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The impact of boundary conditions on CO2 capacity estimation in aquifers

By D.J. Smith, M. Bentham, S. Holloway, D.J. Noy and R.A. Chadwick


The boundary conditions of an aquifer determine the extent to which fluids (including formation water\ud and CO2) and pressure can be transferred into adjacent geological formations, either laterally or vertically.\ud Aquifer boundaries can be faults, lithological boundaries, formation pinch-outs, salt walls, or outcrop. In\ud many cases compliance with regulations preventing CO2 storage influencing areas outside artificial\ud boundaries defined by non-geological criteria (international boundaries; license limits) may be necessary.\ud A bounded aquifer is not necessarily a closed aquifer.\ud The identification of an aquifer’s boundary conditions determines how CO2 storage capacity is estimated\ud in the earliest screening and characterization stages. There are different static capacity estimation methods\ud in use for closed systems and open systems. The method used has a significant impact on the final\ud capacity estimate.\ud The recent EU Directive (2009/31/EC) stated that where more than one storage site within a single\ud “hydraulic unit” (bounded aquifer volume) is being considered, the characterization process should\ud account for potential pressure interactions. The pressure interplay of multiple sites (or even the pressure\ud footprint of just one site) is heavily influenced by boundary conditions

Topics: Earth Sciences
Year: 2010
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