ABSTRACT

Electromagnetic (EM) methods were used to characterize (1) the general near-surface geology and stratigraphy and (2) the initial electrical conductivity distribution at a CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) site to assess and monitor possible near-surface environmental impacts of a carbon sequestration experiment. The field study was conducted at Cranfield Field, an EOR site where CO2 is being injected into a depleted oil and gas reservoir in the Cretaceous lower Tuscaloosa Formation in western Mississippi. The study focused on Tertiary and younger strata between the ground surface and maximum depths of approximately 200 m (656 ft) that host groundwater more than 3000 m (9843 ft) above the oil and gas reservoir and injection zone. It included an airborne geophysical survey collecting frequency-domain EM data, time-domain surface EM measurements, borehole logging with EM induction, natural gamma spectra, and water-level measurements. Different approaches of temperature drift corrections for the borehole EM data were compared; good results of consistent and accurate conductivity values were produced by combining both directions of a two-way (uphole and downhole) measurement. The airborne EM provided data over a large area with sufficient detail to give an overview for the subsequent surface and borehole surveys, the surface time-domain data gave insight into greater depths, and the borehole induction data provided the necessary details. These three EM methods complement each other in areal coverage, lateral and vertical resolution, and exploration depth. Together, they can provide a comprehensive near-surface characterization of the study area that is necessary to establish initial-state conditions that support future monitoring of potential CO2 migration to the near-surface environment.

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