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COTEC – CO2 containment and monitoring techniques

Science of sub-surface CO2 storage derives mainly from small scale projects with injections in human time-scales. Projects not been operational long enough to fully assess flow and/or seepage at longer time scales relevant for subsurface CO2 sequestration (e.g. > 10 kY). A critical concern in CCS is how to account for features that are detrimental to subsurface storage containment and are at scales below seismic resolution, such as seeps along faults. With COTEC we aim to get better knowledge about CO2 containment and monitoring techniques.

Fig. 1 – The COTEC project will mainly focus on the Little Grand Wash Fault south of Green River, Utah, USA (see yellow square), in the vicinity of the San Rafael Swell Monocline (Modified from Zuchuat et al. 2019a).

Fig. 1 – The COTEC project will mainly focus on the Little Grand Wash Fault south of Green River, Utah (yellow square), in the vicinity of the San Rafael Swell Monocline (Modified from Zuchuat et al. 2019a). | See large map 1000px.

About the project

The impacts of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on mitigating climate change appears more and more crucial (Bui et al., 2018), and Norway has become, over the past decade, one of the leading nations with respect to subsurface CO2 storage, due in part to its high-level competence in characterization of sub-surface reservoirs.

Reservoirs in the North Sea are matured for CO2 storage; however, key questions around plume migration mechanisms and pressure linked to site integrity have been raised for both the Sleiper and Snøhvit cases, as well as for the Longyearbyen CO2 lab and Svelvik pilots. Many examples of fluid escape have been documented in the offshore subsurface environment (e.g. seismic chimneys), and active or relict natural seeps on land offer informative analogues to subsurface fluid migration.

Of note are the natural seeps in east-central Utah, USA (Fig. 1) that are easily accessible and represent suitable onshore counterparts to the offshore fluid escape features, with a specific focus on the Little Grand Wash Fault by Crystal Geyser (Fig. 2), a few kilometres south of Green River. Analysis of these seeps will improve our understanding of geological and geomechanical factors controlling subsurface CO2 containment and the expression of fluid escape in geophysical images.

Fig. 2 – CO2 has been leaking along the Little Grand Wash Fault in east-central Utah for the past 114 kyr at least, resulting in the near-surface precipitation of travertine, as visible on this geomodel. The schematic A-A’ cross-section illustrate the impact of the Little Grand Wash Fault on the Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphy of the area
Fig. 2 – CO2 has been leaking along the Little Grand Wash Fault in east-central Utah for the past 114 kyr at least, resulting in the near-surface precipitation of travertine, as visible on this geomodel. The schematic A-A’ cross-section illustrate the impact of the Little Grand Wash Fault on the Jurassic and Cretaceous stratigraphy of the area. Larger legend 1000px.

Objectives

The multidisciplinary COTEC-project will address the challenge by collecting surface and subsurface datasets at mesoscopic scales that, through upscaling, will be implemented in seismic investigations and reservoir-seal models (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 – Acquisition of a seismic refraction profile across the Little Grand Wash Fault, east-central Utah, view to the South. Photo: Ivar Midtkandal
Fig. 3 – Acquisition of a seismic refraction profile across the Little Grand Wash Fault, east-central Utah, view to the South. Photo: Ivar Midtkandal

The project builds upon previous studies (COPASS project; Skurtveit et al., 2017; Sundal, 2017; Midtkandal et al 2018; Zuchuat et al. 2018; 2019a; 2019b) but is also relevant for analogous settings such as the Norwegian Continental Shelf (e.g. e.g. Aurora and Smeaheia CO2 storage prospects, offshore Norway).

Overall, this next research phase specifically focuses on the detailed, post-depositional history of the Jurassic interval in east-central Utah, addressing one fundamental question: what are the thresholds for detecting CO2 seeps in the subsurface? This encompasses more targeted questions:

  • What does the fault core and the fault damage zone of the leaking Little Grand Wash Fault consist of?
  • What is the detailed geological footprint of CO2 flow along strata, faults, and fractures?
  • How did the CO2 flow migrate through a heterogeneous and transitional, faulted reservoir-seal complex?
  • Can seepage from the storage compartments and fluid saturation be identified by seismic imaging?

Financing

The COTEC-project was granted financing from the Norwegian Research Council in the CLIMIT-porgramme. This project is also linked to other ongoing research activity in Norway and the USA, and there is a close association toward other Norwegian and US-based federal and private funds.  The NFR grant/project number is 295061.

The project timeframe is from from May 2019, with 4 years duration, ending in 2023.

Cooperation

Previous project studies

CO2 Seal and Bypass – COPASS

Publications

  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P. & Green, M. J (2022). Tidal dynamics in palaeo-seas in response to long-term changes in bathymetry, tidal forcing, and bottom shear stress. Sedimentology. ISSN 0037-0746. doi: 10.1111/sed.12975.
  • Liberty, Lee M.; Yelton, Jonathan; Skurtveit, Elin; Braathen, Alvar; Midtkandal, Ivar & Evans, James P. (2022). Regolith and host rock influences on CO<inf>2</inf> leakage: Active source seismic profiling across the Little Grand Wash fault, Utah. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. ISSN 1750-5836. 119, p. 1–14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijggc.2022.103742. Full text in Research Archive
  • Braathen, Alvar; Petrie, Elisabeth; Nystuen, Tonje; Sundal, Anja; Skurtveit, Elin & Zuchuat, Valentin [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2020). Interaction of deformation bands and fractures during progressive strain in monocline - San Rafael Swell, Central Utah, USA. Journal of Structural Geology. ISSN 0191-8141. 141. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2020.104219. Full text in Research Archive
  • Skurtveit, Elin; Sundal, Anja; Bjørnarå, Tore Ingvald; Soldal, Magnus; Sauvin, Guillaume & Zuchuat, Valentin [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2020). Experimental investigation of natural fracture stiffness and flow properties in a faulted CO2 bypass system (Utah, USA). Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9313. 125(7). doi: 10.1029/2019JB018917. Full text in Research Archive
  • Fan, Changyu & Braathen, Alvar (2019). Flow of brine and oil along reverse faults in the northwestern Sichuan Basin, China. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. ISSN 0149-1423. 103(5), p. 1153–1177. doi: 10.1306/10261816501.
  • Fan, Changyu; Braathen, Alvar; Wang, Zhenliang; Zhang, Xiaoqiang; Chen, Suiying & Feng, Nana [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2019). Flow pathway and evolution of water and oil along reverse faults in the northwestern Sichuan Basin, China. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin. ISSN 0149-1423. 103(5), p. 1153–1177. doi: 10.1306/10261816501.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Midtkandal, Ivar; Poyatos More, Miquel; Da Costa, Sigrid; Brooks, Hannah Louise & Halvorsen, Kristine [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2019). Composite and diachronous stratigraphic surfaces in low-gradient, transitional settings: The J-3 “unconformity” and the Curtis Formation, east-central Utah, U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research. ISSN 1527-1404. 89(11), p. 1075–1095. doi: 10.2110/jsr.2019.56. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Petrie, Elizabeth S.; Skurtveit, Elin; Faleide, Thea Sveva & Halvorsen, Kristine (2022). Fracture Systems and Development in an Active Fault Zone. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. doi: 10.1130/abs/2022PR-376078.
  • Smith, Scott Adam; Faleide, Thea Sveva; Petrie, Elizabeth S. & Skurtveit, Elin (2022). Velocity variations due to lithology and fractures in a fault zone with CO2 seepage, Utah, USA. EarthDoc. doi: 10.3997/2214-4609.202243030.
  • Skurtveit, Elin (2022). Fracture flow experiments, Little Grand Wash fault.
  • Dichiarante, Anna Maria; Oye, Volker & Bruland, Charlotte (2022). First results from passive seismic data at the Little Grand Wash Fault.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva; Smith, Scott Adam; Petrie, E. S.; Halvorsen, Kristine & Skurtveit, Elin (2022). Core characterization: CT scans, mini-perm, uniaxial compressional strength (UCS) test, P&S velocity.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva (2022). Exploring seismic detection and resolution thresholds of fault interpretations in the shallow subsurface using seismic modelling.
  • Petrie, Elizabeth (2022). LGW Drilling and core characterization.
  • Liberty, Lee (2022). Active source seismic profiling across the Little Grand Wash fault, Utah.
  • Braathen, Alvar (2022). Fault zone architecture and seismic imaging.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P.; Collins, Daniel S. & Green, J.A. Mattias (2021). Ancient tides and physiography: time to update sequence-stratigraphic models?
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P.; Collins, Daniel S. & Green, Mattias J.A. (2021). Curtis Wars, episode IV: Return of the (Je)tide: Tidal dynamics in palaeo-seas in response to long-term changes in bathymetry, tidal forcing, and bottom shear stress.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Liberty, Lee; Petrie, Elizabeth; Hafner, Alison; Arvesen, Brock & Alterskjær, Camilla [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2021). On CO2 monitoring techniques and the importance of collaborating during times of crisis.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P.; Collins, Daniel S. & Green, J.A. Mattias (2021). Variations in physiography, tidal forcing, and bottom shear stress in palaeo-seas: lessons learned from numerical modelling.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P.; Collins, Daniel S. & Green, J.A. Mattias (2021). A quick a robust numerical modelling method to study the propagation of tides in palaeo-seas.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Midtkandal, Ivar; Poyatos More, Miquel; Da Costa, Sigrid; Brooks, Hannah Louise & Halvorsen, Kristine [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2021). Mind The Gap: Composite and diachronous stratigraphic surfaces in low-gradient, transitional settings: The J-3 “unconformity” and the Curtis Formation, east-central Utah, U.S.A.
  • Midtkandal, Ivar; Zuchuat, Valentin; Petrie, Elizabeth & Liberty, Lee (2021). COTEC.
  • Yelton, Jonathan & Liberty, Lee (2021). Seismic Imaging of Active and Ancient CO2 Pathways in the Little Grand Wash Fault.
  • Slivicki, Stephen & Liberty, Lee (2021). Seismic Response of Natural CO2 Gas Migration Through the Little Grand Wash Fault, Utah.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Steel, Elisabeth; Mulligan, Ryan P.; Collins, Daniel S. & Green, Mattias J.A. (2020). Does it still make sense to apply classical, sequence-stratigraphical concepts to tide-dominated basins?
  • Zuchuat, Valentin (2020). If Cream knew how to code: psychedelic simulations of tides in the Proto-Western Interior Seaway.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Braathen, Alvar; Midtkandal, Ivar; Liberty, Lee; Skurtveit, Elin & Evans, James R. [Show all 10 contributors for this article] (2020). COTEC students seminar.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva; Braathen, Alvar; Lecomte, Isabelle; Mulrooney, Mark Joseph; Anell, Ingrid Margareta & Midtkandal, Ivar [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2020). Testing seismic interpretation of faults by modelling; viable geometries versus seismic resolution in the subsurface. EAGE extended abstracts. 2020. doi: 10.3997/2214-4609.202011930.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva (2020). Seismic modelling of faults; viable geometries vs seismic resolution in the subsurface.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva; Braathen, Alvar; Lecomte, Isabelle; Anell, Ingrid Margareta; Midtkandal, Ivar & Planke, Sverre (2020). Seismic modelling of faults; viable geometries vs seismic resolution in the subsurface.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Sleveland, Arve; Sprinkel, Douglas; Pettigrew, Ross P.; Dodd, Thomas J.H. & Clarke, Stuart M. [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2020). When Utah was a blue state: the sedimentology of the tidally-influenced Upper Jurassic Curtis Formation.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Hafner, Alison; Osmond, Johnathon L.; Liberty, Lee; Petrie, Elizabeth & Arvesen, Brock [Show all 11 contributors for this article] (2020). CO2 containment and monitoring techniques along Little Grand Wash Fault, east-central Utah, USA.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Midtkandal, Ivar; Poyatos More, Miquel; Da Costa, Sigrid; Brooks, Hannah L & Halvorsen, Kristine [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2020). Brexit, Megxit, and the J-3 Unconformitexit: how they all lost it.
  • Buckley, Simon John; Ringdal, Kari; Lecomte, Isabelle; Anell, Ingrid Margareta & Braathen, Alvar (2020). Virtual field trip to seismic scale outcrops of the Triassic, Edgeøya, Svalbard.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Osmond, Johnathon L.; Sundal, Anja; Midtkandal, Ivar; Skurtveit, Elin & Petrie, Elizabeth [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2019). CO2 containment and monitoring techniques along Little Grand Wash Fault, east-central Utah, USA.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva; Midtkandal, Ivar; Planke, Sverre; Corseri, Romain; Faleide, Jan Inge & Nystuen, Johan Petter [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2019). High-resolution seismic imaging and modelling of structural and stratigraphical features in the SW Barents Sea.
  • Faleide, Thea Sveva; Midtkandal, Ivar; Planke, Sverre; Corseri, Romain; Faleide, Jan Inge & Nystuen, Johan Petter [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2019). Barremian delta and Early Cretaceous faulting revealed by high resolution 3D seismic data in the southwestern Barents Sea. NGF Abstracts and Proceedings of the Geological Society of Norway.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin; Midtkandal, Ivar & Braathen, Alvar (2019). Continental to Shallow Marine Transition in a Tide-Dominated, Low Accommodation Basin - Controlling Factors and Depositional Architecture. University of Oslo.
  • Zuchuat, Valentin (2019). Continental to Shallow Marine Transition in a Tide-Dominated, Low Accommodation basin - Controlling Factors and Depositional Architecture. University of Oslo. Full text in Research Archive
  • Halvorsen, Kristine; Zuchuat, Valentin; Midtkandal, Ivar & Braathen, Alvar (2018). Sand tectonics – sand mobility linked to faulting and the influence on depositional systems. University of Oslo.
  • Tveterås, Susanne; Braathen, Alvar; Midtkandal, Ivar & Zuchuat, Valentin (2018). Fault style and deformation mechanisms caused by sand mobility in the Entrada Sandstone and Curtis Formation, Utah, USA. University of Oslo.
  • Da Costa, Sigrid; Zuchuat, Valentin & Midtkandal, Ivar (2018). The complexity of regional erosion; incision, faulting, and deposition during the development of the J-3 unconformity, Utah, USA. University of Oslo.
  • Bromander, Nikoline; Sundal, Anja; Midtkandal, Ivar & Zuchuat, Valentin (2018). Facies-controlled reservoir quality and preferential deformation in sandstone reservoirs; a case study from the Entrada Sandstone, Utah, USA. University of Oslo.
  • Tveterås, Susanne; Braathen, Alvar; Midtkandal, Ivar & Zuchuat, Valentin (2018). Fault style and deformation mechanisms caused by sand mobility in the Entrada Sandstone. UIO.
  • Halvorsen, Kristine; Braathen, Alvar; Midtkandal, Ivar & Zuchuat, Valentin (2018). Sand tectonics – sand mobility linked to faulting and the influence on depositional systems. UIO.

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Published Feb. 26, 2020 9:38 AM - Last modified Sep. 16, 2022 4:01 PM