AbstractGeologic CO2 storage (GCS) is a method to mitigate the adverse impact of global climate change. Potential leakage of CO2 from fractured cement at the wellbore poses a risk to the feasibility of GCS. Foamed cement is widely applied in deepwater wells where fragile geologic formations cannot support the weight of conventional cement. Thus, it is critical to know whether fractures in foamed cement self-seal in a similar manner as conventional cement systems. This study is the first to investigate the changes in physical and chemical attributes of foamed cement under dynamic flow conditions using CO2-saturated water. Self-sealing of fractures in the cement was observed at a solution flow rate of 0.1 mL/min and a pressure of 6.9 MPa. The formation of CaCO3 precipitates in pore spaces and fractures led to a decrease in permeability by 1 order of magnitude. The extents of self-sealing in foamed cement samples, specifically the 20 and 30% air volume formulations, were similar to that of conventional cements. We attribute this to the greater alteration depth in the foamed cement, which compensated for the reduced availability of Portlandite and higher initial porosity. The results can be used to evaluate the risk of leakage associated with foamed cement.
Published: November 11, 2021