Comparison of brine production scenarios for geologic carbon sequestration operations

K. W. Bandilla, B. Court, T. R. Elliot, Michael Anthony Celia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Large volumes of CO2 will have to be stored in the subsurface for carbon capture and geological sequestration to have a significant impact on the reduction of carbon emissions. Injection of large volumes of CO2 into deep saline formations can lead to significant pressure increases within that formation. The increased pressure can be a limiting factor for injection rates; it can also drive vertical brine migration through leakage pathways (e.g., abandoned wells) that could contaminate sources of drinking water. Production of brine from the injection formation can reduce the pressure increase while also limiting the spatial extent of the pressure increase. The impact of brine extraction is investigated using a hypothetical injection domain conditioned by parameters from the Illinois Basin. The domain contains one injection well and encompasses several aquifers connected through diffusive brine leakage. A vertically-integrated approach is used to model the injection formation and overlying aquifers. A set of production scenarios illustrates the impact of brine production on injection rates and vertical brine movement. The scenarios include production with surface disposal and production with reinjection into overlying formations (with and without desalinization). The results show that brine production can reduce the pressure buildup in the injection formation, leading to an increase in injectivity and a concomitant reduction in fresh water contamination risk by reducing the area of potential impact. While reinjection of brine into an overlying aquifer solves the disposal problem, it also reduces the effectiveness of brine production by increasing the pressure. Injection of a smaller amount of more concentrated brine resulting from desalinization reduces the impact of reinjection and acts as an additional source of fresh water, but increases the cost of the injection operation. Based on the results from these numerical experiments pressure management through brine production should be considered for industrial-scale CO2 injection operations, as it increases injectivity and reduces the size of the area of potential impact. However, the brine disposal problem needs to be solved for brine production to be a useful endeavor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - Carbon Management Technology Conference 2012
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781618396112
StatePublished - 2012
EventCarbon Management Technology Conference 2012 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2012Feb 9 2012

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - Carbon Management Technology Conference 2012


OtherCarbon Management Technology Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Media Technology
  • General Environmental Science


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