Effect Of Hot Water Injection On Sandstone Permeability: An Analysis Of Experimental Literature

Esther Rosenbrand, Ida Lykke Fabricius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The seasonal imbalance between supply and demand of renewable energy requires temporary storage, which can be achieved by hot water injection in warm aquifers. This requires that the permeability and porosity of the aquifer are not reduced significantly by heating.
We present an overview of published results regarding the effect of temperature on sandstone permeability. These tests are performed with mineral oil, nitrogen gas, distilled water and solutions of NaCl, KCl, CaCl2 as well as brines that contain a mixture of salts. Thirteen sandstone formations, ranging from quartz arenites to formations with a significant fraction of fine particles including clay minerals are investigated. The porosities range from 0.10 to 0.30 and permeabilities span the range from 1 to 1000 md. To compare different rock types, specific surface is determined from permeability and porosity using Kozeny’s equation.
Heating causes thermal expansion, which results in porosity reduction if the sandstone is confined. The maximum effect of porosity reduction as a result of thermal expansion on permeability is modelled and compared the change in specific surface that is computed from the reported data. This does not account for all the permeability reductions observed.
Permeablity reduction occurs both when distilled water is the saturating fluid as well as in tests with NaCl, KCl or CaCl2 solutions, however, this is not the case in tests with mineral oil or nitrogen gas. The formation of a filter cake or influx of colloidal particles due to corrosion of the apparatus at elevated temperature causes permeability reduction in a number of investigations. Mobilisation of internal particles, particularly kaolinite particles, is considered a probable mechanism of permeability reduction for the other experiments reviewed here.
The parameters that strongly affect the success of heat storage therefore include the quality of the equipment and particularly the prevention of corrosion, as well as the sandstone lithology and its interaction with the reservoir fluid.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event74th EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition incorporating SPE Europec 2012 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 4 Jul 20127 Jul 2012


Conference74th EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition incorporating SPE Europec 2012
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