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Presenter: Jiao John Zunsheng, Ph.D.
Date: 11/1/2018
Time: 1:10 pm
Location: CR 133
Contact Email:

Topic: Carbon dioxide geological storage reservoir/site characterization: the key to optimizing performance and maximizing storage capacity – A case study from Rock Springs Uplift, Wyoming
Abstract: Carbon dioxide capture, geological utilization and storage (CCUS) is regarded as a promising option for climate change mitigation; The Carbon Management Institute (CMI), now is Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR) of School of Energy Resources, has completed (6+) CO2 geological storage site characterization projects to assess CO2 sequestration capacity in Wyoming. In terms of “deep” saline aquifers, the Paleozoic sandstones (i.e., Weber/Tensleep) and carbonates (i.e., Bighorn Dolomite and Madison Limestone) have the highest sequestration potential. The Rock Springs Uplift (RSU) and the Moxa Arch (MA) in southwestern Wyoming are the two highest priority CO2 sequestration sites. These two sites are characterized by thick saline aquifer sequences associated with multiple sealing lithologies, huge structures with substantial closure, and reservoir units that have properties required for CO2 sequestration (i.e., fluid chemistry, porosity, fluid-flow attributes, and burial histories).

The most critical problem with large-scale geological carbon storage is managing formation pressure and displaced fluids. The CO2 injection simulations using the newly obtained rock/fluid parameters – including their heterogeneous distribution – suggest that every large-scale injection scenario for the Madison Limestone and Weber Sandstone must include fluid production to manage pressure and maintain integrity of confining layers. Large-scale CO2 injection in the Paleozoic stratigraphic section on the Rock Springs Uplift will require correspondingly large-scale fluid production.

The new data and performance evaluations demonstrate that the Rock Springs Uplift in southwestern Wyoming is an outstanding geological CO2 storage site, and provide the information necessary to design and optimize a commercial CO2 injection operation on the uplift.

Jiao Zunsheng is a chief geologist at the School of Energy Resources, University of Wyoming. As a principle investigator, Jiao is working to help accomplish commercial scale CCUS projects in Wyoming and help facilitate international cooperation between Wyoming State and Shaanxi Province on geological CO2 storage, clean energy technology, and enhanced oil recovery using CO2.

Over the past 25 years, Jiao’s research has focused on sedimentary basin analysis and modeling, unconventional energy resource exploration, pressure compartmentalization and 3-D reservoir characterization, subsurface fluid flow simulation, enhanced oil recovery using CO2, and geological CO2 storage. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 technical papers in refereed scientific journals and books.

Prior to joining the School of Energy Resources, Jiao held a variety of positions: Geological Instructor at Shaanxi Normal University; Senior Research Scientist at the Energy Research Institute of the University of Wyoming, Vice president at Innovative Discovery Technology, LLC, and Chief Geologist at the Wyoming State Geological Survey. He has been appointed as a visiting professor of Northwest University and Xian Petroleum University since 2009.

Dr. Jiao holds a M.S. in Sedimentary Geology from California State University at Northridge, as well as a Ph.D. in Geology from University of Wyoming.

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