Integrative Geophysical and Environmental Monitoring of a CO2 Sequestration and Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery Test in Central Appalachia

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Virginia Tech


A storage and enhanced coalbed methane (CO2-ECBM) test will store up to 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide in a stacked coal reservoir in southwest Virginia. The test involves two phases of CO2 injection operations. Phase I was conducted from July 2, 2015 to April 15, 2016, and injected a total of 10, 601 tons of CO2. After a reservoir soaking period of seven months, Phase II is scheduled to begin Fall 2016. The design of the monitoring program for the test considered several site-specific factors, including a unique reservoir geometry, challenging surface terrain, simultaneous CBM production activities which complicate the ability to attribute signals to sources. A multi-scale approach to the monitoring design incorporated technologies deployed over different, overlapping spatial and temporal scales selected for the monitoring program include dedicated observation wells, CO2 injection operations monitoring, reservoir pressure and temperature monitoring, gas and formation water composition from offset wells tracer studies, borehole liquid level measurement, microseismic monitoring, surface deformation measurement, and various well logs and tests. Integrated interpretations of monitoring results from Phase I of the test have characterized enhanced permeability, geomechanical variation with depth, and dynamic reservoir injectivity. Results have also led to the development of recommended injection strategy for CO2-ECBM operations. The work presented here describes the development of the monitoring program, including design considerations and rationales for selected technologies, and presents monitoring results and interpretations from Phase I of the test.



carbon sequestration, coalbed methane, enhanced gas recovery, microseismic monitoring, surface deformation, geostatistical analysis