Geocellular model of St. Peter Sandstone for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign DDU Feasibility Study

The geocellular model of the St. Peter Sandstone was constructed for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign DDU feasibility study. Starting with the initial area of review (18.0 km by 18.1 km [11.2 miles by 11.3 miles]) the boundaries of the model were trimmed down to 9.7 km by 9.7 km (6 miles by 6 miles) to ensure that the model enclosed a large enough volume so that the cones of depression of both the production and injection wells would not interact with each other, while at the same time minimizing the number of cells to model to reduce computational time. The grid-cell size was set to 61.0 m by 61.0 m (200 feet by 200 feet) for 160 nodes in the X and Y directions.

The top surface of the St. Peter Sandstone was provided by geologists working on the project, and the average thickness of the formation was taken from the geologic prospectus they provided. An average thickness of 68.6 m (225 feet) was used for the St. Peter Sandstone, resulting in 45 layers for the model. Petrophysical data was taken from available rotary sidewall core data (Morrow et al., 2017). As geothermal properties (thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity) are closely related to mineralogy, specifically the percentage of quartz, available mineralogical data was assembled and used with published data of geothermal values to determine these properties (Waples and Waples, 2004; Robertson, 1988). The St. Peter Sandstone was divided into facies according to similar geothermal and petrophysical properties, and distributed according to available geophysical log data and prevailing interpretations of the depositional/diagenetic history (Will et al. 2014). Petrophysical and geothermal properties were distributed through geostatistical means according to the associated distributions for each lithofacies. The formation temperature was calculated, based on data from continuous temperature geophysical log from a deep well drilled into the Precambrian basement at the nearby Illinois Basin Decatur Project (IBDP) where CO2 is currently being sequestered (Schlumberger, 2012). Salinity values used in the model were taken from regional studies of brine chemistry in the St. Peter Sandstone, including for the IBDP (e.g., Panno et al. 2018). After being reviewed by the project's geologists, the model was then passed onto the geological engineers to begin simulations of the geothermal reservoir and wellbores.
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Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Geothermal Heat Recovery Complex: Large-Scale, Deep Direct-Use System in a Low-Temperature Sedimentary Basin
DOE Project Number: EE0008106
DOE Project Lead: Arlene Anderson
DOI: 10.15121/1495414
Last Updated: 8 months ago
Data from December, 2018
Submitted Jan 22, 2019

University of Illinois




James Damico
University of Illinois


geothermal, energy, St. Peter Sandstone, Illinois Basin, DDU, Deep Direct-Use, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3-D, geocellular modeling, feasibility, characterization, Illinois, 3D, structural, geology, model, reservoir, geologic, thermal, hydrologic, mechanical, properties, petrophysical, thermal conductivity, specific heat capacity, heat capacity, porosity, density, permeability, thickness, depth, Mt Simon


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