Effect of well orientation (vertical vs. horizontal) and well length on the injection of CO2 in deep saline aquifers

Simulations of CO2 injection into confined saline aquifers were conducted for both vertical and horizontal injection wells. The metrics used in quantifying the performances of different injection scenarios included changes in pressure near the injection well, mass of CO2 dissol... Full description

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doi: 10.1007/s11242-010-9686-5
Authors:Okwen, R.; Stewart, M.; Cunningham, J.
Volume Title:2009 TOUGH symposium
Volume Authors:Moridis, G.J., editor
Source:Transport in Porous Media, 90(1), p.219-232; 2009 TOUGH symposium, Berkeley, CA, Sept. 14-16, 2009, edited by G.J. Moridis. Publisher: Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands. ISSN: 0169-3913
Publication Date:2011
Note:In English. 30 refs.; illus., incl. 7 tables
Subjects:Air pollution; Anisotropy; Aquifers; Brines; Carbon dioxide; Carbon sequestration; Confined aquifers; Directional drilling; Drilling; Flows; Fluid injection; Formation evaluation; Gas injection; Ground water; Horizontal drilling; Hydraulic conductivity; Hydrology; Isotropic materials; Pollution; Remediation; Reservoir properties; Simulation; Underground disposal
Record ID:2016060775
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2020 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Springer Verlag, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
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Simulations of CO2 injection into confined saline aquifers were conducted for both vertical and horizontal injection wells. The metrics used in quantifying the performances of different injection scenarios included changes in pressure near the injection well, mass of CO2 dissolved into brine (solubility trapping), and storage efficiency, all evaluated with an assumed injection period of 50 years. Metrics were quantified as functions of well length, well orientation, CO2 injection rate, and formation anisotropy (ratio of vertical to horizontal conductivity). When equal well lengths are compared, there is not a significant difference between the predicted performances of horizontal and vertical wells. However, the length of a horizontal well may exceed the length of a vertical well because the length of the horizontal well is not constrained to the vertical thickness of the geologic formation. Simulations show that, as the length of the horizontal well is allowed to increase, the geologic formation can receive a significantly higher CO2 injection rate without exceeding a maximum allowable pressure. This result is observed in both isotropic and anisotropic formations, and suggests that horizontal wells may be advantageous under pressure-limited conditions. However, the use of horizontal wells does not significantly improve the storage efficiency, and under strongly anisotropic conditions, a vertical well provides higher storage efficiency than a horizontal well. We conclude that horizontal wells may be preferable if the goal is to sequester a large amount of CO2 in a short period of time, but do not offer a significant advantage in terms of long-term capacity of a potential repository. Copyright 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.