Multi-porosity multi-physics compositional simulation for gas storage and transport in highly heterogeneous shales

Bicheng Yan, Lidong Mi, Yuhe Wang, Hewei Tang, Cheng An, John E. Killough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Shale gas reservoir is comprised of highly heterogeneous porosity systems including hydraulic/secondary fractures, inorganic and organic matrix. Multiple non-Darcy flow mechanisms in the shale matrix further bring challenges for modeling. In this paper, we developed a framework combining a multi-physics compositional simulator with Multi-Porosity Modeling preprocessor for gas storage and transport in shale. A Triple-Porosity Model is used to characterize the three porosity systems in shale gas reservoirs. In the fracture porosity the heterogeneous impact of secondary fractures distribution on matrix-to-fracture fluid transfer is revealed by shape factor distribution. They are upscaled with superior accuracy from a detailed Discrete Fracture Network Model (DFN) sector model, where orthogonal hydraulic fractures are explicitly discretized. With the occurrence of nano-pores in shale matrix, the interaction between pore-wall and gas molecules is considered via Knudsen diffusion and gas slippage. Gas adsorption on the pore-wall of organic matrix is modeled by extended Langmuir isotherm. The inter-porosity and intra-porosity connectivities in the Triple-Porosity Model are flexibly controlled by arbitrary connections. Our results show that gas production in the Triple-Porosity Model with shape factor upscaled from DFN exhibits different production performance from models with uniform shape factor distribution. The deviations are caused by the dominance of different regions at different production periods. Connection topology in the shale gas reservoir is also comprehensively assessed. We demonstrate that the intra-porosity connections in the inorganic and organic matrix have negligible impact on the global gas flux, while the inter-porosity connections have different levels of importance for the gas production. Moreover, different combinations of flow and storage mechanisms are investigated. We show that Langmuir desorption maintains reservoir pressure, but gas slippage and Knudsen diffusion accelerate the pressure drop. Both mechanisms contribute to improve the gas production and the consideration of them simultaneously improve gas production most.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-509
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Fuel Technology


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