Effects of well spacing on geological storage site distribution costs and surface footprint.
Geological storage studies thus far have not evaluated the scale and cost of the network of distribution pipelines that will be needed to move CO(2) from a central receiving point at a storage site to injection wells distributed about the site. Using possible injection rates for deep-saline sandstone aquifers, we estimate that the footprint of a sequestration site could range from <100 km(2) to >100,000 km(2), and that distribution costs could be <$0.10/tonne to >$10/tonne. Our findings are based on two models for determining well spacing: one which minimizes spacing in order to maximize use of the volumetric capacity of the reservoir, and a second that determines spacing to minimize subsurface pressure interference between injection wells. The interference model, which we believe more accurately reflects reservoir dynamics, produces wider well spacings and a counterintuitive relationship whereby total injection site footprint and thus distribution cost declines with decreasing permeability for a given reservoir thickness. This implies that volumetric capacity estimates should be reexamined to include well spacing constraints, since wells will need to be spaced further apart than void space calculations might suggest. We conclude that site-selection criteria should include thick, low-permeability reservoirs to minimize distribution costs and site footprint.
Eccles, J; Pratson, LF; Chandel, MK
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