Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients

Kunkun Fan, Yajun Li, Derek Elsworth, Mingzhe Dong, Hao Yu, Congbin Yin, Yanchao Li

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The accurate determination of shale matrix permeability is a crucial factor in simulating shale gas flow from matrix to fractures, evaluating reservoir potential and forecasting gas production. Current methods for measuring permeability with helium using small pressure gradients (SPG) may lead to erroneous results when applied to actual field production with significant and variable pressure gradients (VPG). This paper establishes a method that measures shale matrix permeability using real gas as close to the actual gas production conditions (PVT) as possible. The mathematical model accommodates desorption and uses both pseudo-pressure and normalized time to accommodate the effect of variations of pressure-dependent gas PVT propeties. Approximate analytical solutions allow the matrix permeability to be estimated by nonlinear fitting to match the approximate solution with the experimental data. Dynamic gas production tests are performed on powdered shale samples of 100~120 mesh with constant external pressure for each production stage with a designated pressure gradient. Both the normalized and actual time solutions are used to eatimate the shale matrix permeability. The results indicate that the normalized and actual time solutions are almost equivalent when external pressure is relatively high, and a deviation occurs between the two solutions at relatively low pressures. For the particular samples, the permeability is estimated of the order of magnitude of 10-7md and decreases with a decrease in external pressure. Permeability errors are reduced by using the normalized time solution for parameter estimation at relatively low pressures. The normalized time transformation yields results obtained from the VPG method closer to actuality and may be directly used for gas production project design and production capacity prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018 - Houston, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2018Jul 25 2018

Other

OtherSPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018
CountryUnited States
CityHouston
Period7/23/187/25/18

Fingerprint

Shale
Pressure gradient
Methane
Experiments
Gases
Gradient methods
Gas dynamics
Parameter estimation
Helium
Flow of gases
Desorption
Mathematical models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Fan, K., Li, Y., Elsworth, D., Dong, M., Yu, H., Yin, C., & Li, Y. (2018). Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients. Paper presented at SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018, Houston, United States. https://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2018-2901171
Fan, Kunkun ; Li, Yajun ; Elsworth, Derek ; Dong, Mingzhe ; Yu, Hao ; Yin, Congbin ; Li, Yanchao. / Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients. Paper presented at SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018, Houston, United States.
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Fan, K, Li, Y, Elsworth, D, Dong, M, Yu, H, Yin, C & Li, Y 2018, 'Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients', Paper presented at SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018, Houston, United States, 7/23/18 - 7/25/18. https://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2018-2901171

Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients. / Fan, Kunkun; Li, Yajun; Elsworth, Derek; Dong, Mingzhe; Yu, Hao; Yin, Congbin; Li, Yanchao.

2018. Paper presented at SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018, Houston, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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T1 - Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients

AU - Fan, Kunkun

AU - Li, Yajun

AU - Elsworth, Derek

AU - Dong, Mingzhe

AU - Yu, Hao

AU - Yin, Congbin

AU - Li, Yanchao

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - The accurate determination of shale matrix permeability is a crucial factor in simulating shale gas flow from matrix to fractures, evaluating reservoir potential and forecasting gas production. Current methods for measuring permeability with helium using small pressure gradients (SPG) may lead to erroneous results when applied to actual field production with significant and variable pressure gradients (VPG). This paper establishes a method that measures shale matrix permeability using real gas as close to the actual gas production conditions (PVT) as possible. The mathematical model accommodates desorption and uses both pseudo-pressure and normalized time to accommodate the effect of variations of pressure-dependent gas PVT propeties. Approximate analytical solutions allow the matrix permeability to be estimated by nonlinear fitting to match the approximate solution with the experimental data. Dynamic gas production tests are performed on powdered shale samples of 100~120 mesh with constant external pressure for each production stage with a designated pressure gradient. Both the normalized and actual time solutions are used to eatimate the shale matrix permeability. The results indicate that the normalized and actual time solutions are almost equivalent when external pressure is relatively high, and a deviation occurs between the two solutions at relatively low pressures. For the particular samples, the permeability is estimated of the order of magnitude of 10-7md and decreases with a decrease in external pressure. Permeability errors are reduced by using the normalized time solution for parameter estimation at relatively low pressures. The normalized time transformation yields results obtained from the VPG method closer to actuality and may be directly used for gas production project design and production capacity prediction.

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Fan K, Li Y, Elsworth D, Dong M, Yu H, Yin C et al. Determination of shale matrix permeability through dynamic methane production experiments using variable pressure gradients. 2018. Paper presented at SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2018, URTC 2018, Houston, United States. https://doi.org/10.15530/urtec-2018-2901171