Quantitatively evaluating greenhouse gas leakage from CO2 enhanced oil recovery fields

Bailian Chen, Mohamed Z. Mehana, Rajesh J. Pawar

Abstract view|0|times       PDF download|0|times


Greenhouse gas (mainly CO2 and CH4) leakage from abandoned wells in CO2 enhanced oil recovery sites is a long-standing environmental concern and health hazard. Although multiple CO2 capture, utilization, and storage programs, e.g., CarbonSAFE and Regional Carbon Storage Partnerships, have been developed in the U.S. to reach the net-zero emission target by 2050, one cannot neglect the significant amount of CO2 and CH4 leakage from abandoned wells. This study will investigate the potential of CO2 and oil components leakages from the abandoned wellbore and develop the first-ever quantitative approach to evaluating CO2 and oil component leakage from a CO2 enhanced oil recovery field. Results show that in addition to a large amount of CO2 leakage, a significant amount of light and intermediate oil components leaked through the wellbore. In contrast, a minimal amount of heavy oil component leaked. Oil components’ leakage is mainly through the gas phase rather than the liquid phase. CO2 leakage is positively correlated to reservoir depth, wellbore pressure, and permeability through sensitivity analysis. In contrast, it is negatively related to net-to-gross ratio, residual oil saturation, and mole fraction of CH4. On the other hand, oil component leakages are positively correlated to all uncertain parameters, except the net-to-gross ratio. Lastly, the reduced-order models generated using the machine learning technique have a relatively high fidelity.

Cited as: Chen, B., Mehana, M. Z., Pawar, R. J. Quantitatively evaluating greenhouse gas leakage from CO2 enhanced oil recovery fields. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2023, 7(1): 20-27. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2023.01.03


Greenhouse gas, CO2 enhanced oil recovery, CO2 and CH4 leakage, machine learning

Full Text:



Bao, J., Hou, Z., Fang, Y., et al. Uncertainty quantification for evaluating impacts of caprock and reservoir properties on pressure buildup and ground surface displacement during geological CO2 sequestration. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 2013, 3(5): 338-358.

Boot-Handford, M. E., Abanades, J. C., Anthony, E. J., et al. Carbon capture and storage update. Energy & Environmental Science, 2014, 7(1): 130-189.

Bui, M., Adjiman, C. S., Bardow, A., et al. Carbon capture and storage (CCS): The way forward. Energy & Environmental Science, 2018, 11(5): 1062-1176.

Chen, B., Harp, D. R., Lin, Y., et al. Geologic CO2 sequestration monitoring design: A machine learning and uncertainty quantification based approach. Applied Energy, 2018, 225: 332-345.

Chen, B., Harp, D. R., Lu, Z., et al. Reducing uncertainty in geologic CO2 sequestration risk assessment by assimilating monitoring data. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2020, 94: 102926.

Dai, Z., Middleton, R., Viswanathan, H., et al. An integrated framework for optimizing CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 2014a, 1(1): 49-54.

Dai, Z., Viswanathan, H., Fessenden-Rahn, J., et al. Uncertainty quantification for CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery. Energy Procedia, 2014b, 63: 7685-7693.

Dai, Z., Viswanathan, H., Middleton, R., et al. CO2 accounting and risk analysis for CO2 sequestration at enhanced oil recovery sites. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016, 50(14): 7546-7554.

Iglauer, S., Al-Yaseri, A. Improving basalt wettability to derisk CO2 geo-storage in basaltic formations. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2021, 5(3): 347-350.

Lackner, K. S. A guide to CO2 sequestration. Science, 2003, 300(5626): 1677-1678.

Lake, L. Reservoir Characterization. Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier, 1986.

Lake, L., Johns, R. T., Rossen, W. R., et al. Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery. Beijing, China, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2014.

McMillan, B., Kumar, N., Bryant, S. L. Time-dependent injectivity during CO2 storage in aquifers. Paper SPE 113937 Presented at the SPE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 20-23 April, 2008.

Mehana, M., Callard, J., Kang, Q., et al. Monte carlo simulation and production analysis for ultimate recovery estimation of shale wells. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2020a, 83: 103584.

Mehana, M., Fahes, M., Huang, L. The density of oil/gas mixtures: Insights from molecular simulations. SPE Journal, 2018, 23(5): 1798-1808.

Mehana, M., Hosseini, S. A., Meckel, T. A., et al. Modeling CO2 plume migration using an invasion-percolation approach that includes dissolution. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 2020b, 10(2): 283-295.

Mehana, M., Kang, Q., Viswanathan, H. Molecular-scale considerations of enhanced oil recovery in shale. Energies, 2020c, 13(24): 6619.

Middleton, R. S., Keating, G. N., Stauffer, P. H., et al. The cross-scale science of CO2 capture and storage: From pore scale to regional scale. Energy & Environmental Science, 2012, 5(6): 7328-7345.

Middleton, R. S., Ogland-Hand, J. D., Chen, B., et al. Identifying geologic characteristics and operational decisions to meet global carbon sequestration goals. Energy & Environmental Science, 2020, 13(12): 5000-5016.

Nordbotten, J. M., Celia, M. A. Geological Storage of CO2: Modeling Approaches for Large-scale Simulation. New York, USA, John Wiley and Sons, 2011.

Nordbotten, J. M., Celia, M. A., Bachu, S. Injection and storage of CO2 in deep saline aquifers: Analytical solution for CO2 plume evolution during injection. Transport in Porous Media, 2005a, 58(3): 339-360.

Nordbotten, J. M., Celia, M. A, Bachu, S., et al. Semianalytical solution for CO2 leakage through an abandoned well. Environmental Science & Technology, 2005b, 39(2): 602-611.

O’Malley, D., Karra, S., Hyman, J. D., et al. Efficient Monte Carlo with graph-based subsurface flow and transport models. Water Resources Research, 2018, 54(5): 3758-3766.

Vafai, K. Handbook of Porous Media. Boca Raton, USA, Crc Press, 2015.

Viswanathan, H. S., Pawar, R. J., Stauffer, P. H., et al. Development of a hybrid process and system model for the assessment of wellbore leakage at a geologic CO2 sequestration site. Environmental Science & Technology, 2008, 42(19): 7280-7286.

Yang, F., Bai, B., Tang, D., et al. Characteristics of CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers. Petroleum Science, 2010, 7(1): 83-92.

Zhang, L., Wang, Y., Miao, X., et al. Geochemistry in geologic CO2 utilization and storage: A brief review. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2019, 3(3): 304-313.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 The Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright ©2018. All Rights Reserved