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Latest time-lapse seismic data from Sleipner yield new insights into CO2 plume development

Proceedings of the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies 9. Energy Procedia 1. Elsevier, 2103 – 2110
R.A. Chadwick, D. Noya, R. Artsb, O. Eiken - GHGT9


Since its inception in 1996, the CO2 injection operation at Sleipner has been monitored by 3D time-lapse seismic surveys. Striking images of the CO2 plume have been obtained, showing a multi-tier feature of high reflectivity, interpreted as arising from a number of thin layers of CO2 trapped beneath thin, intra-reservoir mudstones. The topmost layer of the CO2 plume can be characterized most accurately, and its rate of growth quantified. From this the CO2 flux arriving at the reservoir top can be estimated. This is mostly controlled by pathway flow through the intra-reservoir mudstones. Flow has increased steadily with time suggesting that pathway transmissivities are increasing with time, and/or the pathways are becoming more numerous. Detailed 3D history-matching of the topmost layer cannot easily reproduce the observed rate of lateral spreading. Very high reservoir permeabilities seem likely, possibly with a degree of anisotropy. Other modelling variables under investigation include topseal topography, the number of feeder pathways and CO2 properties. Detailed studies such as this will provide important constraints on longer-term predictive models of plume evolution.