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Pressure transient technique to constrain CO2 plume boundaries

Tran, Nam, Zeidouni, Mehdi
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.21 pp. 736
anisotropy, carbon dioxide, drawdown, greenhouse gas emissions, monitoring, oils, wells
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) has been injected in the subsurface permeable formations as a means to cut atmospheric CO₂ emissions and/or enhance oil recovery (EOR). It is important to constrain the boundaries of the CO₂ plume in the target formation and/or other formations hosting the CO₂ migrated from the target formation. Monitoring methods and technologies to assess the CO₂ plume boundaries over time within a reservoir of interest are required. Previously introduced methods and technologies on pressure monitoring to detect the extent of the CO₂ plume require at least two wells, i.e. pulser and observation wells. We introduce pressure transient technique requiring single well only. Single well pressure transient testing (drawdown/buildup/injection/falloff) is widely used to determine reservoir properties and wellbore conditions. Pressure diagnostic plots are used to identify different flow regimes and determine the reservoir/well characteristics. We propose a method to determine the plume extent for a constant rate pressure transient test at a single well outside the CO₂ plume. Due to the significant contrast between mobility and storativity of the CO₂ and native fluids (oil or brine), the CO₂ boundary causes deviation in the pressure diagnostic response from that corresponding to previously identified heterogeneities. Using the superposition principle, we develop a relationship between the deviation time and the plume boundary. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method using numerically generated synthetic data corresponding to homogeneous, heterogeneous, and anisotropic cases to evaluate its potential and limitations. We discuss ways to identify and overcome the potential limitations for application of the method in the field.