Sensitivity analysis of gas leakage through a fault zone during subsurface gas storage in porous formations

Gasanzade, Firdovsi; Bauer, Sebastian; Pfeiffer, Wolf Tilmann

Subsurface gas storage in porous media is a viable option to mitigate shortages in energy supply in systems largely based on renewable sources. Fault systems adjacent to or intersecting with gas storage could potentially result in a leakage of stored gas. Variations in formation pressure during a storage operation can affect the gas leakage rates, requiring a site and scenario specific assessment. In this study, a geological model of an existing structure in the North German Basin (NGB) is developed, parameterised and a methane gas storage operation is simulated. Based on the observed storage pressure, a sensitivity study aimed at determining gas leakage rates for different parametrisations of the fault damage zone is performed using a simplified 2-D model. The leakage scenario simulations show a strong parameter dependence with the fault acting as either a barrier or a conduit for gas flow. Furthermore, the storage operation greatly affects the gas leakage rates for a given parametrisation with significant leakage only during the injection periods and thus during increased overpressures in the storage formation. During injection, the peak leakage rates can be as high as 2308 Sm3 d−1 for damage zone permeabilities of 10 mD and a capillary entry pressure of 4 bar. Increasing capillary entry pressure results in a sealing effect. If the capillary entry pressure is scaled according to the damage zone permeability, peak leakage rates can be higher, i.e. 3240 Sm3 d−1 for 10 mD and 0.13 bar. During withdrawal periods, the pressure gradient between a storage formation and a fault zone is reduced or even reversed, resulting in greatly reduced leakage rates or even a temporary stop of the leakage. Total leakage volume from storage formation was assessed based on the 2-D study by considering the exposure of the gas-filled part of the storage formation to the fault zone and subsequently compared with gas in place volume.

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Gasanzade, Firdovsi / Bauer, Sebastian / Pfeiffer, Wolf Tilmann: Sensitivity analysis of gas leakage through a fault zone during subsurface gas storage in porous formations. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Firdovsi Gasanzade et al.

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