Depositional Environments and CO2 Storage Efficiency

Deep saline reservoirs and depleted oil and gas reservoirs have been identified as potential geologic sinks for storing large volumes of anthropogenic CO2. These reservoirs, which occur at varying depths and are widely spread across the globe, have been divided by the DOE into geologic formation classes based on depositional environment and the CO2 storage potential of the various depositional classes. The ability to store large volumes of CO2 is strongly dependent on reservoir storage efficiency, which is determined by depositional environment. This is because a formation's depositional environment defines reservoir architecture, and the architecture, in turn, influences fluid containment and fluid flow direction (DOE, 2010). The following depositional environments have been classified by the DOE as possessing high or medium CO2 storage potential: Deltaic, Shelf Clastic, Shelf Carbonate, Strandplain, Reef, Fluvial Deltaic, Eolian, Fluvial and Alluvial, and Turbidite (NETL, 2010).

This proposal researches strategies for improving CO2 storage efficiency in the presence of geologic heterogeneity and architecture common to reservoirs within specific geologic formation classes. This will be achieved through rigorously developed geologic and reservoir models representing different potential formation classes identified by the DOE. The models will also be generalized for use in other sedimentary basins in North America.

Main objectives of the project include:

  • To quantify the ranges for E via numerical modeling in eight depositional environments: deltaic, shelf clastic, shelf carbonate, fluvial deltaic, strandplain, reef, fluvial and alluvial, and turbidite.
  • To identify plume management techniques that could be used to enhance storage efficiency in each depositional environment.

For more information visit

Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium
Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium
Advanced Energy
Technology Initiative

University of Illinois
615 E. Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820