Indexed on: 01 Nov '17Published on: 22 Sep '17Published in: Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology
The injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) into geological formations results in a chemical re-equilibration between the mineral assemblage and the pore fluid, with ensuing mineral dissolution and re-precipitation. Hence, target rock formations may exhibit changes of mechanical and petrophysical properties due to CO2 exposure. We conducted batch reaction experiments with Entrada Sandstone and Summerville Siltstone exposed to de-ionized water and synthetic brine under reservoir pressure (9–10 MPa) and temperature (80°C) for up to four weeks. Samples originate from the Crystal Geyser field site, where a naturally occurring CO2 seepage alters portions of these geologic formations. We conducted micro-scratch tests on rock samples without alteration, altered under laboratory conditions, and naturally altered over geologic time. Scratch toughness and hardness decrease as a function of exposure time and water salinity up to 52% in the case of Entrada and 87% in the case of Summerville after CO2-induced alteration in the laboratory. Imaging of altered cores with SEM-EDS and X-ray microCT methods show dissolution of carbonate and silica cements and matrix accompanied by minor dissolution of Fe-oxides, clays, and other silicates. Parallel experiments using powdered samples confirm that dissolution of carbonate and silica are the primary reactions. The batch reaction experiments in the autoclave utilize a high fluid to rock volume ratio and represent an end member of possible alteration associated with CO2 storage systems. These types of tests serve as a pre-screening tool to identify the susceptibility of rock facies to CO2-related chemical-mechanical alteration during long-term CO2 storage. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.