Geomechanical modelling of a CO2 storage site in Australia

PROTECT Project: PRediction Of deformation To Ensure Carbon Traps.

The PROTECT project is a German-Australian research effort to develop a seismo-mechanic workflow across different scales which will lead to an improved prediction of tectonic stresses and fracture networks. The case study selected to test the practical value of the different modeling techniques is the CO2CRC (Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies) Otway Project, a demonstration study for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in southeastern Australia. The workflow is generally applicable to all kind of stress-sensitive and fractured reservoirs.

Model of CO2CRC Otway project. (Fig. CO2CRC)
Model of CO2CRC Otway project. (Fig. CO2CRC)

Among the five partners the contribution of Technische Universität Darmstadt is to provide a 3D geomechancial model to analyze past, recent and future stress fields in the area of the Otway project. The subsurface geometry with various faults and lithostratigraphic horizons is interpreted from 3D seismic and a detailed structural model is built in the finite element (FE) modeling software used for the numerical simulation. Subsequently, specific mechanical and hydraulic parameters are assigned to the layers and faults of the geomechanical model. In addition to various parameter studies and testing of different modeling approaches the results of the forward FE approach will be also compared to retro-deformation studies and fracture patterns derived from seismic provided by the other research group members. The ultimate goal is a comprehensive understanding of stresses and fracture patterns to ensure long-term safety during and after CO2 storage.

This work is sponsored in part by the Australian Commonwealth Government through the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). PROTECT is funded by the German ministry for education and research (BMBF) within the frame of the geotechnology program.

PROTECT RESEARCH Group partners:

Leibniz Institut für Angewandte Geophysik (LIAG), Hannover – C. Krawczyk, David Tanner, J. Ziesch, T. Beilecke

Curtin University, Perth, Australia – B. Gurevich, M. Urosevic, R. Pevzner

Technische Universität Darmstadt– A. Henk, C. Aruffo, B. Weber

TEEC Geophysics, Isernhagen – H. Trappe, A. Lippmann

Helmholtz Umweltforschungszentrum (UFZ), Leipzig – O. Kolditz, U.-J. Görke, A. Singh

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