A Small CO2 Leakage May Induce Seismicity on a Sub-Seismic Fault in a Good-Porosity Clastic Saline Aquifer

Stanislav Glubokovskikh, Erdinc Saygin, Serge Shapiro, Boris Gurevich, Roman Isaenkov, David Lumley, Rie Nakata, Julian Drew, Roman Pevzner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite public concerns, only a few CO2 injections into saline aquifers have reported microseismicity. We analyze passive seismic monitoring of a small (15,000 tonnes and 0.15 MPa pressure) injection of supercritical CO2-rich mixture for Stage 2C of the CO2CRC Otway Project (Victoria, Australia), which induced 19 detectable events with maximum moment magnitude MW-0.5. The locations and dynamic parameters of the triggered events indicate a reactivation of a small fault patch where CO2 flowed through the fault. Time-lapse seismic images of the plume and reservoir simulations show that the reactivation occurred when the CO2 plume reached this fault. This might be indicative of a fault weakening by the plume that enabled subsequent reactivation by pressure variations. Our observations suggest that a leakage from a commercial-scale storage may trigger felt seismicity in the overburden without strong overpressure, thus, the de-risking workflows should involve a detailed study of small faults.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GL098062
Number of pages12
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022

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