CCSMR related research began at the beginning of FY15. Some of the research being conducted under CCSMR is related to research that originated with tasks under the Consolidated Sequestration Research Project (CSRP) which wrapped up at the end of FY15. Each year since FY15, the CCSMR tasks have changed and evolved. Our current FY20-21 focus is as follows:
The Core Carbon Storage and Monitoring Research Program (CCSMR) aims to advance emergent monitoring technologies that can be used in commercial carbon storage projects. Our Targeted R&D portfolio for FY 2020 remains focused on advancing monitoring technologies considered essential for enabling carbon storage but require further development in order to meet performance and cost goals to support multi-decadal reservoir surveillance. Much of our progress to date has relied on using highly leveraged international collaborations, where LBNL can apply emergent technologies in field monitoring to help accelerate the commercialization of carbon sequestration. The monitoring technologies we are focused on include permanent seismic imaging using surface orbital vibrators and distributed acoustic sensing (SOV-DAS), advancement of joint EM-seismic methods, technology for monitoring induced seismicity at depth, investigating fault leakage mechanics and long-term cap-rock seal capabilities, fiber optic-based distributed strain sensing and monitoring (DSS). Current international research partners include Carbon Management Canada’s Containment and Monitoring Institute (CaMI, Canada), the Petroleum Technology Research Council Aquistore Project (PTRC, Canada), CO2CRC’s Otway Project (Australia), and SINTEF’s aCQurate project (Norway). In each of our tasks we address a technology that is initially considered at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 3-4 and we aim to advance it to the TRL of 4-5.
Task 1: Project Management and Planning will include all work elements required to maintain and revise the Project Management Plan, and to manage and report on activities in accordance with the plan. It will also include the necessary activities to ensure coordination and planning of the project with DOE/NETL and other project participants.
Task 2: 2nd Generation SOV-DAS
The capability for SOV-DAS to be used for seismic imaging has been explored by initial trials at two field laboratories, the CO2CRC Otway Project site and the ADM IMS project. While these initial trials allowed us to test the basic concept, there were many lessons learned, both in the design and operation of hardware and the collection and processing of data. We have identified several areas required to advance the maturity level of the technology, which we plan to address during the Otway Stage 3 project. The Otway Project Stage 3 plans to incorporate SOV-DAS technology using a total of 9 SOV source points distributed throughout the monitoring field and an extensive network of DAS cable installed along six wells. Preliminary testing during FY17 showed that high frequency motors, even with lower force can improve seismic imaging acquisition. We plan to install both 10 Ton-force motors that can operate up to 80 Hz along with 4 Ton-force motors that operate up to 160 Hz and explore ways to acquire and merge data from those two collocated sources. We also learned that there needs to be greater understanding in what constitutes an optimal source signature for data deconvolution. Further deployments of the DAS-SOV technology will allow us to improve the understanding on how to make a field-laboratory scale system. A new development in SOV-DAS hardware is the design of a motor mount that will allow for swept horizontal shear wave orientation by rotating the motor on a slewing bearing. The Otway Stage 3 SOV-DAS network will be used to monitor an injection of approximately 15,000 T CO2-rich gas supplied by the nearby Buttress Well.
Task 3: Integrated Plume Monitoring using Joint EM-Seismic and Strain Sensing
This task is focused on the activities that LBNL is developing as part of a comprehensive CO2 plume monitoring effort undergoing at Containment and Monitoring Institute’s Field Research Station in Brooks, Alberta, Canada (CaMI-FRS). LBNL benefits from access to the field facility which represents a unique opportunity to monitor upward migration of CO2 plume following a shallow injection. The experiment is crucial to test monitoring technologies and study the impacts from leakage and secondary accumulation of gas-phase CO2 at intermediate depths as an analog for a leak into a “thief zone”. The goal pursued by LBNL of combining EM and Seismic is key to simultaneously monitor and quantify the boundary of plume leakage and plume body saturation. The technical problems reported in the PMP-SOPO Document for FY 2019 and relating to the surface engineering design, material deterioration, and hack of control computer system have been resolved. Starting from November 2019, the Institute maintained a steady injection rate of 300 kg of CO2 per week with a single hiatus of two weeks in late December during the winter holidays. As of May 31st, 2020, the cumulative amount of CO2 injected into the reservoir equals 30 Tonnes. The gas-phase CO2 has been detected by electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), distributed temperature sensing (DTS), surveys run by the Institute. The benefit of the joint EM-Seismic monitoring program introduced by LBNL is to determine whether the plume is confined to the injection depth of 300 m into water-filled sandstones or it vertically leaked through the overlying shales and mixed sand/shale sequences forming the cap rocks, giving information also on the boundaries and the total volumetric extension of the leak.
During FY19, major progress has been made towards a fully integrated and efficient cross-well EM-Seismic acquisition and recording systems. We designed and developed a GPS synchronization apparatus which allows the EM transmitter and EM receivers to be physically separated without any hard-cable connection, thus reducing or even eliminating the threats of ground loops contaminating our measurements. We also synergistically implemented the lessons learned from other Seismic tomographic surveys towards an optimized acquisition strategy that cuts 37% of the surveying time. In addition, both the EM and Seismic systems now beneficiate of the increased signal power and wider bandwidth of the second-generation signal amplifier technology developed entirely at LBNL. From the software side, we identified and optimized individual inversion capabilities while current work is focused toward the sequential and joint inversion of the EM and Seismic baseline datasets.
As of FY20, Task 3 absorbed previous year’s Task 5 (US-Japan CCS Collaboration on Fibre-Optic Technology) to create an integrated monitoring program which will continue to benefit from EM-Seismic datasets but also include fiber optics-based Distributed Strain Sensing (DSS) with the goal of monitoring geomechanical processes during CO2 injection. At CaMI-FRS, we will use a Brillouin scattering-based interrogator which is coupled with the fiber optical cable installed in the wells behind casing and on the surface trenches. The purpose will be to assess the maturity of DSS for providing critical information on hydro-mechanical coupling. During the past years of CCSMR, LBNL has (1) installed a fiber network 4.5 km long composed of several different optical cables to test their ability to capture radial and axial strain and to compare their sensitivity, (2) performed strain and temperature calibration tests on the different optical cables in laboratory, (3) developed a 3D geomechanical model of the CaMI FRS Site with detailed discretization of storage, cap rock formations and wells designs, and (4) is monitoring in situ the temperature and strain.
Task 4: Monitoring Technology for Deep CO2 Injection
Our objective is for this task is to quantify induced seismicity (IS) hazards and reduce the risk resulting from (a) detection of smaller microseismic events at depth and (b) potential early detection of faults and their incipient failure, thereby advancing the development and validation of technologies that enable safe, permanent geologic storage of CO2 and further developing the ability to image basement faults.
To improve IS monitoring at deep-basin CO2 sequestration sites we need broader bandwidth borehole sensors (100 sec to 1 kHz) with up to 10 times the sensitivity of current conventional sensor arrays. Borehole sensors with these improvements would gain another order of magnitude of range and higher resolution on fracture creation events, informing permeability mapping models and contributing toward improved hazard assessment.
Because of the nature of subsurface heterogeneity, it is essential that we test deep CO2 monitoring technologies in a field-scale laboratory setting. Multiple acquisition geometries can be tested including borehole and surface seismic, with advanced optical sensing that can be compared to state-of-the-art electrical (geophone) sensors for both ambient (microseismic) and active-source monitoring.
Our work plan for this task is to adapt a high sensitivity, wide bandwidth 3-component sensor successfully tested in shallow boreholes, and develop a wireline-deployable system for deep near-basement borehole operations, incorporating a hybrid VSP/optical wireline cable and designing a 3-level 3C discrete optical sensor array suitable for deployment at depth for 4-6 weeks in a deep CO2 monitoring well.
CCSMR Tasks have evolved over the years… here are some previous years’ tasks:
Otway Project. The Australian CO2CRC Otway Project has several phases that will provide opportunities for testing emergent technology. In FY15 LBNL designed and fabricated two rotary seismic sources that have been incorporated into the Otway Stage 2c test program. They were installed in September 2015 and were operated for seismic acquisition throughout the Stage 2c test in FY16. There is also a network of 35 km of installed optical fiber for DAS sensing. This array is installed in parallel to a conventional surface geophone array. Working with geophysicists from Curtin University we will be able to compare the potential of the DAS technology to conventional geophones, consider the current state of the art:
Subtask: Installation of two permanent rotary seismic surface sources
Subtask: Recording seismic data using an areal fiber-optic network
Subtask: Data processing and reporting
Aquistore Collaboration. The Boundary Dam project is one of the world’s most significant full chain demonstration projects for carbon capture and storage. While a large percentage of the CO2 will be used for EOR, the Aquistore Site will serve as a demonstration for permanent geosequestration. LBNL has been collaborating with the PTRC since 2013 to implement a multicomponent geophysical monitoring program incorporating fiber-optic technology. Following participation in baseline monitoring which demonstrated the applicability of fiber optic monitoring at the Aquistore site, LBNL will participate in ongoing repeat monitoring using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) to monitor the injected CO2 plume. Multiple geometries can be tested including vertical seismic profiling (VSP), surface seismic, ambient noise and microseismic monitoring.
Subtask: Installation and operation of a surface fiber
Subtask: Repeat 3D VSP using DAS technology
Subtask: Microseismic Monitoring
Carbon Management Canada Field Research Station Collaboration. The CMC Containment and Monitoring Institute (CaMI) is building a field research facility called the Field Research Station (FRS). The FRS program will be designed around small injections (up to 1000 tonnes per year) of CO2 (possibly with small amounts of impurities such as CH4 or other tracers) at depths of approximately 300 m and 500 m. The injection targets are water filled sandstones reservoir formations, with overlying shales or mixed sand/shale sequences forming the cap rocks. LBNL will provide emergent technologies in the areas of well-based fluid sampling, fiber-optic DTS and DAS, and EM monitoring to help understand the movement of CO2 in the shallow subsurface.
Subtask: CMC FRS Seismic Crosswell Design Plan
Subtask: Borehole to Surface and Crosswell EM at the CAMI Site for Monitoring CO2 Sequestration
Subtask: Monitoring well design and installation support for U-tube fluid sampling and fiber-optic sensing
Subtask: Carbon Management Canada Monitoring
Optimization framework for improved CO2 injectivity, storage permanence, monitoring, and utilization seeks to develop and field software tools, for the real-time adaptive control, and management of CO2 injections. This work, using FY15 carryover funds, is addressing issues of injectivity and permanence while seeking to identify candidate sites for application.
Subtask: Framework Injectivity
Subtask: Monitoring and Inverse Modeling
Subtask: Framework Utilization
Mont Terri Project
The Mont Terri fault slip experiment seeks to explore the permeability evolution associated to the slip activation of a clay-rich fault zone which is an analogue to a minor fault that would hardly be detectable from surface seismic surveys during the initial design of a sequestration site. Using limited carry-over funds from FY15 we have been processing, during FY16, the field data and initiating numerical modeling of some of the injection experiments conducted at Mont Terri in October 2015. The modeling conducted at LBNL will continue and focus on the understanding of the relationships between fault movement, permeability change and induced seismicity during the experiments. Collaborations will continue with Swisstopo (Switzerland) to relate the estimated stresses to the fault zone structure, and with JAEA (Japan) to compare laboratory scale with field scale fault zone frictional properties variations during injections.
Cascadia Project – Discrete Fiber Optic Borehole Accelerometers
Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), a non-profit initiative of the University of Victoria, Canada, will be collaborating with LBNL in the use of discrete fiber-optic seismic sensor technology to detect microseismicity in a borehole environment. The order of magnitude increased sensitivity offered by this technology is of interest to researchers on the West Coast involved in monitoring weak microseismic “tremors” associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). These weak signals are thought to be related to stress redistribution at great depths that could be a precursor to a much larger event. Researchers have confirmed that a very strong earthquake (Magnitude 9.0+) associated with the CSZ last occurred in 1701 and could occur again in the near future. Such an earthquake would impact both U.S. and Canadian facilities with impacts as far south as California.
The objective of the Cascadia project is to perform a long term monitoring test of new technology – discrete fiber optic accelerometer sensors – for improved microseismic monitoring of CO2 sequestration. Monitoring with discrete 3-component sensors is necessary for accurate and complete characterization of the source mechanisms of smaller magnitude seismic events that are important for early notification and characterization of induced seismicity (IS), or for improved induced-seismicity risk assessment. Discrete fiber-optic accelerometers are an advance in 3-component sensing, where 3-component vector data are needed to discriminate different types of failure mechanisms associated with the induced seismicity, i.e. shear failure versus tensile, or mixed mode failure.
Failure mechanisms of induced seismicity are useful for relating the seismicity to permeability enhancement, fault/fracture network configurations, and other physical properties. The increased sensitivity of the discrete fiber optic sensors over geophones or linear DAS fiber optic cables will allow the detection and location of many more events in the lower magnitudes, giving a more complete and accurate mapping of fluid invasion and pressure distribution.
US-Japan CCS Collaboration on Fibre-Optic Technology
As one facet of the broader US-Japan CCS Collaboration, scientific teams from Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and LBNL will collaborate on advancing fiber-optic sensing technology for monitoring carbon sequestration. Our initial collaboration will consider the used of distributed strain sensing (DSS) to monitor geomechanical processes during CO2 injection. Using the CaMI FRS Site scientists from RITE are operating a Rayleigh based strain monitoring system. An analogous system based on Brillouin technology is used by LBNL. Both research groups will assess the maturity of DSS for providing critical information on hydro-mechanical coupling. During the previous year LBNL has (1) installed a fiber network 4.5 km long composed of several different optical cables to test their ability to capture radial and axial strain and to compare their sensitivity, (2) performed strain and temperature calibration tests on the different optical cables in laboratory, (3) developed a 3D geomechanical model of the CaMI FRS Site with detailed discretization of storage, cap rock formations and wells designs and (4) is monitoring in situ the temperature and strain since CO2 injection has started end of 2017. For next year, we plan to analyze the field data (distributed strain, injection rate, wellhead pressure, etc.) and use them to calibrate the 3D hydro-geomechanical model. The goal of these simulations is to estimate the amount of strains caused by the CO2 injection and the amount of strain captured by the optical fiber network. The goals of these simulations are (i) to estimate the amount of strains and stress variations associated with the CO2 injection, (ii) to compare the calculated three main component of the strain tensors with the strain monitored along the optical cables and (iii) to develop equations to infer the full 3D strain tensor along the optical cables from the monitored Brillouin frequency shift. To improve our estimation, we also plan to characterize in-situ the coupling between casing, cement, optical fiber and rock formations. Indeed, it is fundamental to fully understand how these different envelops will influence the strain propagation from the rock formation to the optical cable. To do this, we will lower an inflatable packer in one of the observation well and inflate it at a specific depth to mechanically stimulate the different envelops of the well with a well-known and well control source while monitoring the strain distribution along the optical fiber.
Fault-Leakage and Security
The end-product of this task is the development of an approach to estimate the mechanisms of fault leakage evolution with time, during and following fault rupture in a reservoir cap-rock. This research is focused on the assessment of CO2 storage security and of the integrity of reservoirs cap-rocks, including the estimation of cap-rocks sealing long term capabilities. We propose to develop high resolution methods to map fault rupture and leakage parameters from permanent monitoring techniques coupling strain and seismic monitoring. Our analysis approach includes the implementation of refined constitutive laws in fully coupled hydromechanical numerical models and their calibration from field laboratory experiments (for example the Mont Terri Fault slip experiment(s)).
Prior to CCSMR
CCSMR related research began at the beginning of FY15. Some of the research being conducted under CCSMR is related to research that originated with tasks under the Consolidated Sequestration Research Project (CSRP) which wrapped up at the end of FY15.