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Reservoir characterization of the Mt. Simon Sandstone, Illinois Basin, USA

January 1, 2011

The integration of open hole well log analyses, core analyses and pressure transient analyses was used for reservoir characterization of the Mt. Simon sandstone. Characterization of the injection interval provides the basis for a geologic model to support the baseline MVA model, specify pressure design requirements of surface equipment, develop completion strategies, estimate injection rates, and project the CO2 plume distribution.

The Cambrian-age Mt. Simon Sandstone overlies the Precambrian granite basement of the Illinois Basin. The Mt. Simon is relatively thick formation exceeding 800 meters in some areas of the Illinois Basin. In the deeper part of the basin where sequestration is likely to occur at depths exceeding 1000 m, horizontal core permeability ranges from less than 1×10−12 cm2 to greater than 1×10−8 cm2. Well log and core porosity can be up to 30% in the basal Mt. Simon reservoir.

For modeling purposes, reservoir characterization includes absolute horizontal and vertical permeability, effective porosity, net and gross thickness, and depth. For horizontal permeability, log porosity was correlated with core. The core porosity-permeability correlation was improved by using grain size as an indication of pore throat size. After numerous attempts to identify an appropriate log signature, the calculated cementation exponent from Archie’s porosity and resistivity relationships was used to identify which porosity-permeability correlation to apply and a permeability log was made.

Due to the relatively large thickness of the Mt. Simon, vertical permeability is an important attribute to understand the distribution of CO2 when the injection interval is in the lower part of the unit. Only core analyses and specifically designed pressure transient tests can yield vertical permeability. Many reservoir flow models show that 500–800 m from the injection well most of the CO2 migrates upward depending on the magnitude of the vertical permeability and CO2 injection rate (CO2 velocity). Assigning a specific value of vertical permeability to model cells is dependent on the vertical height of the model cell. Measured vertical permeability on core is scale dependent, such that lower vertical permeability is expected over longer core lengths compared to smaller lengths. Consequently, a series of vertical permeability tests were conducted on whole core varying in lengths of samples from 7 cm to 30 cm that showed vertical perm could change by an order of magnitude over a 30 cm height.

For one well, the results from a series of pressure transient tests over a perforated interval much smaller than the gross thickness (<2%) confirmed the core-log based geologic model for vertical and horizontal permeability. A partial penetration model was used to estimate the horizontal and vertical permeability over a portion of the modeled area using series and parallel flow averaging techniques.

Publication Year 2011
Title Reservoir characterization of the Mt. Simon Sandstone, Illinois Basin, USA
DOI 10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.534
Authors S.M. Frailey, J. Damico, H.E. Leetaru
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70034841
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse