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 late-stage reef is serving as the main test reef for application of monitoring, verification and accounting (MVA) technologies. The closed carbonate reservoir provides an ideal system for testing the ability of technologies - such as pulsed neutron capture logging, borehole gravity surveys, vertical seismic profiling, and satellite monitoring - to record the behaviour and fate of injected CO₂ in the subsurface. The late-stage reef contains one injection well and two monitoring wells (the latter being converted producer wells). Injection in the late-reef ceased in July 2016; post-injection monitoring was completed in November 2016. In addition, a new post-injection characterization well was drilled. Analyses of the post-injection data and updates to the static and dynamic models is underway.
Monitoring of CO₂ injection and oil production is also underway in active and new EOR reefs at the test site, including selective pressure and wireline logging and fluid flow mass balances. Monitoring activities included metering of the CO₂ injection volume, recycle of CO₂ gas produced with oil, and new compressed CO₂ from the natural gas processing plant. When MRCSP monitoring began in February 2013, there were six active reefs. Between March 2015 and January 2017, three new reefs were brought on line and are being flooded with CO₂. One new reef was selected for detailed characterization and additional monitoring, including fiber-optic based temperature and acoustic systems, multi-level pressure, and periodic logging in the injector and monitoring well.
This page provides a brief synopsis of project activities and highlights over the project lifespan.
The 13th Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-13)
The proceedings from GHGT-13 are now available online
These are open source and do not require a subscription. The MRCSP presented several topics ranging from a program overview update to technology applications and best practices for CCUS. Presentations for MRCSP and related projects include:
Core Energy has brought another EOR reef into the production phase after two years of carbon dioxide flooding. 234,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide were injected in this reef. MRCSP has conducted signification characterization and monitoring in this field, including pressure and temperature monitoring in existing wells and collecting characterization data from the new production well via side-wall coring, selected reservoir testing, and pressure monitoring.
Battelle’s statistics group developed an image analysis tool to quantify and visualize void spaces in whole core using CT scans. The tool captures and quantifies void spaces in three dimensions to better understand the distribution and potential connectivity.
Example output from CT scan image analysis tool showing isolated void spaces and distribution from a whole core collected in the D33 reef. The captured void spaces include fractures (gray), vugs (colored), and dissolved fossils (note the horn coral at -700 to -740 in pink and yellow).
IEAGHG Monitoring Network Workshop Held in Traverse City
Battelle, MRCSP, and Core Energy hosted nearly 70 international scientists and practitioners of CO₂ storage and utilization for the 11th IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting in the Traverse City, Michigan the week of June 12th, 2017. The workshop included a site visit to Core Energy’s CO₂ compression, transport, and enhanced oil recovery facility in Gaylord Michigan area, giving the participants a chance to observe a full cycle of CO₂-EOR in a distributed network of oilfields. Attendees spent three days presenting the latest results and findings from their field programs on a variety of subsurface and surface monitoring options. Each session was followed by substantive discussions on the technology status, gaps, and applicability to large-scale deployment. Overall themes of the presentations highlighted cost and value-effectiveness of monitoring, as well as the importance of leveraging oil and gas industry experience for CO₂ storage.
A group shot from the IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting field trip to Core Energy’s facilities in Gaylord, MI.
Baseline Geologic Assessment Performed in the New EOR Reef
Results from sidewall cores and whole core samples were collected from the two wells in the new EOR reef (Chester 16) and are being used to enhance understanding of the reef geology. The sidewall cores recovered are 1” diameter by 1.5” length using a wireline tool. Whole cores were collected in 30, 60, or 90 ft. lengths using conventional coring techniques. Core samples were shipped to a laboratory for core photography, helical computed tomography (CT) scans, rock mechanics, and routine core analysis. Helical CT scans provided three dimensional images of density variations for each core volume; these results help to tie the core analysis to the wireline log results for geologic modeling. Sidewall cores and additional plug samples will be used to perform mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) test to characterize and define seal capacity and pore-throat distribution for the seal and reservoir formations. This data will be correlated to log data and used to constrain key formation and fluid properties of the potential reservoirs and caprocks in the Northern Niagaran Reef Trend.
The new EOR reef appears to have an ideal geologic framework for CO₂-EOR operations with porous reservoirs and tight confining units. However, the actual performance of the injection, which is also affected by permeability, will be further validated based on the operational data.
Whole core shows pervasive porosity (Vugs) in the Brown Niagaran formation.
CT scan (left) shows density variations caused by salt, fractures, vugs, etc. in the core samples (right).
Michigan is Tech Savvy
As part of MRCSP’s local outreach in our large-scale project area, Battelle conducted a geologic storage workshop as part of the Tech Savvy conference in Gaylord, MI on April 29, 2017. The day-long conference for 6th to 9th grade girls encourages careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The hands-on-activity titled “Life’s a Beach in the Ancient Reefs!” was designed to teach attendees about 420-million-year-old ancient coral reefs located in Northern Michigan. The students embarked on an adventure through time and learned how the Northern Niagaran Reefs were formed, where they are located now, and what life existed. Groups learned about “caprocks” and “reservoir” rocks and discovered how the reefs are useful to today’s energy and environment.
Autumn Haagsma and Amber Conner (Battelle, MRCSP Team) teaching a class of girls from Michigan about Michigan’s geology and how carbon storage in the region works.
Real time temperature and pressure monitoring underway in the new EOR reef
In collaboration with Sage Rider Inc., Battelle is acquiring real-time digital temperature sensor (DTS) and pressure data from the injector and monitoring wells in the new EOR reef. Typically, the DTS scans temperature readings at 1-minute intervals; however, the DTS records an average of all readings over an 1-hour interval. The temperature data stream is periodically downloaded via a command utility provided by Sage Rider Inc. The daily raw-data in Excel files is further processed and compiled into a larger database within Excel and an SQL Server and utilized for data analysis.
A typical data analysis task of the DTS data involves monitoring the impact on reservoir temperatures as the cooler CO₂ is injected into the warmer reservoir fluids. A profile of depths vs. temperature plot is generated at every time slice when the DTS data is available. Battelle is analyzing the current DTS data from the two wells. A snapshot of the depth vs. temperature in the 6-16 injector well is shown in the figure below. The green dotted lines represent mid-points of the perforation zones in the reservoir. The speed-dial graph shows the corresponding flow rates of CO₂ at the time slice displayed. A cooling in the injector well at the perforated zones where the CO₂ is being injected can be observed in the figure.
Plot showing digital temperature data from the Injector Well at the new EOR reef.
Baseline DAS-VSP Survey Completed
A baseline vertical seismic profile (VSP) survey using SageRider fiber optic distributed acoustic sensor (DAS) arrays was performed using the injection and monitoring wells in the Chester 16 reef. The DAS acts as the receiver for VSP data collected using sources at the surface during the VSP survey. The DAS-VSP data will be repeated after injecting a large volume of CO₂ to analyze the difference in the surveys and to map the CO₂.
The field acquisition took place from February 17-21, 2017. Sources used for the survey were vibroseis trucks and dynamite sources. The work was executed by Silixa and Emerson Geopyhsical along with team members from Battelle and Core Energy. The DAS-VSP acquisition, which included 45 vibroseis locations and 137 dynamite shot holes, was performed efficiently, saving two to three days on the schedule and completed the vibroseis truck work prior to “frost laws” which limit permitted/oversized truck loads traveling on county roads in Otsego County and much of Michigan.
Processing of the DAS-VSP data is underway. Currently, the main emphasis is on conducting a rigorous quality control check of the field data. This process will generate a proofed set of seismic images stacked at a 2-meter receiver spacing (original receiver spacing of 0.25 m) ready for geophysical processing.
3D Perspective of DAS VSP Data Showing Area of Coverage.
Monitoring Well Installed in the new EOR reef
The new EOR reef monitoring well was spudded in on December 15, 2016, and the well was completed by setting the casing and cement on February 17, 2017. The total drilled depth is 6,455 ft which encompasses the upper Gray Niagaran formation. The well was perforated between 6,415 ft to 5,423 ft. After the completion of drilling and completing the collection of characterization data, casing was installed in the monitoring well with fiber optic lines and pressure gauges external to the casing. Once set in place, operations were planned to cement the casing and monitoring equipment in the well. The well was planned to be cemented in a conventional manner, pumping cement down the casing and displacing the cement on the outside of the casing to bond the casing and the formation, using cement to secure the monitoring equipment in place in the well. However, the cement job was not successful and had to be re-performed. A cement retainer (a mechanical backflow preventer) was set in the well and a repeat cement job was pumped down the casing (through tubing), out of the casing perforations, and behind the casing to accomplish the cementing requirements. The monitoring equipment showed the cement thermal curing through a temperature increase over the intended interval and a cement bond log was run on February 25, 2017 to verify the cement placement success.
Injection Well Installed in the New EOR Reef
Core Energy spudded the injection well on November 7, 2016 and completed running the injection string casing and cementing on December 11, 2016. This work includes logging, sidewall coring, installation of fiber optic cable, and cementing. The fiber optic system was connected and tested during the cement job. Following the well completion, Schlumberger’s Isolation Scanner and magnetic flux cased hole wireline tools were run for advanced cement bond logging and to help map the cable location as installed behind casing. The combination of the isolation scanner and the magnetic flux tool positively located the SageRider cable which enabled oriented perforating to be successfully performed.
Drilling the Injector Well at a new EOR reef.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 http://www.japanccs.com/en/business/demonstration/.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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