Fracture opening or self-sealing: Critical residence time as a unifying parameter for cement-CO2-brine interactions

Jean Patrick Leopold Brunet, Li Li, Zuleima T. Karpyn, Nicolas J. Huerta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding long-term property evolution of cement fractures is essential for assessing well integrity during geological carbon sequestration (GCS). Cement fractures represent preferential leakage pathways in abandoned wells upon exposure to CO2-rich fluid. Contrasting self-sealing and fracture opening behavior have been observed while a unifying framework is still missing. Here we developed a process-based reactive transport model that explicitly simulates flow and multi-component reactive transport in fractured cement by reproducing experimental observation of sharp flow rate reduction during exposure to carbonated water. The simulation shows similar reaction network as in diffusion-controlled systems without flow. That is, the CO2-rich water accelerates the portlandite dissolution, releasing calcium that further reacted with carbonate to form calcite. The calibrated model was used for CO2-flooding numerical experiments in 250 cement fractures with varying initial hydraulic aperture (b) and residence time (τ) defined as the ratio of fracture volume over flow rate. A long τ leads to slow replenishment of carbonated water, calcite precipitation, and self-sealing. The opposite occurs when τ is small with short fracture and fast flow rates. Simulation results indicate a critical residence time τc - the minimum τ required for self-sealing - divides the conditions that trigger the opening and self-sealing behavior. The τc value depends on the initial aperture size through τc = 9.8 × 10-4 × b2 + 0.254 × b. Among the 250 numerical experiments, significant changes in effective permeability - self-healing or opening - typically occur within hours to a day, thus providing supporting argument for the extrapolation of short-term laboratory observation (hours to months) to long-term prediction at relevant GCS time scales (years to hundreds of years).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Volume47
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Fingerprint

sealing
brine
residence time
Cements
cement
reactive transport
Calcite
Flow rate
carbon sequestration
Abandoned wells
Replenishment (water resources)
calcite
Water
Carbon
Extrapolation
water
leakage
simulation
parameter
Carbonates

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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title = "Fracture opening or self-sealing: Critical residence time as a unifying parameter for cement-CO2-brine interactions",
abstract = "Understanding long-term property evolution of cement fractures is essential for assessing well integrity during geological carbon sequestration (GCS). Cement fractures represent preferential leakage pathways in abandoned wells upon exposure to CO2-rich fluid. Contrasting self-sealing and fracture opening behavior have been observed while a unifying framework is still missing. Here we developed a process-based reactive transport model that explicitly simulates flow and multi-component reactive transport in fractured cement by reproducing experimental observation of sharp flow rate reduction during exposure to carbonated water. The simulation shows similar reaction network as in diffusion-controlled systems without flow. That is, the CO2-rich water accelerates the portlandite dissolution, releasing calcium that further reacted with carbonate to form calcite. The calibrated model was used for CO2-flooding numerical experiments in 250 cement fractures with varying initial hydraulic aperture (b) and residence time (τ) defined as the ratio of fracture volume over flow rate. A long τ leads to slow replenishment of carbonated water, calcite precipitation, and self-sealing. The opposite occurs when τ is small with short fracture and fast flow rates. Simulation results indicate a critical residence time τc - the minimum τ required for self-sealing - divides the conditions that trigger the opening and self-sealing behavior. The τc value depends on the initial aperture size through τc = 9.8 × 10-4 × b2 + 0.254 × b. Among the 250 numerical experiments, significant changes in effective permeability - self-healing or opening - typically occur within hours to a day, thus providing supporting argument for the extrapolation of short-term laboratory observation (hours to months) to long-term prediction at relevant GCS time scales (years to hundreds of years).",
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Fracture opening or self-sealing : Critical residence time as a unifying parameter for cement-CO2-brine interactions. / Brunet, Jean Patrick Leopold; Li, Li; Karpyn, Zuleima T.; Huerta, Nicolas J.

In: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 47, 01.04.2016, p. 25-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fracture opening or self-sealing

T2 - Critical residence time as a unifying parameter for cement-CO2-brine interactions

AU - Brunet, Jean Patrick Leopold

AU - Li, Li

AU - Karpyn, Zuleima T.

AU - Huerta, Nicolas J.

PY - 2016/4/1

Y1 - 2016/4/1

N2 - Understanding long-term property evolution of cement fractures is essential for assessing well integrity during geological carbon sequestration (GCS). Cement fractures represent preferential leakage pathways in abandoned wells upon exposure to CO2-rich fluid. Contrasting self-sealing and fracture opening behavior have been observed while a unifying framework is still missing. Here we developed a process-based reactive transport model that explicitly simulates flow and multi-component reactive transport in fractured cement by reproducing experimental observation of sharp flow rate reduction during exposure to carbonated water. The simulation shows similar reaction network as in diffusion-controlled systems without flow. That is, the CO2-rich water accelerates the portlandite dissolution, releasing calcium that further reacted with carbonate to form calcite. The calibrated model was used for CO2-flooding numerical experiments in 250 cement fractures with varying initial hydraulic aperture (b) and residence time (τ) defined as the ratio of fracture volume over flow rate. A long τ leads to slow replenishment of carbonated water, calcite precipitation, and self-sealing. The opposite occurs when τ is small with short fracture and fast flow rates. Simulation results indicate a critical residence time τc - the minimum τ required for self-sealing - divides the conditions that trigger the opening and self-sealing behavior. The τc value depends on the initial aperture size through τc = 9.8 × 10-4 × b2 + 0.254 × b. Among the 250 numerical experiments, significant changes in effective permeability - self-healing or opening - typically occur within hours to a day, thus providing supporting argument for the extrapolation of short-term laboratory observation (hours to months) to long-term prediction at relevant GCS time scales (years to hundreds of years).

AB - Understanding long-term property evolution of cement fractures is essential for assessing well integrity during geological carbon sequestration (GCS). Cement fractures represent preferential leakage pathways in abandoned wells upon exposure to CO2-rich fluid. Contrasting self-sealing and fracture opening behavior have been observed while a unifying framework is still missing. Here we developed a process-based reactive transport model that explicitly simulates flow and multi-component reactive transport in fractured cement by reproducing experimental observation of sharp flow rate reduction during exposure to carbonated water. The simulation shows similar reaction network as in diffusion-controlled systems without flow. That is, the CO2-rich water accelerates the portlandite dissolution, releasing calcium that further reacted with carbonate to form calcite. The calibrated model was used for CO2-flooding numerical experiments in 250 cement fractures with varying initial hydraulic aperture (b) and residence time (τ) defined as the ratio of fracture volume over flow rate. A long τ leads to slow replenishment of carbonated water, calcite precipitation, and self-sealing. The opposite occurs when τ is small with short fracture and fast flow rates. Simulation results indicate a critical residence time τc - the minimum τ required for self-sealing - divides the conditions that trigger the opening and self-sealing behavior. The τc value depends on the initial aperture size through τc = 9.8 × 10-4 × b2 + 0.254 × b. Among the 250 numerical experiments, significant changes in effective permeability - self-healing or opening - typically occur within hours to a day, thus providing supporting argument for the extrapolation of short-term laboratory observation (hours to months) to long-term prediction at relevant GCS time scales (years to hundreds of years).

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