Abstract

Understanding of fault seal is crucial for assessing the storage capacity and containment risks of CO2 storage sites, as it can significantly affect the projects on across-fault and along-fault migration/leakage risking, as well as reservoir pressure predictions. We present a study from the Smeaheia area in the northern Horda Platform offshore Norway, focusing on two fault-bounded structural closures, namely Alpha and Beta structures. We aim to use this study to improve the geological understanding of the northern Horda Platform for CO2 storage scale-up potentials and illustrate the importance of fault seal analysis in containment risk assessment and storage capacity evaluation of a CO2 storage project. Our containment risk assessment shows that the Alpha structure has low fault-related containment risks; thus it has a potential value to be an additional storage target. The Beta structure shows larger fault-related containment risks due to juxtaposition of the prospective storage aquifer with the basement across the Øygarden fault system. The storage capacity of Smeaheia will be determined by the long-term dynamic interplay between pressure depletion and recharging. Our study shows that across-fault pressure communication between Smeaheia and the depleting Troll reservoir is likely through several relay-ramps of the Vette fault system. However, Smeaheia also shows pressure recharging potentials, such as through the subcropping areas at the Base Nordland Unconformity. The depletion observed in the newly drilled well 32/4-3S gives a good validation point for our fault seal predictions and provides valuable insights for future dynamic simulations.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Geoscience for CO2 storage collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/geoscience-for-co2-storage

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