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Mechanistic Evaluation of the Reservoir Engineering Performance for the Underground Hydrogen Storage in a Deep North Sea Aquifer


Underground hydrogen storage (UHS) in aquifers, salt caverns and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs allows for the storage of larger volumes of H2 compared to surface storage in vessels. In this work, we investigate the impact of aquifer-related mechanisms and parameters on the performance of UHS in an associated North Sea aquifer using 3D numerical compositional simulations. Simulation results revealed that the aquifer's permeability heterogeneity has a significant impact on the H2 recovery efficiency where a more homogenous rock would lead to improved H2 productivity. The inclusion of relative permeability hysteresis resulted in a drop in the H2 injectivity and recovery due to H2 discontinuity inside the aquifer which leads to residual H2 during the withdrawal periods. In contrast, the effects of hydrogen solubility and hydrogen diffusion were negligible when studied each in isolation from other factors. Hence, it is essential to properly account for hysteresis and heterogeneity when evaluating UHS in aquifers.

Funding source: The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding support by the Net Zero Technology Centre, UK to accomplish this work under the Hydrogen Innovation Grant Scheme.
Countries: United Kingdom

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