Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Geology

Major Professor

Mark Stewart, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Peter Harries, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Rains, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeff Cunningham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Scott, Ph.D.

Keywords

enhanced oil recovery, geologic storage, saline aquifers, oil reservoirs, storage capacity

Abstract

Concerns about elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2

) and the effect on

global climate have created proposals for the reduction of carbon emissions from large

stationary sources, such as power plants. Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration

(CCS) in deep geologic units is being considered by Florida electric-utilities. Carbon

dioxide-enhanced oil recovery (CO 2

-EOR) is a form of CCS that could offset some of the

costs associated with geologic sequestration. Two potential reservoirs for geologic

sequestration were evaluated in south-central and southern Florida: the Paleocene

Cedar Keys Formation/Upper Cretaceous Lawson Formation (CKLIZ) and the Lower

Cretaceous Sunniland Formation along the Sunniland Trend (Trend). The Trend is a

slightly arcuate band in southwest Florida that is about 233 kilometers long and 32

kilometers wide, and contains oil plays within the Sunniland Formation at depths starting

around 3,414 meters below land surface, which are confined to mound-like structures

made of coarse fossil fragments, mostly rudistids. The Trend commercial oil fields of the

South Florida Basin have an average porosity of 16% within the oil-producing Sunniland

Formation, and collectively have an estimated storage capacity of around 26 million tons

of CO 2

. The Sunniland Formation throughout the entire Trend has an average porosity

of 14% and an estimated storage capacity of about 1.2 billion tons of CO 2 (BtCO2

). The

CKLIZ has an average porosity of 23% and an estimated storage capacity of

approximately 79 BtCO 2

. Porous intervals within the CKLIZ and Sunniland Formation

are laterally homogeneous, and low-permeability layers throughout the units provide

significant vertical heterogeneity. The CKLIZ and Sunniland Formation are considered

potentially suitable for CCS operations because of their geographic locations,

appropriate depths, high porosities, estimated storage capacities, and potentiallyeffective

seals. The Trend oil fields are suitable for CO

2

-EOR in the Sunniland

Formation due to appropriate injected-CO

2

density, uniform intergranular porosity,

suitable API density of formation-oil, sufficient production zones, and adequate

remaining oil-in-place following secondary recovery. In addition to these in-depth

investigations of the CKLIZ and Sunniland Formation, a more-cursory assessment of

deep geologic units throughout the state of Florida, which includes rocks of Paleocene

and Upper Cretaceous age through to rocks of Ordovician age, shows additional units in

Florida that may be suitable for CO

2

-EOR and CCS operations. Furthermore, this study

shows that deep geologic units throughout Florida potentially have the capacity to

sequester billions of tons of CO

2

for hundreds of fossil-fuel-fired power plants. Geologic

sequestration has not yet been conducted in Florida, and its implementation could prove

useful to Florida utility companies, as well as to other energy-utilities in the southeastern

United States.

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