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Materials 2017, 10(2), 104; doi:10.3390/ma10020104

Pore-Scale Simulation and Sensitivity Analysis of Apparent Gas Permeability in Shale Matrix

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rafael Luque Alvarez de Sotomayor
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 8 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4317 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Extremely low permeability due to nano-scale pores is a distinctive feature of gas transport in a shale matrix. The permeability of shale depends on pore pressure, porosity, pore throat size and gas type. The pore network model is a practical way to explain the macro flow behavior of porous media from a microscopic point of view. In this research, gas flow in a shale matrix is simulated using a previously developed three-dimensional pore network model that includes typical bimodal pore size distribution, anisotropy and low connectivity of the pore structure in shale. The apparent gas permeability of shale matrix was calculated under different reservoir pressures corresponding to different gas exploitation stages. Results indicate that gas permeability is strongly related to reservoir gas pressure, and hence the apparent permeability is not a unique value during the shale gas exploitation, and simulations suggested that a constant permeability for continuum-scale simulation is not accurate. Hence, the reservoir pressures of different shale gas exploitations should be considered. In addition, a sensitivity analysis was also performed to determine the contributions to apparent permeability of a shale matrix from petro-physical properties of shale such as pore throat size and porosity. Finally, the impact of connectivity of nano-scale pores on shale gas flux was analyzed. These results would provide an insight into understanding nano/micro scale flows of shale gas in the shale matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: nano-scale gas flow; pore network model; apparent permeability; low connectivity; shale gas nano-scale gas flow; pore network model; apparent permeability; low connectivity; shale gas
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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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Zhang, P.; Hu, L.; Meegoda, J.N. Pore-Scale Simulation and Sensitivity Analysis of Apparent Gas Permeability in Shale Matrix. Materials 2017, 10, 104.

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