Monitoring geological storage of CO2 using a new rock physics model
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To mitigate the global warming crisis, one of the effective ways is to capture CO2 at an emitting source and inject it underground in saline aquifers, depleted oil and gas reservoirs, or in coal beds. This process is known as carbon capture and storage (CCS). With CCS, CO2 is considered a waste product that has to be disposed of properly, like sewage and other pollutants. While and after CO2 injection, monitoring of the CO2 storage site is necessary to observe CO2 plume movement and detect potential leakage. For CO2 monitoring, various physical property changes are employed to delineate the plume area and migration pathways with their pros and cons. We introduce a new rock physics model to facilitate the time-lapse estimation of CO2 saturation and possible pressure changes within a CO2 storage reservoir based on physical properties obtained from the prestack seismic inversion. We demonstrate that the CO2 plume delineation, saturation, and pressure changes estimations are possible using a combination of Acoustic Impedance (AI) and P- to S-wave velocity ratio (Vp/Vs) inverted from time-lapse or four-dimensional (4D) seismic. We assumed a scenario over a period of 40 years comprising an initial 25 year injection period. Our results show that monitoring the CO2 plume in terms of extent and saturation can be carried out using our rock physics-derived method. The suggested method, without going into the elastic moduli level, handles the elastic property cubes, which are commonly obtained from the prestack seismic inversion. Pressure changes quantification is also possible within un-cemented sands; however, the stress/cementation coefficient in our proposed model needs further study to relate that with effective stress in various types of sandstones. The three-dimensional (3D) seismic usually covers the area from the reservoir's base to the surface making it possible to detect the CO2 plume's lateral and vertical migration. However, the comparatively low resolution of seismic, the inversion uncertainties, lateral mineral, and shale property variations are some limitations, which warrant consideration. This method can also be applied for the exploration and monitoring of hydrocarbon production.