Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

GEO-SEQ logo

Task 2:  GEO-SEQ

Task 2 Leads:  Tom Daley, Barry Freifeld, Kevin Knauss,
Curt Oldenburg, Jonny Rutqvist

The GEO-SEQ Project has two primary goals:

  • To develop ways to improve predictions of injectivity and capacity of saline formations and depleted gas reservoirs, and
  • To develop and test innovative high-resolution methods for monitoring CO2 in the subsurface. 

The GEO-SEQ project leverages scientific understanding and technology development from three highly visible ongoing world-class (Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)-recognized) geologic CO2 storage projects through leadership and collaboration in the scientific and engineering objectives.

The GEO-SEQ Project has four primary subtasks:

Subtask 2.1 
  1. Fundamental Process and Response Studies
    • This new task has grown out of previous work to support field-scale investigation at pilot projects (InSalah, Otway, and Frio). Our work over the last several years revealed that integrating field measurements with numerical reservoir modeling requires better understanding of certain key fundamental processes (petrophysics and geochemical transport) that comes from supporting laboratory measurements. Additionally, the integration of laboratory and field measurements need improvement and support. Recognizing these needs, we have focused a GEO-SEQ task in this critical area. 
    • The Fundamental Process and Response Studies will include laboratory measurement of petrophysical  response (e.g., seismic velocity as a function of partial CO2 saturation at in-situ conditions) and geochemical transport processes (e.g., measurement of Henry’s coefficients at in-situ conditions) to allow improved analysis of field studies such as seismic monitoring and tracer breakthrough analysis. We also plan to work on improved integration of reservoir models (TOUGH2) with field monitoring data and to apply support to development of key monitoring technologies (initially targeting the CASSM technique). This work will leverage LBNL activites in other programs which provide design validation and testing opportunities.
    • GEO-SEQ also includes application of the Certification Framework (CF) risk assessment approach to Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Phase III projects and possibly others as opportunities arise.
  2. Otway Project 
    • Deploy & evaluate MMV & simulation technologies at the Otway Basin Demonstration Site in AustraliaThe GEO-SEQ objective in participating in the Otway Project is to leverage the investment of Australia’s CO2CRC research program in a world-class field test of sequestration, first as a participant in the Otway Stage 1 depleted gas storage test and now in the Otway Stage 2 injection in a saline field.
  3. In Salah Industrial-Scale CO2 Storage Project
    • The GEO-SEQ objectives of the research related to the In Salah Industrial-Scale CO2 Storage Project are (1) to assess the effectiveness of CO2 storage in low-permeability formations using long-reach horizontal injection wells, and (2) to investigate monitoring techniques to evaluate the performance of a high pressure CO2-injection operation. The InSalah CO2 Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) has begun a 3-year Phase 2 program.  LBNL and the GEO-SEQ project are active participants in this new phase with the JIP and GEO-SEQ tasks cooperating and complementing JIP funded activities.  LBNL is currently beginning a cost-matching project with the JIP in which the JIP will fund $1,100,000.00 over three years ($367,000.00 per year) to augment the GEO-SEQ InSalah tasks described below.
  4. Use MMV techniques to evaluate the injectivity & geomechanical response at the In Salah Gas Project in AlgeriaApplication of the Certification Framework (CF) for Risk Modeling
    • This task continues LBNL work on application of the Certification Framework (CF) risk assessment approach to Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Phase III and other CO2 storage projects. In the CF, we use reservoir simulation, probabilities of intersection of the CO2 plume with conduits such as wells and faults, and modeled fluxes or concentrations into compartments as proxies for impact to calculate the leakage risk of CO2 (or brine). This task complements our industry-funded research aimed at development and expansion of the CF’s specialized models including those to consider economics and storage optimization.

Within these projects, GEO-SEQ has led the development of downhole fluid and gas sampling by U-tube, downhole Continuous Active Source Seismic Monitoring (CASSM), and reservoir simulation capabilities including reactive geochemistry, multicomponent gas mixtures, and geomechanical coupling.