Wellbore integrity to ensure efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly operations is a significant and fundamental challenge for CO2 sequestration wells. The carbonation reaction between Portland cement and CO2 can change the microstructure of the cement skeleton, change the cement mechanical properties, damage the annular seal, and finally induce CO2 leakage. This study utilizes an integrated approach including a CO2-cement degradation test, mechanical tests for strength and elastic properties, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) for composition analysis, and finite element analysis for failure evaluation. The mechanical test results show that the carbonation reaction can improve the sealing effect of the cement during the early stage of degradation (~2 weeks). Mechanical and geochemistry test results show that the carbonation reaction would fundamentally change the composition and microstructure of the cement matrix after long-term CO2 degradation, thereby inducing significant decreases in strength, and enhanced porosity, and permeability. The numerical results indicate that during long-term CO2 injection, the sealing effect of the cement would decrease gradually, and the cement sheath is more likely to fail under external loads arising from wellbore pressure and temperature variations. The mechanical and geochemical test results also show that the temporal variations of cement strength and Ca2+ composition have a strong similarity, which should be further analyzed for possible correlation. In summary, this study provides an integrated approach to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the cement degradation and predict failure of CO2 sequestration wells. The allowable wellbore pressure and temperature ranges can be provided for different degrees of cement sheath degradation to assist the field operations and cement slurry design of CO2 sequestration wells.


The unwanted leakage from the CO2-injection wells impedes the stable and economic industrialization of the CO2 geological sequestration. Therefore, maintaining wellbore integrity becomes a priority task to ensure a successful CO2 sequestration project (Zhang et al. 2019, Xu et al. 2022). For CO2-injection wells, the carbonation reaction between Portland cement and CO2 is a complicated process controlled by CO2 concentration, presence of water, age of the cement, pressure, temperature, and the level of intactness of the cement matrix (Zhang et al. 2021, 2022a). Oilwell cement and CO2 reaction have been extensively investigated by various laboratory studies, including the influence of pressure and temperature (Barlet-Gouedard et al. 2006; Omosebi et al. 2017), reaction period (Barlet-Gouedard et al. 2006), and presence of various additives (Barlet-Gouedard et al. 2006). The major chemical reactions between CO2 and different compositions in the cement are presented in Figure 1 and Equation 1 to 5 (Kashef-Haghighi et al. 2015).

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