Characterization of the mechanisms controlling the permeability changes of fractured cements flowed through by CO2-rich brine
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Experiments were conducted to assess the potential impact of fractured well-cement degradation on leakage rate. Permeability was monitored while CO2-enriched reservoir-equilibrated brine was flowed at constant rate through a single fracture in a class G cement core under conditions mimicking geologic sequestration environments (temperature 60 C, pressure 10 MPa). The results demonstrate that, at least for the conditions used in the experiment, an initial leakage in a 42 µm aperture fracture (permeability = 1.5 × 10-10 m2) can be self-mitigated due to the decrease of the fracture hydraulic aperture after about 15 h. This decrease results from the development of continuous highly hydrated amorphous Si-rich alteration products at the edge of the fracture and the dense carbonation of the bulk cement that mitigate the penetration of the alteration front. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
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