CO2 Trapping Potential of Reservoir Rocks by Digital Rock Physics

Rene Ritter

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) refers to a chain of technologies to capture CO2 from industrial processes. It is possible to store carbon dioxide on an industrial scale and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. A thorough understanding of reservoir characteristics and trapping mechanisms is essential to ensure practical application and the highest level of storage safety. Routine and Special Core Analysis (SCAL) programs evaluate fluid-fluid and rock-fluid characteristics and offer insights into displacement and trapping efficiency. However, SCAL studies require a lot of time and resources. Improvements in imaging methods and processing capacity in Digital Rock Physics (DRP) have made it possible to simulate elementary two-phase-flow processes promptly while accounting for differences in reservoir characteristics. Computing various fluid-fluid and rock-fluid combinations effectively by calibrating the simulations using experimental data is possible. This thesis aims to demonstrate how the Morphological Method (MM) can extract trapping curves. We intend to provide essential insights into the viability and efficiency of CCS as a carbon dioxide storage option by utilizing DRP and computational modeling. The GeoDict simulation tool, mainly the Satudict module, is used to conduct simulations. We use the morphological approach to model drainage and imbibition processes previously developed by the department. The modified MM is applied to assess the capillary trapping potential of CO2 in reservoir rocks. A particular focus is on analyzing the influence of the Contact Angle (CA) distribution on capillary trapping curves. This curve describes the reservoir rocks capillary CO2 trapping potential and is crucial for simulating fluid dynamics and storage safety. Various methods to distribute Contact Angles were explored, and numerical results were compared with experimental data from the literature. To realistically describe capillary trapping curves, it is necessary to identify and investigate the representative elementary volume. The effects of numerical boundary conditions, especially the influence of the numerical Capillary End Effect (CCE), were investigated, and a strategy to mitigate it was developed. Additionally, we varied contact angles and simulated different wetting properties to study the shift from spontaneous to forced CO2 displacement. The author showed that the morphological method offers valuable insights into CO2 trapping in reservoirs. They also demonstrated the reliable modeling of capillary end effects at the pore scale.
Translated title of the contributionCO2 Kapillareinschluss-Potential von Speichergesteinen durch digitale Gesteinsphysik
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Brandstätter, Bianca, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Ott, Holger, Supervisor (internal)
Award date20 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • CCS
  • CO2
  • Capillary Trapping
  • Digital Rock Physics
  • Imbibition
  • Drainage
  • Land Model
  • Trapping Curves

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