Kevin Ellett
Geological Research at the IGS

Petrophysical characterization, regional distribution, and geologic storage suitability of units within the Cambro-Ordovician sequence

Status Start Date End Date Locations
Active Dec 6, 2015 Dec 31, 2019 Outside Indiana, state
Director: Cristian Medina
Other Researchers: Kevin Ellett, John Rupp, Kevin Russell
Funding: Battelle Memorial Institute
Issue: Deep saline aquifers offer a suitable target for CO2 sequestration. These aquifer systems do not have economic or societal benefits for drinking and agricultural water resources because of their depth and high concentration of dissolved solids (Bruant et al., 2002). Also, these aquifers are the largest and most widespread among all the possible targets for CO2 sequestration (Haszeldine, 2006; Holloway, 2001; Kharaka et al., 2006). These deep aquifers are often close to the sources of CO2 emissions sites (Hovorka et al., 2006), making these deposits a potential site for large-scale CO2 storage.
Objective: The objective of this study is to compile known basic geological attributes of deep oil and gas reservoirs, black shales, coals, and saline aquifers. These attributes will then be assessed with the objective of calculating their ability to effectively store large volumes of liquid CO2. The project is designed to move into a second phase where these candidate formations are tested with a drilling and injection program.
Approach: Records of oil and gas drilling and coal exploration are used to produce an extensive suite of maps that define the physical attributes of each candidate formation. Volumetric calculations are then made to assess the potential volume of CO2 that could be sequestered. In subsequent phases of the project, the ability of the these formations to react with CO2 or slowly leak the liquid will be assessed.
Products: An array of maps, tables, and theoretical volumes, all geographically specific, are to be produced. This will be compiled into a geographic information system (GIS) that will be accompanied by an extensive Web site. This will be done for the three-state (Illinois, western Kentucky, and western Indiana) area that constitutes the Illinois Basin. The Indiana Geological Survey has contributed to products and reports of Phase I and Phase II which emphasized the assessment of the Mount Simon Sandstone as a storage reservoir. Phase III is concentrating on an assessment of the overlying Cambro-Ordovician carbonate and clastic section.
Benefits: These products will be useful for utilities, mining companies, and the general public to further understand the possibilities of using the subsurface environment in the region to help control the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and to help mitigate the effects of global climate change.

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