Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence, KS
U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown, WV

Prepared all necessary technical documents and project plans in support of an EPA Class VI carbon dioxide injection permit.  Project utilized advanced techniques to characterize the 5,000 feet deep cambrian carbonate reservoir.  Ion composition, molar ratios, biogeochemistry, and isotopic characterization, were used to estimate the competence of the caprock and hydraulic stratification within the injection zone. The biomass concentrations and microbial diversity information was used to validate geochemical findings.

X-Ray Diffraction and Spectral Gamma Ray Analyses (specifically Rhomma-Umma analysis) were utilized for mineralogical characterization of the injection and confining zones. This information was necessary to develop the reaction kinetics for conducting geochemical simulations to establish the sequestration capacity and changes in formation petrophysical properties such as permeability and porosity due to precipitation of minerals.  Helical computerized tomography scans were examined to inspect the texture of the rocks and to detect the presence of minute fractures.  The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and sonic logs were used collectively to estimate the matrix and vuggy porosities.

Conducted multiphase flow and transport simulations using STOMP software to predict the plume size and pressure front.  Carried out geomechanical (poro-elastic) simulations in order to predict land surface deformations in support of (InSAR) satellite based monitoring of pore pressures in the injection zone.  Developed analytical methodologies for predicting the likelihood of inducing earthquakes due to injection.

Worked with U.S. EPA to lower the financial assurance costs, and with re-insurers for obtaining financial coverage in a seismically active area. Established the project Testing and Monitoring Plan and Quality Assurance/Quality Control protocols.  Developed operating plan for safe and efficient injection in order to mitigate operational risks associated with earthquakes and caprock leakage.