Simulation of Tracer Injection in the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide
Engineering Honours Degree 2008
University of Adelaide
The injection of tracers is one of the proposed monitoring technologies for the underground storage of carbon dioxide. Tracer injection has been used in the CO2CRC Otway project, with SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride), Krypton and CD4 (deuterated methane) having been injected with CO2 in a single short pulse in April 2008. These three tracers have different characteristics, and will partition differently between the injected CO2, the residual CH4 and the formation brine. Simulations are needed first to predict the relative arrival times of the three tracers at the monitoring well and then eventually to match the field observations when tracers are detected. For this to succeed, the technical challenges of tracer simulation need to be explored, and the limitations of particular simulation software need to be understood.
The first aspect of the project is a review of the literature concerning the use of tracers in the oil & gas industry and the recent use of tracers in CO2 sequestration. The second part of the project is an analysis of a series of CO2 simulations using the Eclipse numerical simulator. The first simulations are basic idealized models designed to give the student an understanding of the capabilities and options within Eclipse. The next stage of the simulation runs will be to analyse different properties exhibited by the 3 different tracers in the idealized simulations and particularly the solubility of the tracer in the formation water. The third part of the project will be to use the Eclipse model of the Otway project and try to predict the outcome of the tracer injection.