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Gas storage and unconventional hydrocarbons: Petrophysical, geomechanical and geochemical laboratory studies
Convener: Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand  | Co-Conveners: Suzanne Hangx , Pieter Bertier 
 / Thu, 16 Apr, 15:30–17:00

In this session two research topics have been merged:
“Long-term storage of CO2 in geological systems: Results from laboratory studies” and “Petrophysics of unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs”

The presenations are basically experimental, aiming at the characterization of the host rock/reservoir before and after treatment/stimulation.

Subsurface flow of CO2 through saline and hydrocarbon reservoirs exhibits distinct phase behaviour, chemical reactivity and petrophysical flow properties. Unconventional gas/oil reservoirs (tight sandstones, shales, coals) are best characterised by lithologies that often need stimulation (e.g. fracking, drilling of deviated wells) to reach economical production rates. Both systems have in common that the design and conduction of experiments is highly challenging as the researcher has to handle either a strongly reactive fluid-rock system or a contrasting pore system (fracture versus very low matrix flow rates).

The primary risk associated with both systems is the potential leakage of CO2/CH4 and saline/waste water to the lower subsurface, i.e. the contamination of dringking water reserves, which could be caused by the reactivation of pre-existing fault systems or the deterioration of the barrier rocks. An other unkown in designing a storage/production site is the development of the petrophysical properties of the reservoir rock due to long-term contact with reactive fluids or due to the fracking process. An improved understanding of the petrophysical and fluid transport properties is essential to optimise strategies to ensure a safe and environmentally friendly CO2 storage and hydrocarbon production.

In this session, we seek contributions from investigations that are either conducted as a pure experimental or as a combined experimental/modelling study. Topics of interest include the following:
• (Multiphase) flow properties of gas/brine/hydrocarbon systems in porous and fractured media
• Fluid transport processes in tight lithologies (coupling between processes, i.e. viscous flow vs. diffusion; pure capillary controled flow vs. dilatancy induced flow)
• Interfacial properties of CO2/brine/hydrocarbon/rock systems
• Phase properties of CO2/brine/hydrocarbon systems
• Geochemical processes and their impact on flow, phase behaviour, and storage security.
• Impact of CO2/fluid/rock interactions on rock mechanical properties
• Bridging scales from the pore to the Darcy to the basin scale
• The impact of heterogeneity on flow and transport
• Experimental parameterization and validation of models of flow and reactive transport
• The use of analogue fluids and temperature/pressure conditions to study geologic CO2 storage.
• Studies from natural analogues for the storage of CO2 to investigate the long-term fate of CO2 in the subsurface.
• Novel experimental techniques for the observation of rock properties, flow, geochemical reaction, and transport for geologic CO2 storage.