Project Updates

Testing Monitoring Techniques

Over 240,000 metric tons of CO₂ has been injected into the late stage EOR field known as Dover 33, which is serving as a test bed for CO₂ monitoring technologies. Dover 33 has one injector well and two monitoring wells. MRCSP has been injecting CO₂ into Dover-33 at a rate of ~500 to 1000 tonnes per day since March 2013. MRCSP is using the large scale injection in the late stage Dover 33 reef to test different monitoring approaches. These tests include fluid sampling, pressure fall-off testing, wireline logging, seismic profiles, satellite monitoring, among others.

Phase III Project Updates

The project in Michigan is designed to inject and monitor approximately one million metric tons of CO₂ within a series of formations currently being used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. The fields are in different stages of their production life-cycles: highly depleted fields that have already undergone CO₂-EOR (late-stage reef), those currently undergoing CO₂-EOR (active EOR reef), and fields where secondary oil recovery using CO₂ has yet to be attempted (new EOR reef). The first test in the series  involved injection of CO₂ into a depressurized, late-stage reef that has undergone primary production and CO₂-EOR for several years and is now near the end of its productive life. This late-stage reef provides an ideal test bed for testing technologies to track and monitor the CO₂ movements underground and over time.  Nine other active and new fields have been added to the MRCSP monitoring and measurement program over the last three years.

November 2016

The 2016 Annual MRCSP Partners meeting was held November 1-2, 2016 in Columbus, OH. The annual meeting was well attended by nearly 100 people, including representation from Industry and Research Partners, regulatory entities, other stakeholders, as well as Battelle and NETL personnel. The meeting covered a broad range of topics, from a review of the overall DOE program to specifics of on-going MRCSP programmatic aspects, focusing on the recent field work at late-stage reef (Dover 33) and upcoming operations.
This pictures shows one of the sessions, which highlighted Global and National Context for CO₂ Storage and Utilization; Chuck McConnell (Rice University) is addressing the meeting attendees.

September 2016

The drilling program for the characterization well in the late-stage reef, which includes the collection of cores and wellbore testing, began on September 22. The information obtained from the characterization well will help fill essential data gaps, as only minimal characterization was conducted during original development of the field. The advanced logging in this well will help develop the geomechanical model and improve the interpretation of borehole monitoring. During drilling, the mudlog provides basic information on the lithology and gas shows of the formations being drilled. Wireline logging in the intermediate section included gamma ray, neutron, density, resistivity, and dipole sonic.  The deeper section drilling will include recording deviation in the well for directional drilling, 2 to 3 coring runs to collect complete cores, and an extended suite of wireline logs and wireline based reservoir testing.
This picture shows a section of core from the reef reservoir collected approximately 5600 feet deep. Note the vugular porosity (large pore spaces).

Post-injection monitoring activities continued at the late-stage reef. The repeat borehole gravity meter (BHGM) survey was completed by Micro g LaCoste between September 10 and September 13.  The objective of the survey was to measure changes in density caused by accumulation of carbon dioxide.  The survey consisted of running the BHGM via wireline down the late-stage reef injection well and stopping and reading the BHGM at a series of downhole stations.  Borehole gravity data will be converted into apparent density profiles, which can be used for detecting changes in density caused by the accumulation of carbon dioxide within the pore spaces of the rock layer. The preliminary QC results reported by the vendor indicate the data quality is excellent and a repeat density profile of the reef was successfully obtained.  

The Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) repeat survey was conducted by Sigma Cubed from September 14 through 17; preliminary field results show high-quality data acquisition. Processing and analysis of the VSP data are currently under way. The baseline VSP survey operations are described below under the March 2013 journal entry.
Assembling the borehole gravity meter, which contained the gravity sensor at the very bottom (within the white cone), electronics in the middle, and the gamma sensor towards the top.

August 2016

Pulsed Neutron Capture (PNC) Logging was completed for two of the three wells as part of the post-injection monitoring program for the Dover 33 field. The logging program for the Dover 33 field is an ongoing effort to analyze the storage formation during pre-, active-, and post-injection. Repeat, post-injection logging of the late-stage reef was completed for the injection well and the monitoring well. Data produced by PNC logging tools will be used to establish quantitative interpretations for carbon dioxide gas saturation. This logging effort will include a comparison of baseline and repeat data to determine changes in gas, oil, and water saturations. Future efforts will incorporate PNC logging of other Niagaran reefs, which will be compiled into a comprehensive regional carbon dioxide saturation monitoring analysis. Additionally, lessons learned from the PNC logging programs will be compiled and analyze to produce a “best practices” manuscript for monitoring and logging in EOR fields using carbon dioxide.

Baker Hughes setting up for PNC logging in the monitoring well.

June - July 2016

In June and July MRCSP completed a test for microseismic monitoring of CO₂ injection at Dover 33. The test included several steps:

  • Final preparation of the Dover-33 well site entailed preparing the monitoring wells and installing safety equipment.
  • The Paulsson Microseismic array was installed on June 12. During the installation a few small explosive test shots, 90g apiece, were used to determine the correct orientation of the array. The shots were detonated safely a few feet below surface. Once oriented, specialized drill pipe was used to lower the 400 ft length microseismic array down hole. As the array was lowered, additional surface orientation shots (90 g to 2 kg) were used at each step to ensure consistency. A snapshot of the installation process is shown below.
Installing the Paulsson Microseismic array into the o well
  • The memory pressure gauges were taken out of the 2-33 well to prepare for additional tests, as seen in the figure below. A service company came in and lowered a different type of small explosive (primer cord) into the Dover 2-33 monitoring well. These explosives were safely detonated downhole and were also used for orientation.

The memory gauges are taken out of the 2-33 monitoring well

  • After the orientation shots were completed, the memory gauges were put back in the 2-33 well to monitor pressure buildup in the reef during the injection portion of the test. Injection rates during the test ranged between 200 and 300 metric tons per day.
  • In the afternoon of July 8, the booster pump was shut off and the CO₂ delivery line was closed to stop the CO₂  injection. Microseismic monitoring was continued until the following morning. The array was then pulled from the hole, and the equipment was mobilized and removed from the site.
This completed the injection monitoring period at Dover 33. Post-injection monitoring will begin in August.

May 2016

As of May 25, Dover 33 received an additional 19,287 metric tons of CO₂ since injection was resumed on March 4, 2016, at an average rate of 238 metric tons per day. The pressure in the reservoir is being monitored to determine the timing for the microseismic monitoring. The objective is to monitor the last few weeks of CO₂ injection when the pressure is closest to the target pressure level (3,500 psi) in the reservoir. Based on pressure trends, the microseismic monitoring will likely take place in early June 2016.

In preparation for the microseismic monitoring, the bridge plug in the monitoring well was replaced and a second bridge plug was added to ensure the quality of microseismic monitoring. The bridge plugs will isolate the upper portion of the well from the perforations so that flow into the perforations is not detected by the microseismic monitoring equipment. The new bridge plugs were placed at depths of 6,170 and 6,175 feet, and were pressure-tested to 1,000 psi to confirm proper operation. No significant pressures have been detected above the bridge plugs since these were placed in the well, indicating that the plugs are working properly.
In addition, the MRCSP team prepared to present at the 2016 CCUS Conference set to take place on June 14-16, 2016 in Tysons, VA. 

Planned presentations include the following:
  • Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership: Key Observations from Field Project and Regional Mapping of Storage Fairways
  • Evaluation of CCUS Potential in Ohio’s Depleted Oil Fields: Key Findings and Data Gaps
  • Challenges in Reservoir Simulations for CCUS Projects with Sparse Data
  • Geologic Diversity of Michigan Niagaran Reefs and the Implications for CO₂ Storage (Poster)

April 2016

Battelle presented at the North America Energy Ministers Trilateral meeting in Mexico (April 12 to 14), which included presentations on technical aspects of EOR to storage transition and MRCSP monitoring and morning at the technical knowledge sharing workshop for PEMEX.

March 2016

The extended pressure fall-off test at the late-stage reef (Dover 33) was completed and injection operations were resumed. Through March, the cumulative net CO₂ injected in the Michigan project reefs was 501,287 metric tons. This included a net injection of 251,739 metric tons of CO₂ into the late-stage reef (Dover 33) and 249,548 metric tons CO₂ into 8 active EOR reefs. The net CO₂ is calculated using a mass balance equation based on the amount of CO₂ injection minus the amount of CO₂ produced.

Injection of CO₂ into the Dover 33 Reef restarted on March 4, with rates of approximately 250 metric tons/day. Injection continued through the end of the month without interruption, and approximately 6,816 metric tons of CO₂ were injected by the end of March, 2016. Throughout the injection period, the pressure in the reservoir was monitored to determine the response from the injection of CO₂ and to determine the timing for the microseismic monitoring. The objective is to monitor the last few weeks of CO₂ injection when the pressure is closest to the target pressure level (3,500 psi) in the reservoir.

January 2016

The Principal Investigator for MRCSP participated in the US-Japan CCS collaboration meeting as part of DOE delegation from January 25-26. This included a site visit to Tomakomai CCS site in Hokkaido (Japan’s first integration project) and a meeting in Tokyo. Several ideas for potential future collaboration with MRCSP included microseismic assessment, geochemical and core analysis, and vertical seismic profiling technologies. Additional information on the Tomakomai CCS site can be found at

December 2015

The extended pressure fall-off test at the late-stage reef (Dover 33) continued. Through December, the cumulative net CO₂ injected was 462,836 metric tons. This included the net injection of 244,040 metric tons of CO₂ into the late-stage reef (Dover 33) and 218,796 metric tons CO₂ into seven active EOR reefs. The net CO₂ is calculated using a mass balance equation based on the amount of CO₂ injection minus the amount of CO₂ produced.

Planning and coordination for the restart of CO₂ injection into Dover 33 was performed. Injection into the Dover 33 reservoir was stopped on August 28, 2014 after the injection rate dropped to 120 tons per day to initiate an extended pressure fall-off test. The pressure in the reef was high enough (~3000 psi) that the current compression system was unable to inject CO₂ at meaningful rates. A used booster pump from the AEP Mountaineer CCS Project was acquired that will allow the injection rates and pressures to be substantially increased.

Planning to complete remaining monitoring in the reef in conjunction with the upcoming final injection phase continued. This will include PNC logging, borehole gravity, and vertical seismic profiling. These monitoring activities will be performed following the final injection phase and a period of pressure falloff.
October 2015

The 2015 MRCSP Partners Meeting was held in October. This annual meeting provides an important opportunity for those involved in CCS in the region to meet, share information, and further working relationships. The MRCSP convenes these discussions as part of its mission to build a core competency in the region.
September 2015

The extended pressure fall-off test at the late-stage reef (Dover 33) continued. Through September, the cumulative net CO₂ injected was 418,084 metric tons. This included the net injection of 244,040 metric tons of CO₂ into the late-stage reef (Dover 33) and 174,044 metric tons ₂ into seven active EOR reefs. The Net CO₂ is calculated using a mass balance equation based on the amount of CO₂ injection minus the amount of CO₂ produced for recycling.

June 2015

The extended pressure fall-off test at the late-stage reef (Dover 33) continued. The cumulative net CO₂ injected through June was 386,142 metric tons. This included the net injection of 244,040 metric tons of CO₂ into the late-stage reef (Dover 33) and 142,102 metric tons CO₂ into seven active EOR reefs.
March 2015

The MRCSP prepared a fact sheet summarizing the progress that has been made. Please click here to view the fact sheet. Additional facts sheets can be obtained from the Fact Sheets web page.

December 2014

The Michigan Basin large scale injection project recently reached 245,000 metric tons net CO₂ injected in late-stage EOR reef and more than 55,000 metric tons net CO₂ in active EOR reefs. Overall, the goal is to inject up to 1,000,000 metric tons into active, late-stage and newly targeted EOR reefs combined.

Operations and subsurface monitoring. Pressure, volume and temperature are fundamental measurements required for underground injection control. This update provides more details on how this data is being used for reservoir analysis. The objective of reservoir analysis is to estimate reservoir properties, such as permeability, that are needed for building the dynamic reservoir models, and to evaluate pressure buildup.

Below is an image of the reef in a 3-dimensional view. The reef, which is located about 5,500 feet below the surface, is a prominent mound shaped structure with about 350 feet of relief covering an area of approximately 79 acres. The injection and two monitoring wells were instrumented with bottom-hole gauges to record reservoir pressure during the large-scale CO₂ injection test. The injection well is a vertical well located in the center of the reef. Two production wells are being used as monitoring wells. Both of these wells are deviated wells that enter the reef on the east side. The northern monitoring well is a horizontal open borehole that is used to monitor the reservoir along the entire length of the open borehole. The southern monitoring well is a high angle well that is cased and perforated at the bottom, and is used to monitor the reservoir at the buttonhole location.

CO₂ injection rate was measured using a coriolis mass flow meter and recorded at one minute frequency for use in the analysis of the injection fall-off tests. Total amount of available CO₂ on a daily basis is approximately 1,250 metric tons, which includes both recycled and non-recycled CO₂. The CO₂ injection rate was initially limited based on the supply demands of this reef and other operating reefs. Later in the injection period, the injection rate was limited by the pressure build up in the reef.

Below is a plot of the CO₂ injection and pressure history during the large-scale test. Each injection event was followed by a shut-in period, during which pressure was allowed to stabilize. Each one of these injection/shut-in cycles is an injection fall-off test that can be analyzed to estimate reservoir properties. Note that pressure continuously increases with ongoing injection, which indicates the reservoir is a closed system. Also, the pressure response is similar in all three wells, which indicates that the reef is not compartmentalized (at least in the region between the wells). Finally, notice the steep pressure rise during the 30-week test. This steep rise is likely related to the filling up of the reservoir and more pronounced boundary effects. MRCSP is attempting to replicate this pressure response using a multi-phase compositional model in order to better describe the system behavior.

November 2014

Annual Meeting. MRCSP held its Annual Meeting on November 18, 2014 at Battelle's headquarters in Columbus Ohio. The meeting was attended by more than 80 research partners, project supporters, and other interested stakeholders. The program highlighted the recent progress of the large-scale testing, efforts to further improve the geologic characterization of the nine-state MRCSP region, and research to further characterize the potential mineral and storage resources and the role of carbon capture, use, and storage in helping to enhance oil recovery while maximizing CO₂ storage in the region. These meetings provide an opportunity for people working in carbon capture, use and storage to strengthen working relationships as they discuss the research and trends. Participants in the meeting had a chance to review the research presented at the GHGT-12 conference held in Austin, Texas earlier this fall and to interact with the project team.
Research members, project supporters, and interested stakeholders gather at Battelle’s Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio for the MRCSP Annual Meeting
June 2014

MRCSP is well underway towards completing the large scale CO₂ injection, regional site characterization, and the related tasks associated with the Development Phase (Phase III) of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Initiative. MRCSP was recognized by the CCS Leadership Forum (CSLF) as one of nearly 40 key CCS projects around the world. These pioneering projects are furthering our understanding of CCS and provide a basis for information sharing. This June update describes progress in three keys areas: testing monitoring techniques, modeling, and regional characterization efforts.
Members of the MRCSP visit the Development Phase Project to view progress
A suite of cased-hole wireline logs has been run on each well at the Dover 33 Reef to characterize the current geologic conditions near the wells for comparison to historical data and to provide baseline data that can be compared to subsequent logging run results. Pulsed Neutron Capture (PNC), for example, is used to identify the types of reservoir fluids in the vicinity of the well and can be used to aid in monitoring the migration of the injected CO₂. The PNC tool measures the ability of an element to capture thermal neutrons and generates a log of this value, known as the capture cross section (or Sigma). A higher sigma value equates to a greater ability of a particular element to capture, or absorb, the neutrons. Formation brines, oil, natural gas (methane), and CO₂ all have distinctive sigma values which can be used for determining fluid saturations at various depths surrounding the borehole.

Left: Field personnel collecting samples of CO₂. 

Right: Monitoring Well for Dover 33.
Battelle is collaborating with The Ohio State University to examine the geochemical aspects of CO₂ storage in carbonate reservoir rock. The geochemical analysis to date include inorganic, organic, and isotope ratios.
Simplified diagram showing a wireline logging tool being deployed in a well. Pulsed neutron capture, cement evaluation and sonic logs were run at Dover 33.
Reservoir pressure monitoring and analysis is the fundamental monitoring technique for any CO₂ storage project and this is used extensively in MRCSP large-scale test. Bottom-hole pressure memory gauges and surface pressure, flow and temperature gauges are installed at all three wells to track the reservoir response to CO₂ injection. The injection rates and pressure response are used with reservoir models to estimate the formation properties such as permeability and mobility. The analysis to-date indicates that Dover 33 is behaving as a closed reservoir system with permeability estimates in 10s of millidarcies. The data from the injection tests will be used to validate the numerical models, which will then be used to determine potential storage capacity for other reefs in the Michigan basin.
Pressure record during injection and pressure fall-off testing. Pressure fall-off tests were conducted after 1 day, 9 day, 11 week, and 16 weeks of injection episodes to measure pressure recovery.
Modeling Progress

MRCSP is working to develop numerical reservoir models to accurately predict the behavior of injected CO₂ in different geologic settings. Dover 33 underwent primary production from 1975 to 1996. CO₂ flooding for secondary recovery was implemented from 1996 to 2007. Numerical simulations for capacity and injectivity calculations are being performed to characterize and history match the dynamic reservoir behavior during primary production and secondary recovery to date. MRCSP has completed the first two levels of static earth modeling for Dover 33. Dover 33 is one of hundreds of pinnacle reef structures in the Michigan Basin. Lessons learned here will be applicable to characterizing and modeling other reefs.
3-D Reef Model for estimated reservoir behavior based on Level-1 Static Earth Model
Regional Characterization

MRCSP's has assembled a team of geologists that represent each of the states in the MRCSP region. Building on Phase II, research is being performed to develop a more detailed picture of the Region’s geologic sequestration resources. Currently, the team is evaluating new data generated in Phase III describing the characterization of the prospective reservoirs and seals. This data includes new analyses on existing cores, logs, and other data housed by the geological surveys.

MRCSP is also pursuing a number of "piggyback" opportunities to build on the regional characterization data set. This currently includes three efforts in Ohio to collect advanced wireline logs to help better characterize caprocks such as the Ordovician shales and Trenton-Black River Group.
Location of recent piggyback operations in Ohio to characterize potential caprocks and reservoirs for CO₂ storage.
April 2013

Start of Injection: Approval was obtained in April 2013 for the large scale injection into one of the pinnacle reefs known as the Dover 33 Field. Initially, MRCSP is injecting into the formation at a rate of about 1,000 metric tons per day (currently the injection rate is based on the availability of CO₂ and pipelines and not the permeability of the formation).
Close-up of Injection Well 1-33
China Delegation Visit: Also in April, ten staff from the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and the China National Development and Reform Commission visited Core Energy and the MRCSP large scale injection site to learn about using CO₂ for enhanced oil recovery and potential storage.
The delegation from China began their tour at the Natural Gas Processing Facility, which is the source of the CO₂ used for the project. 
March 2013

Baseline Monitoring Completed: Battelle’s MRCSP team worked with Core Energy, LLC, the owner and operator of the oil fields in the Michigan basin, to conduct baseline geologic characterization and advanced monitoring and to prepare the wells for the injection phase. The table below shows a list of monitoring technologies that will be used at the Dover 33 site. These fields already are permitted for injection as part of the routine EOR operations. 

Anticipated Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting Activities for Dover 33.

 Preliminary 3D Model Showing Porosity of the Dover 33 field
Baseline Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP): VSP and microseismic monitoring were performed through a coordinated effort between SR2020, Core Energy, and Battelle. The baseline VSP acquisition was completed in March 2013, and a repeat VSP is planned at the end of injection to determine if this technology can be used to track the CO₂ movement underground. For the VSP, the initial planning and design was followed by the permitting process, which was completed successfully in about two months. The VSP design included surveys using buried small dynamite charges and large trucks called vibroseis trucks which transmit energy into the earth, along five radial lines emanating away from the injection well. 
Surveying the VSP shot point locations (left) and installing the geophones in the injection well (right); VSP acquisition by SR2020.
VSP shot point videos: The following three video clips show three of many VSP shot points used to generate signals that move through the subsurface and are recorded by the geophones. Ultimately, these signals are used to create an image of the buried pinnacle reef and surrounding formations (somewhat like an ultrasound). As you will hear the technician say in the background of the FIRST clip, the small charge used to generate the signal was 2.2 pounds. The SECOND clip shows that in some cases the small charge can barely been seen or heard at the surface. The THIRD shows another VSP shot point that can be seen and heard; the visual is accentuated by the presence of snow in the trees and on the ground. 

After VSP was completed, the wells were prepared for the microseismic monitoring period. This included placement of the microseismic array in the L-M 5-33 monitoring well and installation of injection tubing and packer in the L-M 1-33 injection well. Mechanical Integrity Testing was conducted to obtain EPA approval for injection. Injection for microseismic monitoring included 9,300 metric tons of CO₂ over a nine day period in late March 2013, followed by approximately 2 days of quiet monitoring.

The VSP data being processed will then be incorporated into the existing seismic interpretation and the static earth model. Repeat VSP surveys before and after injection will be used to assess the distribution of the injected CO₂ and the interaction of CO₂ with oil and other fluids in the formation, to provide information to better characterize the geology of the injection region, and to determine changes occurring in the reservoir as a result of injection of CO₂ into the reservoir. The objective of the microseismic monitoring is to gain an understanding of geochemical and geomechanical impact on the formation when it is repressurized back to its original pressure. 

February 2013

Battelle received approval to monitor CO₂ injection and production from all of Core Energy’s active EOR reefs, which are located nearby the Dover 33 Field. Temperature, pressure, CO₂ injection, production and other data from these active EOR reefs will be analyzed to help inform decisions regarding additional geological characterization and modeling efforts required to better understand the potential for CO₂ utilization and storage within these unique underground structures. 
Active CO₂-EOR reefs being monitored 
January 2013

Baseline Borehole Gravity Survey: Micro-g Lacoste, Inc., a company specializing in borehole gravity surveys, completed a borehole gravity survey in the center injection well at the Dover 33 Reef site in early January 2013. The gravilog tool provides deep density measurements of rock formations surrounding the well. For CO₂ monitoring, time-lapse gravity measurements would be expected to show a decrease in density as CO₂ accumulation proceeds because CO₂ is typically less dense that the fluids it replaces. A detail of the deepest zone, Zone 1 is plotted below. The plan is to relog the well after injecting CO₂ to measure changes in density caused by the displacement of the CO₂ front. 
Assembling the gravilog tool (left) and lowering gravilog into the injection well (right); survey conducted by Micro-g Lacoste.
August – December 2012

Well Workovers, Baseline Fluid Sampling, and Baseline Wireline Logging: The DOE completed review of the overall project plans and the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) information for Development Phase activities and authorized proceeding with the geological characterization of the Dover 33 late stage oil field in Michigan. Battelle began to mobilize its field team and service providers in collaboration with Core Energy for the initial geologic characterization and baseline monitoring. 

The first steps involved completing the site preparation in order to get ready for injection to begin. The major activities included completing the permitting process, ensuring the wells were properly configured for this injection, developing the initial reservoir models, and collecting baseline data. 

Workovers to reconfiguring the wells for testing were performed from October through December 2012, which will allow for the collection of characterization data, including wireline logs and fluid samples. This entailed cleaning the wellbores, running a series of tests to ensure that each well was in good condition, and then running a series of tests to collect baseline information on the fluids and rock conditions. 

The pictures above show fluid sampling (left) and wireline logging (right).
The Project progress update was presented at 11th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies in Kyoto, Japan. Click here for the technical poster presented at the conference. 
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