The Modular Borehole Monitoring Program: a research program to optimize well-based monitoring for geologic carbon sequestration
Barry Freifeld, Tom Daley, Paul Cook, Robert Trautz, Kevin Dodds
Understanding the impacts caused by injection of large volumes of CO 2 in the deep subsurface necessitates a comprehensive monitoring strategy. While surface-based and other remote geophysical methods can provide information on the general morphology of a CO 2 plume, verification of the geochemical conditions and validation of the remote sensing data requires measurements from boreholes that penetrate the storage formation. Unfortunately, the high cost of drilling deep wellbores and deploying
... strumentation systems constrains the number of dedicated monitoring borings as well as limits the technologies that can be incorporated in a borehole completion. The objective of the Modular Borehole Monitoring (MBM) Program was to develop a robust suite of well-based tools optimized for subsurface monitoring of CO 2 that could meet the needs of a comprehensive well-based monitoring program. It should have enough flexibility to be easily reconfigured for various reservoir geometries and geologies. The MBM Program sought to provide storage operators with a turn-key fully engineered design that incorporated key technologies, function over the decades long time-span necessary for post-closure reservoir monitoring, and meet industry acceptable risk profiles for deep-well installations. While still within the conceptual design phase of the MBM program, the SECARB Anthropogenic Test in Citronelle, Alabama, USA was identified as a deployment site for our engineered monitoring systems. The initial step in designing the Citronelle MBM system was to down-select from the various monitoring tools available to include technologies that we considered essential to any program. Monitoring methods selected included U-tube geochemical sampling, discrete quartz pressure and temperature gauges, an integrated fibre-optic bundle consisting of distributed temperature and heat-pulse sensing, and a sparse string of conventional 3C-geophones. While not originally planned within the initial MBM work scope, the fibre-optic cable was able to also be used for the emergent technology of distributed acoustic sensing. The MBM monitoring string was installed in March, 2012. To date, the Citronelle MBM instruments continue to operate reliably. Results and lessons learned from the Citronelle MBM deployment are addressed along with examples of data being collected.