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Geological and numerical modeling to support the production and storage of natural gas

pubblicazioni - Poster

Geological and numerical modeling to support the production and storage of natural gas

Lo stoccaggio del gas naturale in strutture del sottosuolo note come giacimenti riveste un ruolo fondamentale per il sistema energetico italiano. La presente ricerca ha lo scopo di studiare, mediante simulazioni numeriche, il processo industriale di stoccaggio ed erogazione del gas in giacimenti profondi. Nel dettaglio, viene descritta la metodologia messa a punto per la caratterizzazione di un sito di stoccaggio di gas naturale e la sua applicazione ad un caso test situato in Lombardia in prossimità della Concessione Sergnano Stoccaggio.

The natural gas storage in underground structures known as geological reservoirs plays a key role in the Italian energy system. The gas storage satisfies various needs such as responding to the gas market demands, ensuring wide margins in the management of production facilities and transport nets and ensuring the maintenance of strategic reserves that are used exclusively to deal with exceptional situations.

Studies on natural gas storage are particularly interesting also for the analyses related to the seismicity. In this regard and after the Emilia Romagna earthquake occurred in May 2012, an international commission called ICHESE (International Commission on Hydrocarbon Exploration and Seismicity in the Emilia Region) has been established. The conclusions of this commission emphasized the need for further more detailed researches also with the help of numerical simulations (e.g. the studies known as Laboratorio Cavone).

In this context, the present research has been performed with the goal to study, by means of numerical simulations, the industrial process related to the production and storage of natural gas in deep geological reservoirs. More precisely, the methodology developed in order to characterize a gas storage site is shown and its application to a test case located in Lombardia region (Italy) close to the Concessione Sergnano Stoccaggio is discussed.

The methodology pointed out for the site characterization foresees the information collection about the stratigraphy and the lithology of the geological formations, the creation of a static geological model and then the realization of a corresponding 3D fluid dynamic model including the well cluster structures.

In the shown case, the geological reservoir suitable for gas storage is located in the conglomerate formation known as Sergnano Gravel (Lower Oligocene – Upper Messinian) while the caprock is identified in the overlying clay formation known as Santerno Clay (lower Pliocene – Pleistocene). For this area, an accurate 3D numerical model, including geological and spatial discretisation, has been realized using GeoSIAM (GeoModeling Analysis Integrated System, Guandalini & Agate, 2015). At first, the natural equilibrium steady state of the geological reservoir has been searched and verified in comparison with measured data and then a simulation scenario of a typical natural gas production and storage yearly based cycle has been carried out. The obtained results have confirmed the sustainability of the gas extraction and injection process in safety conditions, being the overpressures and underpressures occurring during the cycle always in the allowed range. These results also confirmed the goodness of the methodology based on the GeoSIAM system in terms of accuracy and reliability when applied to the gas field analyses.

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