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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1833;

Research on Stress Sensitivity of Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs Based on CT Technology

Research Centre of Multiphase Flow in Porous Media, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow and Transport Properties of Unconventional Reservoirs)
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Fracture aperture change under stress has long been considered as one of primary causes of stress sensitivity of fractured gas reservoirs. However, little is known about the evolution of the morphology of fracture apertures on flow property in loading and unloading cycles. This paper reports a stress sensitivity experiment on carbonate core plugs in which Computed Tomography (CT) technology is applied to visualize and quantitatively evaluate morphological changes to the fracture aperture with respect to confining pressure. Fracture models were obtained at selected confining pressures on which pore-scale flow simulations were performed to estimate the equivalent absolute permeability. The results showed that with the increase of confining pressure from 0 to 0.6 MPa, the fracture aperture and equivalent permeability decreased at a greater gradient than their counterparts after 0.6 MPa. This meant that the rock sample is more stress-sensitive at low effective stress than at high effective stress. On the loading path, an exponential fitting was found to fit well between the effective confining pressure and the calculated permeability. On the unloading path, the relationship is found partially reversible, which can evidently be attributed to plastic deformation of the fracture as observed in CT images. View Full-Text
Keywords: CT; digital core; fracture opening; stress sensitivity; pore-scale simulations CT; digital core; fracture opening; stress sensitivity; pore-scale simulations

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Yang, Y.; Liu, Z.; Sun, Z.; An, S.; Zhang, W.; Liu, P.; Yao, J.; Ma, J. Research on Stress Sensitivity of Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs Based on CT Technology. Energies 2017, 10, 1833.

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