Analysis of Devonian Black Shales in Kentucky for Potential Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Enhanced Natural Gas Production

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Carbonaceous (black) Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In these shales, natural gas occurs in the intergranular and fracture porosity and is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO2 is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO2. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine both CO2 and CH4 adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO2 displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible ... continued below

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Nuttall, Brandon C.; Eble, Cortland F.; Drahovzal, James A. & Bustin, R. Marc September 30, 2005.

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Carbonaceous (black) Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In these shales, natural gas occurs in the intergranular and fracture porosity and is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO2 is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO2. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine both CO2 and CH4 adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO2 displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO2 adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton in the more organic-rich zones. There is a direct linear correlation between measured total organic carbon content and the adsorptive capacity of the shale; CO2 adsorption capacity increases with increasing organic carbon content. Initial volumetric estimates based on these data indicate a CO2 sequestration capacity of as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. In the Big Sandy Gas Field area of eastern Kentucky, calculations using the net thickness of shale with 4 percent or greater total organic carbon, indicate that 6.8 billion tonnes of CO2 could be sequestered in the five county area. Discounting the uncertainties in reservoir volume and injection efficiency, these results indicate that the black shales of Kentucky are a potentially large geologic sink for CO2. Moreover, the extensive occurrence of gas shales in Paleozoic and Mesozoic basins across North America make them an attractive regional target for economic CO2 storage and enhanced natural gas production.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-02NT41442
  • DOI: 10.2172/920185 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 920185
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894360

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  • September 30, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2018, 3:05 p.m.

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Nuttall, Brandon C.; Eble, Cortland F.; Drahovzal, James A. & Bustin, R. Marc. Analysis of Devonian Black Shales in Kentucky for Potential Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Enhanced Natural Gas Production, report, September 30, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894360/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.