Reducing the risk of well bore leakage using engineered biomineralization barriers

dc.contributor.authorCunningham, Alfred B.
dc.contributor.authorGerlach, Robin
dc.contributor.authorSpangler, Lee H.
dc.contributor.authorMitchell, Andrew C.
dc.contributor.authorPark, Saehan
dc.contributor.authorPhillips, Adrienne J.
dc.description.abstractIf CO2 is injected in deep geological formations it is important that the receiving formation hassufficient porosity and permeability for storage and transmission and be overlain by a suitable low-permeability cap rock formation. When the resulting CO2 plume encounters a well bore, leakage may occur through various pathways in the “disturbed zone†surrounding the well casing. Gasda et al.[9], propose a method for determining effective well bore permeability from a field pressure test. If permeability results from such tests prove unacceptably large, strategies for in situ mitigation of potential leakage pathways become important. To be effective, leakage mitigation methods must block leakage pathways on timescales longer than the plume will be mobile, be able to be delivered without causing well screen plugging, and be resistant to supercritical CO2 (ScCO2) challenges. Traditional mitigation uses cement, a viscous fluid that requires a large enough aperture for delivery and that also must bond to the surrounding surfaces in order to be effective. Technologies that can be delivered via low viscosity fluids and that can effectively plug small aperture pathways, or even the porous rock surrounding the well could have significant advantages for some leakage scenarios.We propose a microbially mediated method for plugging preferential leakage pathways and/or porous media, thereby lowering the risk of unwanted upward migration of CO2, similar to thatdiscussed by Mitchell et al.[12].We examine the concept of using engineered microbial biofilms which are capable of precipitating crystalline calcium carbonate using the process of ureolysis. The resulting combination of biofilm plus mineral deposits, if targeted near points of CO2 injection, may result in the long-term sealing of preferential leakage pathways. Successful development of these biologically-based concepts could result in a CO2 leakage mitigation technology which can be applied either before CO2 injection or as a remedial measure. Results from laboratory column studies are presented which illustrate how biomineralization deposits can be developed along packed sand columns at length scales of 2.54 cm and 61 cm. Strategies for controlling mineral deposition of uniform thickness along the axis of flow are also discussed.en_US
dc.identifier.citationCunningham AB, Gerlach R, Spangler L, Mitchell AC, Parks S, Phillips A, "Reducing the risk of well bore leakage using engineered biomineralization barriers," Energy Procedia, 2011 4:5178–5185en_US
dc.rightsCC BY 4.0en_US
dc.titleReducing the risk of well bore leakage using engineered biomineralization barriersen_US
mus.citation.journaltitleEnergy Procediaen_US
mus.contributor.orcidMitchell, Andrew C.|0000-0001-9749-5326en_US
mus.identifier.categoryChemical & Material Sciencesen_US
mus.identifier.categoryEngineering & Computer Scienceen_US
mus.identifier.categoryLife Sciences & Earth Sciencesen_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Agricultureen_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Engineeringen_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Letters & Scienceen_US
mus.relation.departmentCenter for Biofilm Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.departmentChemical & Biological Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.departmentChemical Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.departmentCivil Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.departmentIndustrial Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.departmentLand Resources & Environmental Sciences.en_US
mus.relation.researchgroupCenter for Biofilm Engineering.en_US
mus.relation.universityMontana State University - Bozemanen_US


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