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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Jon Gluyas

Mathias, S.A., Gluyas, J.G., González Martínez de Miguel, G.J., Bryant, S.L. & Wilson, D. (2013). On the importance of relative permeability data for estimating CO2 injectivity in brine aquifers. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 12: 200-212.

Author(s) from Durham


Performance assessment of possible CO2 storage schemes is often investigated through numerical simulation of the CO2 injection process. An important criterion of interest is the maximum sustainable injection rate. Relevant numerical models generally employ a multi-phase extension to Darcy's law, requiring data concerning the evolution of relative permeability for CO2 and brine mixtures with increasing CO2 saturation. Relative permeability data is acutely scarce for many geographical regions of concern and often cited as a major source of uncertainty. However, such data is expensive and time consuming to acquire. With a view to improving our understanding concerning the significance of relative permeability uncertainty on injectivity, this article presents a sensitivity analysis of sustainable CO2 injection rate with respect to permeability, porosity and relative permeability. Based on available relative permeability data obtained from 25 sandstone and carbonate cores discussed in the literature, injectivity uncertainty associated with relative permeability is found to be as high as ±57% for open aquifers and low permeability closed aquifers (<50 mD). However, for high permeability closed aquifers (>100 mD), aquifer compressibility plays a more important role and the uncertainty due to relative permeability is found to reduce to ±6%.