Capillary-Trapping Capacity of Sandstones and Sandpacks
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Copyright © 2011 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
We quantify the influence of the initial nonwetting-phase saturation and porosity on the residual nonwetting-phase saturation using data in the literature and our own experimental results on sandpacks and consolidated sandstones. These experiments were conducted at ambient or elevated pressure and temperature (ETP) conditions. The principal application of this work is for carbon capture and storage (CCS) where capillary trapping is a rapid and effective way to render the injected CO2 immobile, guaranteeing safe storage. We introduce the concept of capillary-trapping capacity (Ctrap) which is the product of residual saturation and porosity that represents the fraction of the rock volume that can be occupied by a trapped nonwetting phase. We show that the measured trapping capacity reaches a maximum of approximately 11% for porosities of 22%, which suggests an optimal porosity for CO2 storage.
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