Diagenetic influence on fracture conductivity in tight shale and CO2 sequestration

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Conference Proceeding

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Most sedimentary rock formations (tight or highly porous) have geochemical characteristics that can lead to significant reactive ion exchange processes in aqueous media in the presence of carbondioxide. While geomechanical properties such as rock stiffness, poisson's ratio and fracture geometry largely govern fluid flow characteristics in deep fractured formations, the effect of mineralization can lead to flow impedance in the presence of favorable geochemical and thermodynamic conditions. Shale caprock which seals more than two-thirds of oil and gas reservoirs have natural fractures that are unevenly distributed in the geosystem. Experimental works which employed the use of analytical techniques such ICP-OES, XRD, SEM/EDS and BET techniques in investigating diagenetic and micro-structural property of crushed shale caprock/CO -brine system concluded that net precipitation reaction processes can affect the distribution of petrophysical nanopores in the seal rock. XRD analyses indicated the presence of quartz, feldspar and bulk clays (muscovite, chlorite, kaolinite with the quantitative mineralogy estimates varing significantly with respect to quartz-bulk clay ratio in the six samples that were analyzed. Quartz and feldspar are reactive at low pH with the tendency to impact seal integrity. The presence of quartz in shale gives a reasonably high mechanical strength whereas clays make shale easily deformable with a potential to creep. The results showed that geochemical precipitates can be formed such that fluid flow through open micro and macro fractures may be constrained. Peclet-Damköhler reactive flow dimensionless number confirmed diffusion as the governing transport mechanism in aqueous CO -caprock interaction. Simulation results reported by various researchers suggested that influx-induced mineral dissolution/precipitation reactions within shale caprocks can continuously close micro-fracture networks, while pressure and effective-stress transformation first rapidly expand then progressively constrict them. The presence of traces of carbonate streaks which are soluble in low acidic pH environment is undesirable in caprocks. This experimental research investigated the impact of in-situ geochemical precipitation on conductivity of open micro-fractures under geomechanical stress conditions. Fracture conductivity in core samples of shale caprock with known mineralogical composition from different formations where CO injection is on-going are quantitatively evaluated under axial and radial stress using pulse-decay liquid permeametry/core flooding systems. This system incorporates high temperature and pressure conditions. The shale caprock cores were obtained during the drilling of vertical and short-radii injection wells in Alabama and South Louisiana as part of reservoir characterization for CO sequestration/enhanced oil recovery projects. Nano-indentation of multiple representative samples was applied to determine geomechanical properties evolution which can be correlated with the geochemistry of the shale caprock. This information will be useful as input data for simulation of subsurface CO plume in contact with overlaying shale caprock. Modeling of the diffusion controlled fluid flow and induced fracture diagenetic alterations in the shale caprocks are performed using CMG-GEM numerical simulators with imposed axial and radial geomechanical stress. The possibility of rock-fluid geochemical interactions constricting natural fracture conductivity in long term subsurface CO sequestration can lead to significant improvement in shale caprock seal integrity and mitigate injection induced perturbation. 2 2 2 2 2 2

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Energy Procedia

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