Sr-isotopic ratios trace mixing and dispersion in CO2 push-pull injection experiments at the CO2CRC Otway Research Facility, Australia

Bickle, Mike J. and Stevenson, Emily I. and Haese, Ralf R. (2020) Sr-isotopic ratios trace mixing and dispersion in CO2 push-pull injection experiments at the CO2CRC Otway Research Facility, Australia. Chemical Geology, 538. p. 119489. ISSN 0009-2541 DOI

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Analysis of 87Sr/86Sr ratios and modelling of formation water, injection water and produced water compositions from the CO2CRC Otway Research Facility in Victoria, Australia are used to test tracer behaviour and response in push-pull experiments. Such experiments are an essential pre-requisite to understanding the controls imposed by reservoir heterogeneities on CO2 dissolution rates which may be an important stabilising mechanism for geological carbon storage. The experiments (Otway stage 2B extension in 2014) comprised two sequential tests in which ~100 t of CO2-saturated water was injected with combinations of Sr and Br or Li and Fluorescein tracers, each injection being followed by two staged extractions of ~10 t and a final extraction of ~50 t all spaced at ~10 day intervals. Analysis of the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the produced fluids from the first injection, spiked with SrCl2 and NaBr, is consistent with Sr behaving conservatively. This contrasts with previous interpretations in which Br was argued to have behaved conservatively while Sr, which dilutes ~three times as fast as Br, was thought to be lost to a mineral phase. Such Sr-loss cannot explain the evolution of 87Sr/86Sr ratios. The analysis of 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the waters produced after the second injection episode, spiked with LiCl and Fluorescein tracers, allows calculation of the fractions of the formation waters and the injection waters from both tests 1 and 2. The Sr, Li and SO4 tracers (the later formed by oxidation of formation sulphide) all indicate similar rates of dilution that is consistent with conservative behaviour. The results of the two injection episodes with spaced extractions are compared with two subsequent push-pull injections in which the produced waters, spiked with methanol, were extracted continuously. These continuous extraction experiments exhibited significantly less dilution over the same range of produced to injected water volumes (up to only ~0.6) than the earlier experiments with spaced extractions. This implies that some process related to the pauses in extraction enhances mixing of injected and formation waters. Achieving the objective of using push-pull experiments to assess reservoir heterogeneities and CO2 dissolution rates will require better assessment of the various tracers to establish which behave conservatively followed a proper understanding of the causes of the variations in mixing as fluids are extracted from the formations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA76
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Chemical Geology
Volume: 538
Page Range: p. 119489
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2020 13:35
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 01:01

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