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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Residual Trapping – what happens after CO2 injection?

 A total of 10 talks discussing trapping mechanisms for CO2 were presented at GHGT-13 on Tuesday. This included new research from Stanford University (Charlotte Garing et al.) which demonstrated, through micro-CT imaging experiments, the residual trapping effects that occur at pore-scale within the reservoir (and the impact of capillary pressure). Imaging of the ganglia distribution of CO2 within a core sample after imbibition showed that over time, the individual ganglia reconnected to form a larger cluster. It is therefore hypothesised that residual trapping may be re-mobilised should these ganglia coalesce enough to buoyancy forces to dominate, causing further migration of the CO2.

Also within the session, the success of using sandbox experiments to demonstrate larger scale processes was presented by the University of Texas (Luca Trevisan) highlighting the benefits of conducting larger scale experiments. New developments in the use of analogue fluids to characterise density driven flow were shown by Imperial College (Rebecca Liyange) demonstrating the success of using CT scanning to analyse reservoir flow characteristics.

Modelling research included that from Texas University (Prasanna Krishnamurthy) which looked at the effects of fluvial derived heterogeneities. This research showed that the greatest impact on saturation was the capillary pressure contrast caused by the differences between the lamina and matrix, which caused flow barriers (due to the lamina having a finer grain size).

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