Effect of brine salinity on CO2-plume migration and trapping capacity in deep saline aquifer
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CO2 migration and storage capacity are highly affected by various parameters (e.g. reservoir temperature, vertical to horizontal permeability ratio, cap rock properties, aquifer depth and the reservoir heterogeneity). One of these parameters, which has received little attention, is brine salinity. Although brine salinity has been well demonstrated previously as a factor affecting rock wettability (i.e. higher brine salinity leads to more CO2-wet rocks), its effect on the CO2 storage process has not been addressed effectively. Thus, we developed a three-dimensional homogeneous reservoir model to simulate the behaviour of a CO2 plume in a deep saline aquifer using five different salinities (ranging from 2000 to 200 000 ppm) and have predicted associated CO2 migration patterns and trapping capacities. CO2 was injected at a depth of 1408 m for a period of 1 year at a rate of 1 Mt year–1 and then stored for the next 100 years. The results clearly indicate that 100 years after the injection of CO2 has stopped, the salinity has a significant effect on the CO2 migration distance and the amount of mobile, residual and dissolved CO2. First, the results show that higher brine salinity leads to an increase in CO2 mobility and CO2 migration distance, but reduces the amount of residually trapped CO2. Furthermore, high brine salinity leads to reduced dissolution trapping. Thus, we conclude that less-saline aquifers are preferable CO2 sinks.
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