Risk assessment of CO2 storage by understanding coupled thermo-hydro-chemical-mechanical processes

Course Description

In this course we will explain coupled phenomena in terms of i) reservoir conformance and ii) storage integrity by discussing the principles of coupled processes affected mainly by changes in pressure (effective stress), temperature and geochemistry in subsurface storage and sealing formations. These changes will affect flow and transport as well as geomechanical stability and impact the long-term predictability of conformance and containment.

There is a general understanding of the mechanisms that pose a certain risk to conformance and containment, however, depending on the specific case study, this can be at a certain likelihood and severity (according to classical risk matrices), but one key aspect that is often not well understood is the influence of time (short, medium, long term risks).

We will address these processes for reservoir conformance (1 day) and reservoir containment (1 day) by using basic principles applied to real-world case studies that are available through published literature and reports.

Course Objectives

  • Generate an understanding of the coupled processes in CO2 storage reservoirs to make an assessment of short to long-term risks for reservoir conformance prediction.
  • Generate an understanding of coupled processes in geological sealing units (caprocks, faults) to make an assessment of short to long-term risks for reservoir containment.
  • Obtain an introduction into the fundamental coupled processes expected to occur in subsurface CO2 storage formations and associated seals.
  • Learn how coupled processes are implemented in real-world CO2 storage projects to assess related risks.

About the Instructors

Andreas Busch (Heriot-Watt University)

Prof. Andreas Busch is Professor in Earth Sciences. He is currently the Director of the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering and Head of the GeoEnergy Research Group in the Lyell Centre, both at Heriot-Watt University. His research is focusing on topics associated with the Energy Transition, working with a diverse group of researchers composed of geologists, geomechanists, petroleum engineers, hydrologists and geochemists. The group aims at an improved understanding of the coupled thermo-hydro-chemical-mechanical aspects related to carbon capture and storage (CCS), geothermal heat, hydrogen storage and natural gas production on the laboratory, field, and modelled reservoir scale.

Eric Mackay (Heriot-Watt University)

Eric Mackay holds the Energi Simulation Chair in CCUS and Reactive Flow Simulation in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering at Heriot- Watt University, where he has worked since 1990. His research interests include the study of fluid flow in porous media, such as the flow of oil, gas and water in subsurface geological formations. He has over 100 publications related primarily to maintaining oil production when faced with mineral scale deposition, but since 2005 he has also worked on Carbon Capture and Storage. He is involved in projects identifying methods for calculating secure CO2 storage potential in saline formations and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs.