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Energies 2017, 10(10), 1549; doi:10.3390/en10101549

Effect of Permeability Anisotropy on the Production of Multi-Scale Shale Gas Reservoirs

Hubei Cooperative Innovation Center of Unconventional Oil and Gas, Yangtze University, Wuhan 430100, China
Tarim Oilfield Company, PetroChina, Korla, Xinjiang 841000, China
State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu 610500, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow and Transport Properties of Unconventional Reservoirs)


Shales or mudstones are fine grained and layered reservoirs, which leads to strong shale permeability anisotropy. Shale has a wide pore-size distribution, and pores with different diameters contribute differently to the apparent permeability of shales. Therefore, understanding the anisotropy of multiscale shale gas reservoirs is an important aspect to model and evaluate gas production from shales. In this paper, a novel model of permeability anisotropy for shale gas reservoirs is presented to calculate the permeability in an arbitrary direction in three dimensional space. A numerical model which is valid for the entire Knudsen’s range (continuum flow, slip flow, transition flow and free molecular flow) in shale gas reservoirs was developed, and the effect of gas-water flow and the simulation of hydraulic fracturing cracks were taken into consideration as well. The simulation result of the developed model was validated with field data. Effects of critical factors such as permeability anisotropy, relative permeability curves with different nanopore radii and initial water saturation in formation on the gas production rate of multi-stage fractured horizontal well were discussed. Besides, flow regimes of gas flow in shales were classified by Knudsen number, and the effect of various flow regimes on both apparent permeability of shales and then the gas production has been analyzed thoroughly. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale gas; anisotropy; multiscale flow; gas-water flow; multi-stage fractured horizontal well shale gas; anisotropy; multiscale flow; gas-water flow; multi-stage fractured horizontal well

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huang, T.; Tao, Z.; Li, E.; Lyu, Q.; Guo, X. Effect of Permeability Anisotropy on the Production of Multi-Scale Shale Gas Reservoirs. Energies 2017, 10, 1549.

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