Supervisor: Assoc Prof Simon C. Lang
Project support: : APCRC - GEODISC Program
Scholarship support: Australian Postgraduate Award
Despite debate as to the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions on the world's atmosphere, enough scientific evidence has been mounted for the international community to begin taking precautionary steps to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although a relatively small emitter, this has important implications for Australia's petroleum industry, which is seeking ways of reducing emissions from both existing and new operations. One of the methods currently under investigation is the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide that is separated from natural gas prior to sale and CO2 produced during the conversion of natural gas to LNG could be pumped back into subsurface reservoirs for long-term storage.
The Australian Petroleum Cooperative Research Centre (APCRC) is coordinating the 'GEODISC' program (Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide), a four-year study undertaken the universities and research organisations associated with the APCRC and sponsored by members of the petroleum industry and Government. The GEODISC program is a collaborative research program designed to investigate the technological, environmental and commercial feasibility of the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide in Australia. This PhD study will form part of Project 2 of the GEODISC program, which aims to investigate in detail the geology of the reservoirs and seals for specifically selected sites in Australia, to assess the hydrodynamic regimes and to create 3D geological models suitable for input into reservoir engineering and geochemical simulations of CO2 injection.
The primary aim of this PhD project is to utilise the principles of sequence stratigraphy and reservoir characterisation to develop detailed three-dimensional geological models for possible sites for geological sequestration of carbon dioxide on the North West Shelf of Australia. Research questions to be considered include where are there suitable locations for CO2 sequestration, what is a suitable reservoir for CO2 disposal, what controls the distribution of porosity and permeability within a reservoir, what conditions are required for the storage of CO2 in specific reservoirs and what are the key factors for the geological disposal of CO2?
Two sites will be studied within NW Australia. Seismic stratigraphic packages bounded by significant seismic horizons will be identified and interpreted on 2D and 3D seismic data. The wells will be correlated across the sites within a sequence stratigraphic context, using a combination of biozonation information, wireline log motifs and key stratigraphic surfaces. Cores will be studied and an assessment made as to the lithofacies and facies associations present and depositional environments will be interpreted. The integration of the seismic stratigraphic interpretations with the well log correlations, core facies and biostratigraphy will enable a sequence stratigraphic framework and depositional model for the site to be determined, resulting in an integrated geological model that will provide more realistic and predictive distributions of the reservoir and seal intervals. The interpretations will then be utilised to construct 3D geological models, whereby the 3D grids will be populated with reservoir parameters derived from the petrophysical assessment (e.g. sand per cent, porosity, permeability) using geostatistical methods. The 3D models will then be appropriately up-scaled for use in the reservoir engineering and geochemical simulations.
Gibson-Poole, C.M., Lang, S.C., Streit, J.E., Kraishan, G.M. and Hillis, R.R., 2002. Assessing a basin's potential for geological sequestration of carbon dioxide: an example from the Mesozoic of the Petrel Sub-basin, NW Australia. In: Keep, M. & Moss, S.J. (Eds), 2002, The Sedimentary Basins of Western Australia 3: Proceedings of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Symposium, Perth, WA, 439-463.
Rigg, A.J., Allinson, G., Bradshaw, J., Ennis-King, J., Gibson-Poole, C.M., Hillis, R.R., Lang, S.C. and Streit, J.E., 2001. The search for sites for geological sequestration of C02 in Australia: a progress report on GeoDISC. APPEA Journal, 41, 711-725. View PDF (~18 MB)