Atmospheric and soil-gas monitoring for surface leakage at the San Juan Basin CO2 pilot test site at Pump Canyon New Mexico, using perfluorocarbon tracers, CO2 soil-gas flux and soil-gas hydrocarbons
Wells, A., J.R. Diehl, B. Strazisar et al., “Atmospheric and soil-gas monitoring for surface leakage at the San Juan Basin CO2 pilot test site at Pump Canyon New Mexico, using perfluorocarbon tracers, CO2 soil-gas flux and soil-gas hydrocarbons,” Int. J. of Greenhouse Gas Control 14, 227-238, 2013.
Near-surface monitoring and subsurface characterization activities were undertaken in collaboration with the Southwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership on their San Juan Basin coal-bed methane pilot test site near Navajo City, New Mexico. Nearly 18,407 short tons (1.670 × 107 kg) of CO2 were injected into 3 seams of the Fruitland coal between July 2008 and April 2009. Between September 18 and October 30, 2008, two additions of approximately 20 L each of perfluorocarbon (PFC) tracers were mixed with the CO2 at the injection wellhead. PFC tracers in soil-gas and in the atmosphere were monitored over a period of 2 years using a rectangular array of permanent installations. Additional monitors were placed near existing well bores and at other locations of potential leakage identified during the pre-injection site survey. Monitoring was conducted using sorbent containing tubes to collect any released PFC tracer from soil-gas or the atmosphere. Near-surface monitoring activities also included CO2 surface flux and carbon isotopes, soil-gas hydrocarbon levels, and electrical conductivity in the soil. The value of the PFC tracers was demonstrated when a significant leakage event was detected near an offset production well. Subsurface characterization activities, including 3D seismic interpretation and attribute analysis, were conducted to evaluate reservoir integrity and the potential that leakage of injected CO2 might occur. Leakage from the injection reservoir was not detected. PFC tracers made breakthroughs at 2 of 3 offset wells which were not otherwise directly observable in produced gases containing 20–30% CO2. These results have aided reservoir geophysical and simulation investigations to track the underground movement of CO2. 3D seismic analysis provided a possible interpretation for the order of appearance of tracers at production wells.
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