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Fractures & fracture behavior seal lithologies

RECS 2012 Birmingham, AL Elizabeth Petrie PhD Candidate - USU Geology

Geosequestration of CO2
o Requirements
o Available pore space o Permeable reservoir o Voluminous structural or stratigraphic trap o Impermeable seal

o Risks
o Leakage to the atmosphere o Leakage to overlying reservoirs o Interference with mineral or water rights
from: IPCC 2005 & Bachu, 2007

From: IPCC 2005; Carbon dioxide capture and storage

o Fractures and fracture formation o Importance of fractures in the subsurface o Fractures in seal lithologies
o Carmel vs Organ Rock

Crystal Geyser abandoned oil exploration well drilled 1930s to 800 m

Rock Failure
Stress () = force/area

Rock strength is a function of: Composition Pressure Temperature

Mohr-Coulomb Failure
o Mohr circle describes stress and failure conditions for a rock o Mohr circle describes the normal and shear stress acting on planes of all orientations o Coulomb failure envelope is described by rock properties
Rock properties: = coefficient of friction C = cohesive strength T = tensile strength

Mohr-Coulomb Failure effect of pore fluids

o Pore fluid pressure reduce reduce normal stress o Change a subsurface system for stable to unstable leading to fracturing or faulting

Induced seismicity
Increased pore fluid Examples pressure can trigger motion Reservoirs Koyna Reservoir India on critically stressed faults Rocky Mountain Arsenal (1961-1966) Gary Swarm, AK (?) Increased pore fluid pressure can induce Ashtanbula, Ohio (?) fractures
Criteria for association with injection Proximity Stress state Seismicity before and during injection

Guy, AK swarm
03/01/2011 (GMT)

15:56:00 15:58:00 16:00:00 16:02:00 16:04:00 16:06:00 16:08:00 16:10:00 66.00 63.00 60.00 57.00 54.00 51.00 48.00 45.00 42.00 39.00 36.00 33.00 30.00 27.00 24.00 21.00 18.00 15.00 12.00 9.00 6.00 3.00 0.00 -3.00 -6.00 -9.00 -12.00 -15.00 -18.00 -21.00 -24.00 -27.00 -30.00 -33.00 -36.00 -39.00 -42.00 -45.00 -48.00 -51.00 -54.00 -57.00 -60.00 -63.00
P BHZ.15 Gravette, AR, USA s p S

Amplitude microns/sec

Mw = 3.3 Mw = 3.3 15:58 16:00

167 earthquakes plotted 1000s have occurred since 2010 Limited depth range

Coupled events

Limited areal extent Maximum magnitude of 4.7 on Feb 27 2011

Mohr-Coulomb Failure effect of fractures

o Fractures change the material properties of rock o fractured rocks are weaker than those without fractures o Change a subsurface system for stable to unstable

Fracture types




Seals and seal failure

o A seal is a permeability barrier to flow o Seal failure
o Capillary leakage o Molecular Diffusion o Tectonic breaching o Hydraulic leakage
From: 2009 CO2 storage capture project

From: 2002 Corcoran and Dore

Stress vs depth
Material sandstone limestone shale
(mean values from AASHTO, 1989)

Poissons Ratio ()

values from AASHTO, 1989)

Youngs Modulus (E), GPa (mean

0.2 0.23 0.09

14.7 39.3 9.79

Difference is stress history develop between shale and sandstone Differences dependent on mechanical properties (E and )

Fracture morphology

From Larsen et al., 2010 From Cooke et al., 2006

From: Sibson, 2003

Research Goals
o Evaluation of sub-seismic seal by-pass systems
o Controls on fracture density and sub-surface fluid flow o Analysis of fracture behavior in cap-rocks at lithologic interfaces

o Mechanical Stratigraphy effects of depositional, structural and diagenetic history have in defining mechanical boundaries o Field documentation of fluid flow in fractured cap-rock lithologies (at depth) o Fracture distribution and morphology in fine grained lithologies o Use of wire-line data to estimate elastic moduli o Correlate between outcrop and wire-line log data o Expand our scale of investigation from outcrop to field scale o The issue of scale from observations made in outcrop & subsurface data to integration in geomechanical models o Create an integrative project that uses geologic observation/analog to populate geomechanical models

Comparison of two reservoir seal pairs

Green River Carmel Formation

Organ Rock Shale

Mapping and fracture data

Cretaceous Tununk Member of Mancos Shale

o Regional seal o Calcareous mudstone and siltstones, fissile dark grey to black marine shale o Mineralized sub-vertical and bed parallel shear fractures and extension fractures o Alteration calcite mineralization and limonite halos o Alteration intensity appears to be associated with lithology/bedding changes

Jurassic Earthy Member of Entrada Formation

o Exposed fluid reservoir with alteration of overlying cap rock Deposition in near shore marine to tidal flat setting Adjacent to Ten Mile Graben Two fracture sets WNW fault parallel and NNW Mineralized fractures (veins) and open fractures Continuous joint pattern mineralized with quartz, calcite, siderite (?) gypsum fill, margins alteration halos

o o

Fracture Characteristics
1.5 cm

Earthy Member Entrada

Quartz Gypsum

field of view 4 mm

Organ Rock Formation dilation band

4x ppl field of view 4 mm

Jurassic Carmel Formation

o Seal to the underlying Navajo Sandstone o Mixed siliciclastic carbonate system o Deposition in near shore marine to sabkha setting

Outcrop analysis
Fracture swarms associated with units lacking shale inter-beds and normal faults & spaced fractures

Splitting of fractures across lithologic boundaries

Deflection or arrest of mineralized fractures at interface

Mechanical stratigraphy
o Bed thickness 0.25 3 m o Higher fracture density in thin beds o Compressive strength range 15-65 o Permeability range > 0.01 D to 0.1 D

Fracture Orientations
o Open fractures, veins & small offset normal faults in Carmel Fm. have dominant NNE orientation o Open joints in Navajo sandstone, have dominant NNW orientation fault deformation bands have NNE orientation

Carmel Formation

Navajo Sandstone

Fracture formation at depth

xpl 4x field of view 4 mm

13 cm

xpl 10x field of view 2.5 mm

Elastic moduli from wire line logs

Gamma Ray GR<50, Carmel 150>GR>5 0 GR<50, Navajo GR>150 V p/ Vs 1.9 1.8 1.6 1.5 Cross plot A B C

o Dipole sonic logs not available for all wells must derive shear velocity from compressional velocity o Empirical based on relationships established by previous workers and verified using dipole sonic logs from two wells

Subsurface to outcrop correlation

o Well-bore based estimates of dynamic Youngs Modulus show meter scale variability (15-34 Gpa) o Field-based fracture density and compressive strength also show meter scale variability o How important is this variability to seal failure and subsurface fluid flow?

Organ Rock Shale


White Rim Sandstone Aeolian marker

Cedar Mesa Sandstone

o Seal to the underlying Cedar Mesa Sandstone o Coarsening up-ward interbedded siltstones & mudstones o Deposited in near shore marine lowlands, braided streams & tidal flats

Cedar Mesa Discontinuities N: 342

Mean direction: 319

Interval: 10

Cedar Mesa Sst Organ Rock Shale Normal faults Cedar Mesa joints

Modified from: Willis et al, UGS; Glen Canyon NRA

Outcrop observations
Fractures density increases in coarser-grained & thickly bedded units

Outcrop observations
Aeolian marker

Termination of fractures and alteration halos at interface with high perm. aeolian bed

Aeolian marker

Fracture character & distribution

N: 72

Mean direction: 309

Interval: 10

o Fracture trend parallels fault and joint trend in reservoir o Alteration halo and mineralization suggests fluid flow along fractures o Fracture density increases with proximity to faults and in coarse-grained lithology

Fracture interactions
o Acute angle mean 31 o Shear fractures increase connectivity and permeability o Create a more continuous pathway for fluid flow than a single extensional fracture

Outcrop observations

Alteration of Cedar Mesa Sandstone in fault damage zone includes Mn & Fe oxide staining, calcite mineralization & calcite filled deformation bands

Outcrop observations
Deformation bands in the fault damage zone often considered barriers to flow via reduced permeability


Calcite mineralization indicates o dilation bands o reactivation of cataclastic bands & mineralization
UV light

o Variability in lithologies and bed thickness o Continuation, deflection and termination of fractures at lithologic interfaces o Lower fracture density in fine grained lithologies

Carmel Formation
o Highest fracture densities in thinly bedded units & adjacent to faults o Mineralized and altered fractures throughout o Permeability ranges 0.01 to 0.1D o Schmidt hammer rebound values range 20-70

Organ Rock Shale

o Higher fracture densities adjacent to fault o Alteration halos and mineralized fractures adjacent to faults o Permeability from 0.001 to 0.06D o Schmidt hammer rebound values range 10-40

o Fractures impact local and regional permeability and subsurface fluid flow o Fractures change rock properties (rock strength and induced fracture pathways) o Stratigraphic variability and resulting changes in mechanical properties influence the variability in fracture morphology and density o Penetration, termination or deflection at interfaces o Understanding variability in fracture morphology in different seal types, interface types, and structural settings is key to understanding hydraulic seal failure

Acknowledgements and Questions

Jim Evans, Tamara Jeppson and USU structural geology group Field assistants: R. Wood, C. Barton, R. Petrie DOE Grant # DE-FC26-0xNT4 FE0001786 GDL Foundation Fellowship SMT Kingdom Software University Grant Sirovision Software University Grant


Rate difference
Capillary leakage
qCO2 = 2.11 x 10-5 m2/yr k = 1.2 x10-21 m2
k = 0.0012 mD

Hydraulic leakage
qCO2 = 725 x 103 m2/yr k = 1.7 x10-13 m2
k = 0.17 Darcy
(Capuano, 1993)

From: Gale, 2008

From: Gale, 2008

Permian Organ Rock Shale

Seal to the underlying Cedar Mesa Sandstone Coarsening up-ward interbedded siltstones and mudstones Fracture pattern changes with proximity to faults and lithology Fracture trend parallels fault trend Alteration halo and mineralization suggests fluid flow along fractures

o o


Jurassic Carmel Formation

o Seal to the underlying Navajo Sandstone o Mixed siliciclastic carbonate system o Deposition in near shore marine to sabkha setting o Mineralized fractures (veins) and open fractures




Surface plot of fracture density Fracture density calculated as the area (decimal) of fractures per each 20cm2 grid cell

Change in lithology and observed increase fracture density

Mineralized fractures with alteration/bleaching halos

Organ Rock Formation Dirty Devil, near Hite UT

Fractures are on trend with joints and faults in underlying white rim and cedar mesa sandstones Fracture spacing appears spread in interbedded units and converges in coarser gained cliff forming facies

Scanline orientation data: - interbedded siltstone and mudstone 5 m scanline N=26 Mean Resultant direction = 137-317 Scanline orientation data: cliff forming silty sandstone 3 m scanline N=20 Mean Resultant direction = 159-339


Salt Wash Graben

Jurassic Entrada Formation Earthy Member bleached sandstone and extensive fractures which show mineralization and alteration halos

Shear Velocity Calculations

Covert digitized sonic log travel times to velocity Vertical resolution limited by frequency and distance between transmitter and receiver ~ 2 ft or 61 cm Utah D-7 Utah D-8 2.71 km

Modified from Davatzes, 2003 and Pevear, 1997