Numerical modelling of geophysical monitoring techniques for CCS
Eid, Rami Samir
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I assess the potential of seismic and time-domain controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) methods to monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) migration through the application of a monitorability workflow. The monitorability workflow describes a numerical modelling approach to model variations in the synthetic time-lapse response due to CO2 migration. The workflow consists of fluid-flow modelling, rock-physics modelling and synthetic seismic or CSEM forward modelling. I model CO2 injected into a simple, homogeneous reservoir model before applying the workflow to a heterogeneous model of the Bunter Sandstone reservoir, a potential CO2 storage reservoir in the UK sector of the North Sea. The aim of this thesis is to model the ability of seismic and time-domain CSEM methods to detect CO2 plume growth, migration and evolution within a reservoir, as well as the ability to image a migrating front of CO2. The ability to image CO2 plume growth and migration within a reservoir has not been demonstrated in the field of CSEM monitoring. To address this, I conduct a feasibility study, simulating the time-lapse CSEM time-domain response of CO2 injected into a saline reservoir following the multi-transient electromagnetic (MTEM) method. The MTEM method measures the full bandwidth response. First, I model the response to a simple homogeneous 3D CO2 body, gradually increasing the width and depth of the CO2. This is an analogue to vertical and lateral CO2 migration in a reservoir. I then assess the ability of CSEM to detect CO2 plume growth and evolution within the heterogeneous Bunter Sandstone reservoir model. I demonstrate the potential to detect stored and migrating CO2 and present the synthetic results as time-lapse common-offset time sections. The CO2 plume is imaged clearly and in the right coordinates. The ability to image seismically a migrating front of CO2 remains challenging due to uncertainties regarding the pore-scale saturation distribution of fluids within the reservoir and, in turn, the most appropriate rock-physics model to simulate this: uniform or patchy saturation. I account for this by modelling both saturation models, to calculate the possible range of expected seismic velocities prior to generating and interpreting the seismic response. I demonstrate the ability of seismic methods to image CO2 plume growth and evolution in the Bunter Sandstone saline reservoir model and highlight clear differences between the two rock-physics models. I then modify the Bunter Sandstone reservoir to depict a depleted gas field by including 20% residual gas saturation. I assess the importance and implication of patchy saturation and present results which suggest that seismic techniques may be able to detect CO2 injected into depleted hydrocarbon fields.