Kevin Ellett
Geological Research at the IGS

Evaluation of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of the Cambro-Ordovician Strata of the Illinois and Michigan Basins

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 2010 Dec 31, 2012 All Counties
Director: Kevin Ellett
Other Researchers: John Rupp, Hannes Leetaru, Illinois State Geological Survey, David Harris, Kentucky Geological Survey, David Barnes, Western Michigan University
Funding: U.S. Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory
Issue: Geologic Carbon Sequestration (GCS) is presently an area of significant international research as it is considered a promising technology for the potential large-scale mitigation of atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions. Early studies conducted in the U.S. Midwest-region (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan) have focused largely on the Cambrian Mount Simon Sandstone and Eau Claire Formations as a target reservoir/seal system with significant potential for carbon sequestration. Further research is necessary to evaluate the carbon sequestration potential of other geologic strata throughout the Midwest Basins and Arches Province, particularly in areas where the Mount Simon Sandstone may be either too thin or possess poor reservoir quality to make it a suitable candidate for geologic storage. This project is investigating the carbon sequestration potential of the Cambro-Ordovician stratigraphic units surrounding the Knox Unconformity of the early Paleozoic era as alternative targets for potential GCS implementation.
Objective: This study is a collaborative effort by a team of scientists from the University of Illinois, the Illinois State Geological Survey, the Kentucky Geological Survey, Western Michigan University and the IGS. The objective of the IGS project is to support the assessment of the Cambro-Ordovician strata as a potential GCS reservoir/seal system through the development of new data sets of critical formation characteristics including: porosity, permeability, injectivity, mineralogy, fluid saturations and chemical composition, reservoir architecture and cap rock integrity.
Approach: The study approach involves the compilation and analysis of regional subsurface data including geophysical logging data throughout the Illinois and Michigan Basins and hydraulic data from existing UIC Class I injection wells, along with petrologic/petrographic analyses of core samples to estimate the geologic storage capacity and reservoir injectivity characteristics of the regionally-extensive formations in the Cambro-Ordovician sequence.
Products: The IGS will develop and make available comprehensive data sets in support of reservoir/seal characterization including: petrophysical data from core analyses, geophysical logs, lithologic descriptions and available performance data from gas storage fields. Derivative products will include structure, isopach and characteristic distribution maps, regional lithofacies maps, and cross sections for select intervals within the stratigraphic sequence. Total storage capacity estimates will be calculated from the regional analysis of porosity distribution. A final report of results from this study will be completed by the project team in 2012.
Benefits: The products from this project will be useful for policy makers, energy utilities and the public at-large in evaluating the geologic carbon sequestration potential of the Cambro-Ordovician strata in the Midwest Basins and Arches Province.
Publications:

An Evaluation of the Carbon Sequestration Potential of the Cambro Ordovician Strata of the Illinois and Michigan Basins
project website

Characterization of the Knox Supergroup dolomites (Cambrian-Ordovician) and the St. Peter Sandstone
Ellett et al, 2011, Characterization of the Knox Supergroup dolomites (Cambrian-Ordovician) and the St. Peter Sandstone (Ordovician) as Potential Reservoirs for Geologic Carbon Sequestration in the Illinois and Michigan Basins: 10th Annual Carbon Capture and Sequestration Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. (poster)

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