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Title Natural heterogeneity and evolving geochemistry of Lower Tuscaloosa Formation brine in response to continuing CO2 injection at Cranfield EOR site, Mississippi, USA
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Short Title
Contributors
Thordsen, J.J.
Kharaka, Y.K.
Thomas, B.
Abedini, A.A.
Conaway, C.H.
Manning, M.A.
Lu, J.
Abstract

Geochemical monitoring of Lower Tuscaloosa Formation (LTF) brine continues at the Cranfield CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and sequestration site to investigate the potential for the geologic storage of large volumes of CO2 in saline aquifers and depleted reservoirs. Cranfield oil field is a domal depleted oil and gas reservoir in the Mississippi Interior Salt Basin, with production in heterogeneous fluvial sandstones of the LTF (depth ~3000 m). CO2 flood began in July 2008. Brine samples were collected from selected production wells in March and December 2009, April 2010, and November 2011. Intensive sampling also was conducted for the first 18 days of a CO2 injection experiment below the oil-water contact (December 2009) at the Detailed Area of Study (DAS) 3-well array. The sampling objectives are to define the geochemical composition of the pre-injection brine, and to understand the geochemical changes resulting from interactions between the injected CO2, brine, and reservoir minerals. Results show that Tuscaloosa brine is Na-Ca-Cl type with total salinity ranging from ~140 to 160 g/L TDS (50 samples). Relatively large variations are observed in major divalent cations (Ca ~7,500-14,000 mg/L, Mg ~800-1,250 mg/L, Sr ~475-750 mg/L). Significant positive correlations are noted amongst Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba, and Br, whereas these solutes all trend negatively with Na and Cl. These results may be interpreted as possible binary mixing between two end-member waters: (1) high Na-Cl (51 and 97 g/L, respectively), low Ca, Mg, Sr, and Br (~7500, 800, 475, 280 mg/L, respectively); and (2) low Na-Cl (40 and 86 g/L), high Ca, Mg, Sr, and Br (~14,000, 1250, 750, 480 mg/L). This apparent binary mixing has no obvious correlation to CO2 injection, which suggests that observed variations are due to natural heterogeneities in LTF brine within the Cranfield dome. The variations may indicate vertical and/or lateral proximity to a halite source (i.e. salt dome), with the high Na-Cl, low Br endmember water being more proximal to the halite source. The high salinity and large natural variations in major solutes (Ca, Mg, Sr) in LTF brine mask the signal of enhanced water-rock reactions due to CO2 injection. However, other parameters such as pH, alkalinity (HCO3), and Fe are more sensitive indicators of CO2 injection. Results from the first 13 months of sampling, including the DAS, indicate only modest water-rock interaction due to CO2 flooding, with a decrease in surface-measured pH (from ~5.7 to 5.0) and increases in HCO3 (from ~375 to 500 mg/L) and Fe (from ~90 to 120 mg/L). The modest extent of change was imputed to low-reactivity well tubing, and the limited reaction potential of the dominant reservoir minerals (quartz, chlorite, kaolinite), and low abundances of carbonates. However, results from the most recent (November, 2011) re-sampling of four mature production wells indicate significant increases in HCO3 (averages from 460 to 875 mg/L) and Fe (averages from 120 to 230 mg/L), and overall significant positive HCO3-Fe correlation (R2=0.89; 46 samples). Water-rock interactions may be increasing with continuing CO2 injection in the mature production wells. However, brine-CO2 reactions with anthropogenic production materials, such as well tubing, also are an important consideration.

Collection GCCC Bookshelf
Pages 0
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Keywords Modelling-Geochemical Rock-CO2-water interaction Rock-water-CO2 reaction
Year 2012
Date Published 0000-00-00 00:00:00
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Item Type Abstract

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