With the increasing demand for CO2 storage in the subsurface, it is important to recognize that candidate formations may present complex stress conditions and material characteristics. Consequently, modelling of CO2 injection requires the selection of the most appropriate constitutive material model for the best possible representation of the material response. The authors focus on modelling the geomechanical behaviour of the reservoir material, coupled with a multiphase flow solution of CO2 injection into a saline-saturated medium. It is proposed that the SR3 critical-state material model is used, which considers a direct link between strength–volume–permeability that evolves during the simulation; furthermore, the material is considered to yield prior to reaching a peak strength in agreement with experimental observations. Verification of the material model against established laboratory tests is conducted, including multiphase flow accounting for relative permeabilities and fluid densities. Multiphase flow coupled to advanced geomechanics provides a holistic approach to modelling CO2 injection into sandstone reservoirs. The resulting injection pressures, CO2 migration extent and patterns, formation dilation, and strength reduction are compared for a range of in situ porosities and incremental material enhancements. This work aims to demonstrate a numerical modelling framework to aid in the understanding of geomechanical responses to CO2 injection for safe and efficient deployment, and is particularly applicable to CO2 sequestration in less favourable aquifers with a relatively low permeability, receiving CO2 from a limited number of injection wells at high flow rates. The proposed framework can also enable additional features to be incorporated into the model such as faults and detailed overburden representation.

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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