The effect of CO2 injection on caprock permeability in deep saline aquifers

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The effect of CO2 injection on caprock permeability in deep saline aquifers

  • Wanigarathna Jayasekara, Dinesha1
  • Pathegama Gamage, Ranjith1
  • 1 1
Published Article
E3S Web of Conferences
EDP Sciences
Publication Date
Nov 18, 2020
DOI: 10.1051/e3sconf/202020502010
EDP Sciences
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During CO2 injection into deep saline aquifers, the overlying caprock may be subjected to geochemical reactions which can alter the leakage pathways for injected CO2. Thus, it is crucial to identify the supercritical CO2 (scCO2) flow behaviour via fractures in caprock and its permeability to estimate the permanence of injected CO2. The objective of this study is to find the effect of scCO2 flow on fractured caprock permeability. A fractured siltstone sample was saturated in deionized water and conducted scCO2 permeability tests using a high-precision advanced core flooding apparatus under different injection pressures and confinements. Next, the siltstone sample was saturated in 10% w/w NaCl brine and conduced scCO2 permeability tests as described earlier. The results show that the brine-saturated sample has low permeability compared to water-saturated siltstone sample. The reason would be the deposition of evaporites during scCO2 flow through the fractured sample. This is known as CO2 dry-out phenomenon or absorbing moisture into the scCO2, making the remaining brine saturated with salts. Thus, the CO2 back-migration through the caprock discontinuities becomes minimized due to CO2 dry-out phenomenon, which is an advantage for the caprock integrity in deep saline aquifers. In addition, aquifers with high salinity contents show significant dry-out phenomenon because pore fluid easily becomes supersaturated with salts due to evaporation of moisture into the scCO2.

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