Multi-Scale Multi-Physics Modeling of Matrix Transport Properties in Fractured Shale Reservoirs

Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:20 PM
Ayaz Mehmani, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States and Masa Prodanovic, University of Texas, Austin, TX, United States
Understanding the shale matrix flow behavior is imperative in successful reservoir development for hydrocarbon production and carbon storage. Without a predictive model, significant uncertainties in flowback from the formation, the communication between the fracture and matrix as well as proper fracturing practice will ensue. Informed by SEM images, we develop deterministic network models that couple pores from multiple scales and their respective fluid physics. The models are used to investigate sorption hysteresis as an affordable way of inferring the nanoscale pore structure in core scale. In addition, restricted diffusion as a function of pore shape, pore-throat size ratios and network connectivity is computed to make correct interpretation of the 2D NMR maps possible. Our novel pore network models have the ability to match sorption hysteresis measurements without any tuning parameters. The results clarify a common misconception of linking type 3 nitrogen hysteresis curves to only the shale pore shape and show promising sensitivty for nanopore structre inference in core scale. The results on restricted diffusion shed light on the importance of including shape factors in 2D NMR interpretations. A priori "weighting factors" as a function of pore-throat and throat-length ratio are presented and the effect of network connectivity on diffusion is quantitatively assessed. We are currently working on verifying our models with experimental data gathered from the Eagleford formation.