Geomechanical assessment of reservoir and caprock in CO2 storage: A coupled THM simulation

  • Taghizadeh, Roohollah (Department of Mining Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University) ;
  • Goshtasbi, Kamran (Department of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University) ;
  • Manshad, Abbas Khaksar (Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum University of Technology) ;
  • Ahangari, Kaveh (Department of Mining Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University)
  • Received : 2018.04.24
  • Accepted : 2019.05.26
  • Published : 2019.03.25


Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are rising rapidly despite efforts to curb release of such gases. One long term potential solution to offset these destructive emissions is the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. Partially depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs are attractive targets for permanent carbon dioxide disposal due to proven storage capacity and seal integrity, existing infrastructure. Optimum well completion design in depleted reservoirs requires understanding of prominent geomechanics issues with regard to rock-fluid interaction effects. Geomechanics plays a crucial role in the selection, design and operation of a storage facility and can improve the engineering performance, maintain safety and minimize environmental impact. In this paper, an integrated geomechanics workflow to evaluate reservoir caprock integrity is presented. This method integrates a reservoir simulation that typically computes variation in the reservoir pressure and temperature with geomechanical simulation which calculates variation in stresses. Coupling between these simulation modules is performed iteratively which in each simulation cycle, time dependent reservoir pressure and temperature obtained from three dimensional compositional reservoir models in ECLIPSE were transferred into finite element reservoir geomechanical models in ABAQUS and new porosity and permeability are obtained using volumetric strains for the next analysis step. Finally, efficiency of this approach is demonstrated through a case study of oil production and subsequent carbon storage in an oil reservoir. The methodology and overall workflow presented in this paper are expected to assist engineers with geomechanical assessments for reservoir optimum production and gas injection design for both natural gas and carbon dioxide storage in depleted reservoirs.


permanent disposal;seal integrity;geomechanics;caprock integrity;stress;coupling


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