Active CO2 reservoir management for sustainable geothermal energy extraction and reduced leakage

Thomas R. Elliot, Thomas A. Buscheck, Michael Anthony Celia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Subsurface storage space is gaining recognition as a commodity for industrial and energy recovery operations. Geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration (GCS), wherein supercritical CO2 is injected into subsurface storage space, is under broad development in sedimentary reservoirs - particularly for hydrocarbon production, which uses supercritical CO2 as part of a carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) scheme. A novel CCUS operation is presented whereby we investigate the staged deployment of a coupled geothermal energy extraction (GEE)-GCS operation in geothermal sedimentary reservoirs that re-circulates extracted fl uids. We identify sedimentary resources of the continental USA that have signifi cant temperature at depths suitable for GCS. To predict the impact of a GEE-GCS operation, a reservoir-scale semi-analytical model is used to simulate brine and CO2 migration through existing leakage pathways. With the goal of integrating GEE and GCS, a well-site design exercise is undertaken, where we develop an idealized confi guration for CO2 and brine production/reinjection wells. Results show potential geothermal sedimentary reservoirs suitable for GEE deployment exist in the continental USA; however the characteristics of each site should be investigated through a fi rst stage GEE-operation to determine GCS capacity. Our active CO2 reservoir management simulations demonstrate a decrease in injection and reservoir overpressures, a reduced migration of CO2 within the reservoir during active injection/extraction, and a reduced risk of brine and CO2 migration. With the use of the developed concentric- ring well pattern, we demonstrate the longevity of thermal productivity from an ideal GEE site, while providing suffi cient CO2 storage volume and trapping to act as a sequestration operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-65
Number of pages16
JournalGreenhouse Gases: Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • CCUS
  • Carbon capture and utilization
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Geothermal
  • Subsurface hydrology


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