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TitleInitial results from seismic monitoring at the aquistore CO2 storage site, Saskatchewan, Canada
AuthorWhite, D JORCID logo; Roach, L A N; Roberts, B; Daley, T M
SourceEnergy Procedia vol. 63, 2014 p. 4418-4423, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20182094
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience
Released2014 01 01
AbstractThe Aquistore Project, located near Estevan, Saskatchewan, is one of the first integrated commercial-scale CO2 storage projects in the world that is designed to demonstrate CO2 storage in a deep saline aquifer. Starting in 2014, CO2 captured from the nearby Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant will be transported via pipeline to the storage site and to nearby oil fields for enhanced oil recovery. At the Aquistore site, the CO2 will be injected into a brinefilled sandstone formation at ?3200 m depth using the deepest well in Saskatchewan. The suitability of the geological formations that will host the injected CO2 has been predetermined through 3D characterization using high-resolution 3D seismic images and deep well information. These data show that 1) there are no significant faults in the immediate area of the storage site, 2) the regional sealing formation is continuous in the area, and 3) the reservoir is not adversely affected by knolls on the surface of the underlying Precambrian basement. Furthermore, the Aquistore site is located within an intracratonic region characterized by extremely low levels of seismicity. This is in spite of oil-field related water injection in the nearby Weyburn-Midale field where a total of 656 million m3 of water have been injected since the 1960s with no demonstrable related induced seismicity. A key element of the Aquistore research program is the further development of methods to monitor the security and subsurface distribution of the injected CO2. Toward this end, a permanent areal seismic monitoring array was deployed in 2012, comprising 630 vertical-component geophones installed at 20 m depth on a 2.5x2.5 km regular grid. This permanent array is designed to provide improved 3D time-lapse seismic imaging for monitoring subsurface CO2. Prior to the onset of CO2 injection, calibration 3D surveys were acquired in May and November of 2013. Comparison of the data from these surveys relative to the baseline 3D survey data from 2012 shows excellent repeatability (NRMS less than 10%) which will provide enhanced monitoring sensitivity to smaller amounts of CO2. The permanent array also provides continuous passive monitoring for injection-related microseismicity. Passive monitoring has been ongoing since the summer of 2012 in order to establish levels of background seismicity before CO2 injection starts in 2014. Microseismic monitoring was augmented in 2013 by the installation of 3 broadband seismograph stations surrounding the Aquistore site. These surface installations should provide a detection capability of seismic events with magnitudes as low as ?0. Downhole seismic methods are also being utilized for CO2 monitoring at the Aquistore site. Baseline crosswell tomographic images depict details (meters-scale) of the reservoir in the 150-m interval between the observation and injection wells. This level of resolution is designed to track the CO2 migration between the wells during the initial injection period. A baseline 3D vertical seismic profile (VSP) was acquired in the fall of 2013 to provide seismic images with resolution on a scale between that provided by the surface seismic array and the downhole tomography. The 3D VSP was recorded simultaneously using both a conventional array of downhole geophones (60-levels) and an optical fibre system. The latter utilized an optical fiber cable deployed on the outside of the monitor well casing and cemented in place. A direct comparison of these two methodologies will determine the suitability of using the fiber cable for ongoing time-lapse VSP monitoring.

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