Reza Soltanian, an Environmental Sciences Ph.D. student working under the guidance of Prof. Bob Ritzi in Earth and Environmental Sciences, recently received a $1500 grant from the Geological Society of America for his research on carbon sequestration. Reza's abstract is included below.
Congratulations to Reza!
Understanding the Impact of Hierarchical and Multi-Scale Sedimentary Architecture on CO2 Sequestration
Injecting CO2 into oil reservoirs and deep saline aquifers is an option to mitigate global warming by trapping CO2. Capillary trapping is a vital process in sequestrating CO2. The parameters which locally define capillary trapping are heterogeneous (e.g., capillary pressure, relative permeability), and their spatial variation follows the hierarchical and multi-scale sedimentary architecture of the reservoir. Simulations of CO2 sequestration are often not guided by a full knowledge of the heterogeneity-impacted flow dynamics across all relevant scales. The goal of this study is to use a new field quantified, 3D, hierarchical facies based model for sedimentary architecture in a multiphase reservoir simulator to study CO2 trapping mechanisms in an oil reservoir. We hypothesize that numerical simulations representing sedimentary architecture at different scales, and facies-dependent relative permeability and capillary pressure curves lead to a better understanding of CO2 capillary trapping.