Modeling of Carbon Dioxide Leakage from Storage Aquifers
Long-term geological storage of CO2 in deep saline aquifers offers the possibility of sustaining access to fossil fuels while reducing emissions. However, prior to implementation, associated risks of CO2 leakage need to be carefully addressed to ensure safety of storage. CO2 storage takes place by several trapping mechanisms that are active on different time scales. The injected CO2 may be trapped under an impermeable rock due to structural trapping. Over time, the contribution of capillary,
... on of capillary, solubility, and mineral trapping mechanisms come into play. Leaky faults and fractures provide pathways for CO2 to migrate upward toward shallower depths and reduce the effectiveness of storage. Therefore, understanding the transport processes and the impact of various forces such as viscous, capillary and gravity is necessary. In this study, a mechanistic model is developed to investigate the influence of the driving forces on CO2 migration through a water saturated leakage pathway. The developed numerical model is used to determine leakage characteristics for different rock formations from a potential CO2 storage site in central Alberta, Canada. The model allows for preliminary analysis of CO2 leakage and finds applications in screening and site selection for geological storage of CO2 in deep saline aquifers.