Modeling gas adsorption in marcellus shale with langmuir and bet isotherms

Wei Yu, Kamy Sepehrnoori, Tadeusz W. Patzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Production from shale-gas reservoirs plays an important role in natural-gas supply in the United States. Horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing are the two key enabling technologies for the economic development of these shale-gas reservoirs. It is believed that gas in shale reservoirs is mainly composed of free gas within fractures and pores and adsorbed gas in organic matter (kerogen). It is generally assumed in the literature that the monolayer Langmuir isotherm describes gas-adsorption behavior in shale-gas reservoirs. However, in this work, we analyzed four experimental measurements of methane adsorption from the Marcellus Shale core samples that deviate from the Langmuir isotherm, but obey the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) isotherm. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time to find that methane adsorption in a shale-gas reservoir behaves similar to multilayer adsorption. Consequently, investigation of this specific gasdesorption effect is important for accurate evaluation of well performance and completion effectiveness in shale-gas reservoirs on the basis of the BET isotherm. The difference in calculating original gas in place (OGIP) on the basis of both isotherms is discussed. We also performed history matching with one production well from the Marcellus Shale and evaluated the contribution of gas desorption to the well's performance. History matching shows that gas adsorption obeying the BET isotherm contributes more to overall gas recovery than gas adsorption obeying the Langmuir isotherm, especially at early time in production. This work provides better understanding of gas desorption in shale-gas reservoirs and updates our current analytical and numerical models for simulation of shale-gas production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-600
Number of pages12
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2016 Society of Petroleum Engineers.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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