Hydrate Plugging and Flow Remediation during CO2 Injection in Sediments
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEnergies. 2020, 13 (17), 4511. 10.3390/en13174511
Successful geological sequestration of carbon depends strongly on reservoir seal integrity and storage capacity, including CO2 injection efficiency. Formation of solid hydrates in the near-wellbore area during CO2 injection can cause permeability impairment and, eventually, injectivity loss. In this study, flow remediation in hydrate-plugged sandstone was assessed as function of hydrate morphology and saturation. CO2 and CH4 hydrates formed consistently at elevated pressures and low temperatures, reflecting gas-invaded zones containing residual brine near the injection well. Flow remediation by methanol injection benefited from miscibility with water; the methanol solution contacted and dissociated CO2 hydrates via liquid water channels. Injection of N2 gas did not result in flow remediation of non-porous CO2 and CH4 hydrates, likely due to insufficient gas permeability. In contrast, N2 as a thermodynamic inhibitor dissociated porous CH4 hydrates at lower hydrate saturations (<0.48 frac.). Core-scale thermal stimulation proved to be the most efficient remediation method for near-zero permeability conditions. However, once thermal stimulation ended and pure CO2 injection recommenced at hydrate-forming conditions, secondary hydrate formation occurred aggressively due to the memory effect. Field-specific remediation methods must be included in the well design to avoid key operational challenges during carbon injection and storage.