Seismic monitoring of CO2 plume growth, evolution and migration in a heterogeneous reservoir: Role, impact and importance of patchy saturation

Rami Eid, Anton Ziolkowski, Mark Naylor, Gillian Pickup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We combine reservoir simulation with 2D synthetic seismic reflection time-lapse data to assess the ability of seismic methods to image plume growth, evolution, and migration within a heterogeneous saline reservoir. The incorporation of reservoir heterogeneity results in a range of saturations due to the tortuous migration around the intra-reservoir baffles. To account for the disruptive nature of the injected CO2, and the uncertainties regarding the fluid saturation distribution, we use two end-member models, uniform and patchy, to generate the widest range of seismic velocity distributions to understand the range of velocity-saturation behaviour which could be encountered. The generated seismic sections show clear differences between the two models while also providing confidence in the ability to detect CO2 plume growth and evolution in the reservoir. A free-phase migrating front of CO2 appears to be difficult to detect, however. The ability to image a front is shown to be dependent not only on the pore-fluid saturation distribution - patchy or uniform - but also on its larger-scale spatial geometry. As the subtle change in amplitude is directly related to the concentration of CO2 within each accumulation, it suggests that the saturation model has important implications for CO2 detectability and for quantifying the volume of CO2 injected into the reservoir.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • CCS
  • Migration
  • Monitoring
  • Patchy saturation
  • Rock physics
  • Time-lapse seismic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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