CO2 geo-sequestration can significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Out of all geological CO2 storage sites, mature oil fields are often considered primary targets for CO2 sequestration as one of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) approaches where the operation cost can be offset by enhancing oil recovery and utilising the existing facilities. However, a geological formation with large volumetric capacity (pore volume) is not necessarily an appropriate candidate for CO2 storage and CO2 injectivity plays equally an important role for site selection to store CO2. Therefore, evaluation of CO2 dynamic storage capacity (injectivity) and ultimate CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are key elements for a successful CO2 storage – EOR project.

CO2 EOR was considered as a suitable tertiary oil recovery approach after very short and inefficient primary and secondary oil recoveries in Yanchang oil field, the second largest tight oil field in China, located at Ordos Basin in north western China. This paper describes the acquisition of essential dynamic data from a reservoir in Yanchang oil field to evaluate its CO2 injectivity/dynamic storage capacity. For that, numerical reservoir simulation was utilised to model and history match the target reservoir. The history matched model was then used to numerically perform several testing scenarios resulting in the selection and design of the most appropriate test.

A unique two-stage well testing approach was proposed to inject water and CO2 into one well and observe the pressure at two monitoring wells for a total testing period of about one year. It accurately estimates formation effective permeability in both the water flooded zone (test stage 1) and the CO2 flooded zone (test stage 2) at the injecting well. Also, it qualitatively estimates the water and CO2 fronts in the reservoir as well as CO2 injectivity using data at the injecting well. The radius of investigation (ROI) significantly increases by adding two monitoring wells to the existing injecting well. Using two monitoring wells also identifies heterogeneities and lateral anisotropy in the reservoir. The recently acquired field data, as part of this well testing program, indicate that the reservoir characteristics at the monitoring wells are significantly different from each other, suggesting the existence of considerable heterogeneity/anisotropy in the reservoir.

The results generated by this well test are included in the reservoir model to reduce uncertainties for the future CO2-EOR field development plan. Finally, more informative decisions can be made on whether or not a field is suitable for a CO2-EOR project to unlock further oil resources from tight formations.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.