Vertically integrated dual-continuum models for CO2 injection in fractured geological formations
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Various modeling approaches, including fully three-dimensional (3D) models and vertical-equilibrium (VE) models, have been used to study the large-scale storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep saline aquifers. 3D models solve the governing flow equations in three spatial dimensions to simulate migration of CO2 and brine in the geological formation. VE models assume rapid and complete buoyant segregation of the two fluid phases, resulting in vertical pressure equilibrium and allowing closed-form integration of the governing equations in the vertical dimension. This reduction in dimensionality makes VE models computationally much more efficient, but the associated assumptions restrict the applicability of VE models to geological formations with moderate to high permeability. In the present work, we extend the VE models to simulate CO2 storage in fractured deep saline aquifers in the context of dual-continuum modeling, where fractures and rock matrix are treated as porous media continua with different permeability and porosity. The high permeability of fractures makes the VE model appropriate for the fracture domain, thereby leading to a VE dual-continuum model for the dual continua. The transfer of fluid mass between fractures and rock matrix is represented by a mass transfer function connecting the two continua, with a modified transfer function for the VE model based on vertical integration. Comparison of the new model with a 3D dual-continuum model shows that the new model provides comparable numerical results while being much more computationally efficient.
KeywordsGeologic CO2 storage Fractured rock Dual-continuum models Vertically integrated models Multi-scale modeling
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This work was supported in part by the Carbon Mitigation Initiative at Princeton University and by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under Grant Number DE-FE0023323. This project is managed and administered by Princeton University and funded by DOE/NETL and cost-sharing partners. Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government or any agency thereof.
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