Assessment of basin-scale hydrologic impacts of CO2 sequestration, Illinois basin

Idealized, basin-scale sharp-interface models of CO2 injection were constructed for the Illinois basin. Porosity and permeability were decreased with depth within the Mount Simon Formation. Eau Claire confining unit porosity and permeability were kept fixed. We used 726 injection wells located near 42 power plants to deliver 80 million metric tons of CO2/year. After 100 years of continuous injection, deviatoric fluid pressures varied between 5.6 and 18 MPa across central and southern part of the Illinois basin. Maximum deviatoric pressure reached about 50% of lithostatic levels to the south. The pressure disturbance (>0.03 MPa) propagated 10–25 km away from the injection wells resulting in significant well–well pressure interference. These findings are consistent with single-phase analytical solutions of injection. The radial footprint of the CO2 plume at each well was only 0.5–2 km after 100 years of injection. Net lateral brine displacement was insignificant due to increasing radial distance from injection well and leakage across the Eau Claire confining unit. On geologic time scales CO2 would migrate northward at a rate of about 6 m/1000 years. Because of paleo-seismic events in this region (M5.5–M7.5), care should be taken to avoid high pore pressures in the southern Illinois basin.