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01-07-2014 | Original Article | Issue 1/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 1/2014

Characterization of deep saline aquifers in the Bécancour area, St. Lawrence Lowlands, Québec, Canada: implications for CO2 geological storage

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 1/2014
Authors:
T. D. Tran Ngoc, R. Lefebvre, E. Konstantinovskaya, M. Malo

Abstract

The present paper provides a case study of the assessment of the potential for CO2 storage in the deep saline aquifers of the Bécancour region in southern Québec. This assessment was based on a hydrogeological and petrophysical characterization using existing and newly acquired core and well log data from hydrocarbon exploration wells. Analyses of data obtained from different sources provide a good understanding of the reservoir hydrogeology and petrophysics. Profiles of formation pressure, temperature, density, viscosity, porosity, permeability, and net pay were established for Lower Paleozoic sedimentary aquifers. Lateral hydraulic continuity is dominant at the regional scale, whereas vertical discontinuities are apparent for most physical and chemical properties. The Covey Hill sandstone appears as the most suitable saline aquifer for CO2 injection/storage. This unit is found at a depth of more than 1 km and has the following properties: fluid pressures exceed 14 MPa, temperature is above 35 °C, salinity is about 108,500 mg/l, matrix permeability is in the order of 3 × 10−16 m2 (0.3 mDarcy) with expected higher values of formation-scale permeability due to the presence of natural fractures, mean porosity is 6 %, net pay reaches 282 m, available pore volume per surface area is 17 m3/m2, rock compressibility is 2 × 10−9 Pa−1 and capillary displacement pressure of brine by CO2 is about 0.4 MPa. While the containment for CO2 storage in the Bécancour saline aquifers can be ensured by appropriate reservoir characteristics, the injectivity of CO2 and the storage capacity could be limiting factors due to the overall low permeability of aquifers. This characterization offers a solid basis for the subsequent development of a numerical hydrogeological model, which will be used for CO2 injection capacity estimation, CO2 injection scenarios and risk assessment.

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