CO2 in the fractures, which typically have low pore volume; and 2) The high conductivity of the fractures may lead to increased spatial spreading of the CO2 plume. Numerical simulations are a powerful tool to understand the physics behind brine-CO2 flow in NFR's. Dual-porosity models are typically used to simulate multiphase flow in fractured formations. However, existing dual-porosity models are based on crude approximations of the matrix-fracture fluid transfer processes and often fail to capture the dynamics of fluid exchange accurately. Therefore, more accurate transfer functions are needed in order to evaluate the CO2 transfer to the matrix. This work presents an assessment of CO2 storage potential in NFR's using dual-porosity models. We investigate the impact of a system of fractures on storage in a saline aquifer, by analyzing the timescales of brine drainage by CO2 in the matrix blocks and the maximum CO2 that can be stored in the rock matrix. A new model to estimate drainage timescales is developed and used in a transfer function for dual-porosity simulations. We then analyze how injection rates should be limited in order to avoid early spill of CO2 (lost control of the plume) on a conceptual anticline model. Numerical simulations on the anticline show that naturally fractured reservoirs may be used to store CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1650-1668
Number of pages19
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number3
Early online date23 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


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