Response of saline reservoir to different phaseCO₂-brine: experimental tests and image-based modelling
Geological CO₂ storage in saline rocks is a promising method for meeting the target of net zero emission and minimizing the anthropogenic CO₂ emitted into the earth’s atmosphere. Storage of CO₂ in saline rocks triggers CO₂-brine-rock interaction that alters the properties of the rock. Properties of rocks are very crucial for the integrity and efficiency of the storage process. Changes in properties of the reservoir rocks due to CO₂-brine-rock interaction must be well predicted, as some changes can reduce the storage integrity of the reservoir. Considering the thermodynamics, phase behavior, solubility of CO₂ in brine, and the variable pressure-temperature conditions of the reservoir, there will be undissolved CO₂ in a CO₂ storage reservoir alongside the brine for a long time, and there is a potential for phase evolution of the undissolved CO₂. The phase of CO₂ influence the CO₂-brine-rock interaction, different phaseCO₂-brine have a unique effect on the properties of the reservoir rocks, Therefore, this study evaluates the effect of four different phaseCO₂-brine reservoir states on the properties of reservoir rocks using experimental and image-based approach. Samples were saturated with the different phaseCO₂-brine, then subjected to reservoir conditions in a triaxial compression test. The representative element volume (REV)/representative element area (REA) for the rock samples was determined from processed digital images, and rock properties were evaluated using digital rock physics and rock image analysis techniques. This research has evaluated the effect of different phaseCO₂-brine on deformation rate and deformation behavior, bulk modulus, compressibility, strength, and stiffness as well as porosity and permeability of sample reservoir rocks. Changes in pore geometry properties, porosity, and permeability of the rocks in CO₂ storage conditions with different phaseCO₂-brine have been evaluated using digital rock physics techniques. Microscopic rock image analysis has been applied to provide evidence of changes in micro-fabric, the topology of minerals, and elemental composition of minerals in saline rocks resulting from different phaseCO₂-br that can exist in a saline CO₂ storage reservoir. It was seen that the properties of the reservoir that are most affected by the scCO₂-br state of the reservoir include secondary fatigue rate, bulk modulus, shear strength, change in the topology of minerals after saturation as well as change in shape and flatness of pore surfaces. The properties of the reservoir that is most affected by the gCO₂-br state of the reservoir include primary fatigue rate, change in permeability due to stress, change in porosity due to stress, and change topology of minerals due to stress. For all samples, the roundness and smoothness of grains as well as smoothness of pores increased after compression while the roundness of pores decreased. Change in elemental composition in rock minerals in CO₂-brine-rock interaction was seen to depend on the reactivity of the mineral with CO₂ and/or brine and the presence of brine accelerates such change. Carbon, oxygen, and silicon can be used as index minerals for elemental changes in a CO₂-brine-rock system. The result of this work can be applied to predicting the effect the different possible phases of CO₂ will have on the deformation, geomechanics indices, and storage integrity of giant CO₂ storage fields such as Sleipner, In Salah, etc.