Simulation of seismic events induced by CO2 injection at In Salah, Algeria

James P. Verdon, Anna L. Stork, Rob C. Bissell, Clare E. Bond, Maximilian J. Werner

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Carbon capture and storage technology has the potential to reduce anthropogenic CO2emissions. However, the geomechanical response of the reservoir and sealing caprocks must be modelled and monitored to ensure that injected CO2is safely stored. To ensure confidence in model results, there is a clear need to develop ways of comparing model predictions with observations from the field. In this paper we develop an approach to simulate microseismic activity induced by injection, which allows us to compare geomechanical model predictions with observed microseismic activity. We apply this method to the In Salah CCS project, Algeria. A geomechanical reconstruction is used to simulate the locations, orientations and sizes of pre-existing fractures in the In Salah reservoir. The initial stress conditions, in combination with a history matched reservoir flow model, are used to determine when and where these fractures exceed Mohr–Coulomb limits, triggering failure. The sizes and orientations of fractures, and the stress conditions thereon, are used to determine the resulting micro-earthquake focal mechanisms and magnitudes. We compare our simulated event population with observations made at In Salah, finding good agreement between model and observations in terms of event locations, rates of seismicity, and event magnitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Early online date2 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 18/06/2015

The authors would like to thank the operators of the In Salah JV and JIP, BP, Statoil and Sonatrach, for providing the data shown in this paper, and for giving permission to publish. Midland Valley Exploration are thanked for the use of their Move software for geomechanical restoration. JPV is a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Early Career Research Fellow (Grant NE/I021497/1) and ALS is funded by a NERC Partnership Research Grant (Grant NE/I010904).


  • CCS
  • induced seismicity
  • geomechanics
  • In Salah


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