Chemical-mechanical coupling observed for depleted oil reservoirs subjected to long-term CO2-exposure - A case study of the Werkendam natural CO2 analogue field

Suzanne Hangx*, Elisenda Bakker, Pieter Bertier, Georg Nover, Andreas Busch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
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Geological storage of CO2 is one of the most promising technologies to rapidly reduce anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide. In order to ensure storage integrity, it is important to understand the effect of long-term CO2/brine/rock interactions on the mechanical behaviour of a storage complex. As most of these reactions are too slow to reproduce on laboratory timescales, we studied a natural CO2 analogue reservoir (the Röt Fringe Sandstone, Werkendam field, the Netherlands; 125-135 Ma of CO2-exposure) and its unreacted counterpart. We focused on CO2-induced mineralogical and porosity-permeability changes, and their effect on mechanical behaviour of both intact rock and simulated fault gouge. Overall, CO2-exposure did not lead to drastic mineralogical changes. The CO2-exposed material shows a stronger dependence of permeability on porosity, which is attributed to differences in diagenesis (closed-system diagenesis and hydrocarbon emplacement) taking place before CO2 charging. The limited extent of reaction was in part the result of bitumen coatings protecting specific mineral phases from reaction. In local, mm-sized zones displaying significant anhydrite cement dissolution, enhanced porosity was observed. For most of the reservoir the long-term mechanical behaviour after CO2-exposure could be described by the behaviour of the unreacted sandstone, while these more 'porous' zones had a lower rock strength. In addition, CO2-exposure did not affect the fault friction behaviour, and slip is expected to result in stable sliding. Simple stress path calculations predict that reservoir failure due to depletion and injection is unlikely, even for the 'porous' zones, nor will fault reactivation occur for realistic injection scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


  • Bitumen coatings
  • CO<inf>2</inf>/brine/rock interaction
  • Natural CO<inf>2</inf> analogue
  • Rock mechanics
  • Storage integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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