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Geological characterization and assessment of confining layer potential of the Upper Ordovician Utica Shale, Michigan Basin, USA

Frank R. Sattler
Frank R. Sattler
Earth Science Agency, 685 Briggs Street, Erie, Colorado 80516, USA
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David A. Barnes
David A. Barnes
Department of Geosciences and Michigan Geological Survey, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008, USA
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09 June 201720 February 2018


The objective of this study was to investigate the geological controls on stratigraphic and lithologic variability in the Ordovician Utica Shale and related Colling­wood Member in the Michigan Basin in order to assess CO2 sequestration cap rock (seal) potential, including petrophysical properties and mechanical fracture responses. Twelve conventional cores and hundreds of modern well logs from the Michigan Basin were analyzed to correlate and calibrate wireline log signatures with whole-rock mineral composition (from X-ray diffraction analysis) and mechanical properties (from core analysis) to identify brittle, fracture-prone zones, and to validate the Utica Shale as a regional geologic seal. Analysis using scanning electron microscopy with Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by Scanning Electron Microscope (QEMSCAN®) software was employed to image pores and for quantitative analysis of mineralogy, texture, and porosity. Mercury injection capillary pressure and triaxial strength testing was conducted to assess petrophysical properties and mechanical responses. The results suggest the Utica Shale could reliably contain upwards of 1500 m of buoyant, supercritical CO2 stored in underlying Cambrian and Ordovician reservoirs.

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GSA Special Papers

Paleozoic Stratigraphy and Resources of the Michigan Basin

Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:




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