EGU24-8100, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

CO2 storage in saline aquifers: multi-scale processes visualized using the Sleipner case

Tae Kwon Yun1, Mateja Macut1, Katja Schulze2, Philip Ringrose1, and Carl Fredrik Berg1
Tae Kwon Yun et al.
  • 1Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway ( / / /
  • 2Craytive Technologies BV, Vlaardingen, Netherlands (

Injection of dense-phase CO2 in a saline sandstone aquifer involves several processes which ideally work together to ensure effective long-term storage. The main processes are flow of free-phase CO2 (controlled by viscous and gravity forces), residual trapping at the pore scale, structural trapping at the scale of geological heterogeneities and dissolution in the aqueous phase.  Assessment of possible lateral and vertical migration along high-permeability layers or faults and fractures will also require stress-sensitive flow models which consider the phase behaviour of CO2, and the associated coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical processes.
Many insights into these complex processes can be obtained by analysis of the time-lapse seismic data at Sleipner CO2 storage project in Norway, in conjunction with findings derived from the quantitative and qualitative uncertainty analysis of the medium-scale flow experiments at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory (Switzerland), involving periodic injections over long-term (CO2LPIE). The insights at Sleipner include the effects of internal shale layers and shale breaks in controlling the actual multi-layer CO2 distributions, the likely contribution of different of trapping mechanisms and the effectiveness of the overlying caprock. Another set of insights gained from these data are estimates of the effective use of the pore space at different length scales. The seismic imaging datasets can be used to show that at the scale of whole storage unit the overall storage efficiency is in the range of 2-5%, with the result depending very much on how the storage volume is defined. When the effects of areal and vertical sweep efficiency are considered, the fraction of the pore space occupied by CO2 rises to around 40-50%.
We illustrate these multi-scale processes using seismic data, analytical analysis, example flow models and 3D/4D visualization. Use of Invasion Percolation (IP) flow models is contrasted with multiphase (finite difference) flow simulators. With this approach CO2 migration problems will be addressed, as well as various open-source research codes will be used to develop enhancements for handling fluid mixing between hydrocarbon and CO2 phases in brine-saturated media. Moreover, coupled thermal modelling is found to be important at this site due to significant temperature changes as the CO2 plume expands and rises within the formation. Next to classic PC screen display, we empower the visualization by using the extended reality (XR) platform for geoscience, BaselineZ. This allows for true 3D (holographic) display in virtual reality (VR) as well as remote and interactive collaboration around the Sleipner dataset and thus leads to new insights. 

How to cite: Yun, T. K., Macut, M., Schulze, K., Ringrose, P., and Berg, C. F.: CO2 storage in saline aquifers: multi-scale processes visualized using the Sleipner case, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8100,, 2024.