The effect of poroelastic properties of the shale matrix on gas storage and transport mechanisms has gained significant attention, especially during history-matching and hydrocarbon production forecasting in unconventional reservoirs. The common oil and gas industry practice in unconventional reservoir simulation is the extension of conventional reservoir simulation that ignores the dynamic behavior of matrix porosity and permeability as a function of reservoir effective net stress. This approach ignores the significant impact of the poroelastic characteristics of the shale matrix on hydrocarbon production. The poroelastic characteristics of the shale matrix highly relate to the shale matrix geomechanical properties, such as the Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s ratio, bulk modulus, sorption behavior, total organic content (TOC), mineralogy and presence of natural fractures in the multi-scale shale structure. In this study, in order to quantify the effect of the poroelasticity of the shale matrix on gas production, a multi-continuum approach was employed in which the shale matrix was divided into organic materials, inorganic materials and natural fractures. The governing equations for gas transport and storage in shale were developed from the basic fundamentals of mass and momentum conservation equations. In this case, gas transport in organics was assumed to be diffusive, while gas transport in inorganics was governed by convection. Finally, a fracture system was added to the multi-scale shale gas matrix, and the poroelastic effect of the shale matrix on transport and storage was investigated. A modified Palmer and Mansoori model (1998) was used to include the pore compression, matrix swelling/shrinkage and desorption-induced deformation of shale organic matter on the overall pore compressibility of the shale matrix. For the inorganic part of the matrix, relations between rock mechanical properties and the pore compressibility were obtained. A dual Langmuir–Henry isotherm was also used to describe the sorption behavior of shale organic materials. The coupled governing equations of gas storage and transport in the shale matrix were then solved using the implicit finite difference approach using MATLAB. For this purpose, rock and fluid properties were obtained using actual well logging and core analysis of the Marcellus gas well. The results showed the importance of the poroelastic effect on the pressure response and rate of gas recovery from the shale matrix. The effect was found to be mainly due to desorption-induced matrix deformation at an early stage. Coupling the shale matrix gas production including the poroelastic effect in history-matching the gas production from unconventional reservoirs will significantly improve engineering completion design optimization of the unconventional reservoirs by providing more accurate and robust production forecasts for each hydraulic fracture stage.
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