Permeability characterisation of sedimentological facies in the Bunter Sandstone Formation, Endurance CO2 storage site, offshore UK

Shakhawat Hossain, Gary J. Hampson, Carl Jacquemyn, Matthew D. Jackson, Domenico Chiarella

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Permeability variations due to sedimentological heterogeneity are important in controlling CO2 migration pathways, CO2 plume dynamics, and stratigraphic, capillary and dissolution trapping of CO2 in subsurface storage units and complexes. Thus, knowing these parameters is crucial to developing a CO2 injection strategy that maximizes storage and trapping efficiency. In this study we analyzed the sedimentological and permeability heterogeneity of the Bunter Sandstone Formation at the Endurance CO2 storage site, offshore UK, through integrated facies analysis, minipermeameter measurements, and thin section analysis. Detailed core logging and outcrop analysis were performed to identify facies and related heterogeneities. Twelve lithofacies have been identified in cores. By analyzing the stacking patterns of the facies, three facies associations and three architectural elements were identified in cores and outcrop analogues, respectively. Heterogeneities occur at all the scales ranging from mm-scale laminae to 10′s m-scale architectural elements.

Permeability variations at outcrop and in core are closely related to sedimentological heterogeneities. Minipermeameter and core plug permeability data show up to three orders of magnitude variation across the facies. Cross-bedded (Sp, St, Sl, Spmc) and structureless (Sm) sandstones are the most permeable (4–5400 mD) facies, whereas pebbly conglomerates (Gmg) and laminated mudstones (Fl) are least permeable (0.18–89 mD) facies. Mottled and deformed sandstone (Smd) and crinkly laminated sandstone (Sc) have highly variable permeability (0.69–480 mD). Minipermeameter data reveal permeability varies by a factor of five at centimeter scale within planar cross-bedded (Sp), trough cross-bedded (St) and planar bedded sandstone (Sh) sandstone facies, while planar cross-bedded sandstone with mud clasts along foresets (Spmc) exhibit permeability variation up to a factor of four. Petrographic analysis of thin sections shows that these permeability variations are related to changes in grain size, clay content, and distribution of dolomite cements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104140
Number of pages19
Early online date23 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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