Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Thomas Wilson

Committee Co-Chair

Tim Carr

Committee Member

Joe Donovan

Committee Member

Jaime Toro

Committee Member

Dengliang Gao

Committee Member

Alan Brown


This dissertation details the estimation of CO2 storage volume using reservoir characterization and the building of static earth models in two papers: 1) for Sleepy Hollow Field in Red Willow County, Nebraska and, 2) for Huffstutter Field, Phillips County, Kansas. These models are used to obtain estimates of CO2 storage capacity in stacked carbonate intervals of the Pennsylvanian Lansing and Kansas City groups (LKC). The LKC constitutes a regional succession of interbedded carbonates and shales. Located over the Cambridge Arch of Nebraska, these interbedded units were evaluated for carbon storage potential. Understanding the occurrence of carbonate porosity among the confining shale units in the LKC is key for developing a CO2 storage strategy for the Integrated Midcontinent Stacked Carbon Storage Hub Project as part of DOE-NETL’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise initiative. Petrophysical analysis of wireline logs and existing core samples from Sleepy Hollow and nearby oilfields were studied and show that oolitic grainstone offers superior effective porosity and permeability. Intermediate quality rock is peloidal and skeletal grainstones. The poorest reservoir quality rocks are siliciclastic mudrocks, which include claystones and mudstones. Adsorption of CO2 by clay (predominantly illite) was not investigated here. While illite and other clay minerals can adsorb CO2, mud and clay-rich rocks have been treated as caprocks given their low permeability. Gamma ray log response clearly indicated the depositional cyclicity and was employed in gamma ray facies development to delineate carbonate rocks from mud-dominant lithologies using gamma ray log thresholds. Storage resource estimates were based on the resulting effective porosity model consisting of CO2 storage in saline zones vertically stacked with potential EOR reservoirs in oil-bearing carbonate intervals. Results show that for Sleepy Hollow’s LKC, storage is estimated at 602,157 tonnes CO2/ mile2 (232,494 tonnes CO2/ km2), and Huffstutter is 443,355 tonnes CO2/ mile2 (171,180 tonnes CO2/ km2) when using a storage efficiency factor of 0.1. Although reservoir depth and thickness impose strong conditions on estimated storage capacity, effective porosity was the key parameter that explains the difference in storage between these two fields. The combined area of these two fields is 43 square miles (111.3km2) fields with potential LKC carbon storage of 8.4 Mt at Sleepy Hollow and 13.0 Mt at Huffstutter. This research lays the foundation for a regional stacked carbon storage hub where captured carbon would be piped to existing oilfields for carbon storage and enhanced oil recovery along the Cambridge Arch and the Central Kansas Uplift. Carbon dioxide could also be stored proximal to corn ethanol plants as part of the storage hub.

Permeability models were prepared for both sites following customary workflows for CO2 storage projects. Neither permeability models were used here as they do not explicitly fit into the NETLCO2-SCREEN (Goodman et al., 2016) method of storage estimation. However, both were developed in support of ongoing research and would require the contribution of a reservoir engineer to run flow simulations. Flow simulations have been conducted by Battelle (2018, 2019) as part of full field-scale storage assessments for these sites with injection targets of 50 million tonnes CO2 over 30 years.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending


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Geology Commons