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SPE 092

Subsurface Characterization of the Edmonton-Area Acid-Gas Injection Operations

Abstract: Injection of acid gas in the Edmonton region takes place at five sites into three different stratigraphic intervals. Acid gas dissolved in water in the Redwater oil field, and the resulting weak acidic solution ("sour" water) is injected into the depleted Leduc Formation Redwater reef trough 47 alternating wells. Dry acid gas is injected at four other sites. At Golden Spike and Watelet, the acid gas is injected into deep Devonian carbonate aquifers (Beaverhill Lake Group and Cooking Lake Formation, respectively). At Acheson and Strathfield, the acid gas is injected into depleted gas reservoirs in the Cretaceous Lower Mannville Group. Acheson, operating since 1990, is actually the oldest acid-gas injection operation in Canada and the world. By the end of 2003, more than 200 kt of acid gas have been injected into deep geological formations in the Edmonton region. If only the natural setting is considered, including geology and flow of formation waters, the basin and local-scale hydrogeological analyses indicate that injecting acid gas into these deep geological units in the Edmonton region is basically a safe operation with no potential for acid-gas migration to shallower strata, potable groundwater and the surface. At Redwater, the acid gas is already dissolved in water and it will dissolve further in the formation water, with no possibility for migration or leakage, being contained in the Redwater reef. At Golden Spike, the acid gas injected into an isolated, confined reefal carbonate in the Beaverhill Lake Group is contained by the surrounding and overlying low-permeability argillaceous limestone at the top of the Beaverhill Lake Group. At Watelet, upward migration is impeded by the overlying thick and tight shales of the Ireton Formation. While the acid-gas plume may migrate updip, it will dissolve in formation water long before it may reach the sub-Cretaceous unconformity. Even there, thick overlying Cretaceous shales will impede any upward migration. At Strathfield and Acheson, the acid gas will be contained within the gas reservoir that is the respective injection target. Upward migration is not possible, as a result of thick and tight overlying shales of the Clearwater Formation and its equivalents. Lateral migration within the gas reservoir has been recorded in 2003 at Acheson, where, after 13 years of injection, CO2 has been detected at an offset producing well at 3625 m distance in the same gas pool. However, migration within the same unit, particularly in a gas reservoir, is expected and its occurrence should not come as a surprise.The entire stratigraphic interval from the Beaverhill Lake Group to the Lower Mannville Group is overlain by thick shales of the Colorado Group and Lea Park Formation. There are many barriers to acid-gas migration from an injection zone into other strata, and the flow process, if it will ever happen, would take an extremely long time on a geological time scale. Any acid-gas plume would disperse and dissolve in formation water during flow on such large time and spatial scales.There is no potential for acid-gas leakage through fractures. However, the possibility for upward leakage of acid gas exists along wells that were improperly completed and/or abandoned, or along wells whose cement and/or tubing have degraded or may degrade in the future as a result of chemical reactions with formation brine and/or acid gas. A review of the status and age of wells that penetrate the respective injection unit at each site shows that most wells were drilled in the 1950s and 1960s, and that the majority of wells are abandoned. Although no leakage has been detected and reported, the potential for this occurring in the future should be considered. Place Keywords 83a 83g 83h 83i alberta canada edmonton Theme Keywords acid gas geology hydrogeology injection lithology mannville group stratigraphy

Bachu, S.  Buschkuehle, B.E.  Haug, K.  Michael, K.  2008-04-14

SPE 093

Subsurface Characterization of the Pembina-Wabamun Acid-Gas Injection Area

Subsurface Characterization of the Pembina-Wabamun Acid-Gas Injection Area If only the natural setting is considered, including geology and flow of formation waters, the basin to local-scale hydrogeological analysis indicates that injecting acid ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Buschkuehle, B.E.  Haug, K.  Michael, K.  2008-04-14

SPE 095

Subsurface Characterization of the Brazeau Nisku Q Pool Reservoir for Acid Gas Injection

The experience gained since the start of the first acid-gas injection operation in Canada in 1989 shows that, from an engineering point of view, acid-gas disposal is a well-established technology. The operator has met all the current requirements ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Buschkuehle, B.E.  Michael, K.  2008-04-14

ESR 2000-11

Suitability of the Alberta Subsurface for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration in Geological Media

Sequestration of anthropogenic CO2 in geological media is a potential solution to the release into the atmosphere of CO2, a greenhouse gas. Basically, there are five ways of sequestering CO2 in geological media: 1) through enhanced oil recovery ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Brulotte, M.  Grobe, M.  Stewart, S.A.  2000-03-01

SPE 094

Stress Regime at Acid-Gas Injection Operations in Western Canada

Regulatory agencies in Western Canada impose safe limits on the injection pressure to maintain the pressure around the injection well below the fracturing threshold of the rocks. An evaluation of the stress regime at the acid-gas injection sites in ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Haug, K.  Michael, K.  2008-04-14

BUL 060

Evaluation of effects of deep waste injection in the Cold Lake area, Alberta

The regional and local effects of underground injection of wastewater from in situ oil sands pilot plants have been evaluated at sites in the Cold Lake area, Alberta, using projected injection rates up to the year 2015. Geochemical effects were ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Perkins, E.H.  Hitchon, B.  Lytviak, A.T.  Underschultz, J.R.  1989-01-01

BUL 058

Hydrogeology of the Swan Hills Area, Alberta: Evaluation for deep waste injection

A detailed hydrogeological study was carried out in a region defined as Tp 62-74 R 1-13 W5M, comprising 15 760 square km effectively centered on the Special Waste Injection Site of the Alberta Special Waste Management Corporation. The objective was ... Show Abstract

Hitchon, B.  Sauveplane, C.M.  Bachu, S.  Koster, E.H.  Lytviak, A.T.  1989-01-01

BUL 059

Hydrogeological and geothermal regimes in the Phanerozoic succession, Cold Lake area, Alberta and Saskatchewan

The natural, steady-state fluid flow and geothermal regimes were determined for a region defined as Tp 50-70, R 15 W3M to R 17 W4M (60 000 km2), including the Cold Lake Oil Sand Deposit and adjacent heavy oil areas to the south. Data processing was ... Show Abstract

Hitchon, B.  Bachu, S.  Sauveplane, C.M.  Ing, A.  Lytviak, A.T.  1989-01-01

BUL 061

Regional-Scale Subsurface Hydrogeology in Northeast Alberta

The hydrogeological regime of formation waters in the Phanerozoic sedimentary succession was determined for a region defined as Tp 70-103 W4 Mer (55-58 degrees;N latitude and 110-114 degrees;W longitude) in northeast Alberta, covering most of the ... Show Abstract

Bachu, S.  Underschultz, J.R.  Hitchon, B.  Cotterill, D.K.  1993-01-01

BUL 062

Industrial Mineral Potential of Alberta Formation Waters

Nearly 130 000 analyses of formation waters from Alberta and adjacent areas were searched for contents of Ca, Mg, K, Br, I and Li exceeding specified regional exploration thresholds. The 5280 analyses meeting these criteria comprise the formation ... Show Abstract

Hitchon, B.  Bachu, S.  Underschultz, J.R.  Yuan, L.P.  1995-01-01