Wettability evaluation of silty shale caprocks for CO2 storage

N. Shojai Kaveh*, A. Barnhoorn, K. H. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


For a low-permeable water-saturated cap-rock, interfacial tension between CO2 and connate water and interfacial interactions among reservoir rock, connate water and CO2 system are major parameters to evaluate the capillary sealing characteristics of the cap-rock. Moreover, the amount of CO2, which is trapped by capillary forces, depends on the wetting properties of the reservoir rock. In this work, contact angles of a water/shale system with CO2 were determined at high pressures and a constant temperature of 318 K and at a salinity of pure water and 1 M NaCl. To prevent neglecting the di-electrical and petrophysical properties of natural rocks, all experiments have been performed using natural shale surfaces without any chemical treatment. In addition, to describe the wetting properties of the shale at different temperatures, surface-free-energy analysis based on the modified equation of state (EOS) is used. The results show that the contact angle of a CO2/water/shale system increases with decreasing temperature. However, the change of contact angle with temperature is less significant at higher pressures. According to these results, it can be concluded that, for the CO2/silty shale cap-rock systems, the possibility of capillary breakthrough of CO2 phase is low even at very high pressures and low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Capillary breakthrough
  • CO storage
  • Contact angle
  • High pressure and temperature
  • Interfacial tension
  • Natural shale
  • Surface-free-energy analysis
  • Wettability

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