Closed-loop optimization for a coupled hydrodynamical-geomechanical CO2 storage site
CO2 injection operations are conducted on subsurface systems with prevalent uncertainty around geological and petrophysical properties. One of the key requirements in storage site selection is the ability and integrity of the storage complex to contain the CO2. However, the selected storage formation and the caprock may be heterogeneous and discontinuous, and is likely to contain fracture zones and/or faults, that could provide permeable conduits for CO2 migration out of prime storage formation. Furthermore, increase in reservoir pressure in response to CO2 injection would induce mechanical stresses and deformation in and around the injection site.
It is against this background that planning for an optimal control strategy based on the real-time measurements (e.g., bottomhole pressures or surface uplift) for the CO2 storage sites are essential for reducing the geological risks of injection, securing the fate of CO2 injected underground, and achieving the long-term economic objectives of the operations. The management and optimising the injection well pressures, for example, in naturally fractured reservoirs could be extremely crucial to ensure that the injected CO2 would remain in the main storage formations.
Real-time model-based subsurface management entails the optimisation of injection operation’s performance under geological uncertainties, and requires fast optimisation procedures, efficient incorporation of monitoring data to update the subsurface description in real time, and efficient techniques for treating geological uncertainty. In this project procedures for injection optimisation and model updating are implemented.
Candidates should have a 1st/2:1 degree in Mechanical, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering. Knowledge/experience in computer programming and standard modelling software packages for geomechanics and hydrodynamics such as, TOUGH2, ECLIPSE, ABAQUS, etc. are desirable.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £13,863) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award. Self-funded applicants are also welcome.
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