The Lower Cretaceous Captain Sandstone Member of the Inner Moray Firth has significant potential for the injection and storage of anthropogenic CO2 in saline aquifer parts of the formation. Pre-existing faults constitute a potential risk to storage security owing to the elevated pore pressures likely to result from large-scale fluid injection. Determination of the regional in situ stresses permits mapping of the stress tensor affecting these faults. Either normal or strike-slip faulting conditions are suggested to be prevalent, with the maximum horizontal stress orientated 33°–213°. Slip-tendency analysis indicates that some fault segments are close to being critically stressed under strike-slip stress conditions, with small pore-pressure perturbations of approximately 1.5 MPa potentially causing reactivation of those faults. Greater pore-pressure increases of approximately 5 MPa would be required to reactivate optimally orientated faults under normal faulting or transitional normal/strike-slip faulting conditions at average reservoir depths. The results provide a useful indication of the fault geometries most susceptible to reactivation under current stress conditions. To account for uncertainty in principal stress magnitudes, high differential stresses have been assumed, providing conservative fault-stability estimates. Detailed geological models and data pertaining to pore pressure, rock mechanics and stress will be required to more accurately investigate fault stability.
- British Geological Survey © NERC 2016.
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