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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Recovery Efficiency in Hydraulically Fractured Shale Gas Reservoirs

[+] Author and Article Information
Maxian B. Seales

Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
202 Hosler Building,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: maxian_seales@yahoo.com

Turgay Ertekin

Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
202 Hosler Building,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: eur@psu.edu

John Yilin Wang

Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University,
202 Hosler Building,
University Park, PA 16802
e-mail: John.wang@psu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 1, 2016; final manuscript received February 12, 2017; published online March 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Deepak Devegowda.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(4), 042901 (Mar 16, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1065; doi: 10.1115/1.4036043 History: Received February 01, 2016; Revised February 12, 2017

At the end of 2015 the U.S. held 5.6% or approximately 369 Tcf of worldwide conventional natural gas proved reserves (British Petroleum Company, 2016, “BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2016,” British Petroleum Co., London). If unconventional gas sources are considered, natural gas reserves rise steeply to 2276 Tcf. Shale gas alone accounts for approximately 750 Tcf of the technically recoverable gas reserves in the U.S. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2011, “Review of Emerging Resources: U.S. Shale Gas and Shale Oil plays,” U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC). However, this represents only a very small fraction of the gas associated with shale formations and is indicative of current technological limits. This manuscript addresses the question of recovery efficiency/recovery factor (RF) in fractured gas shales. Predictions of gas RF in fractured shale gas reservoirs are presented as a function of operating conditions, non-Darcy flow, gas slippage, proppant crushing, and proppant diagenesis. Recovery factors are simulated using a fully implicit, three-dimensional, two-phase, dual-porosity finite difference model that was developed specifically for this purpose. The results presented in this article provide clear insight into the range of recovery factors one can expect from a fractured shale gas formation, the impact that operation procedures and other phenomena have on these recovery factors, and the efficiency or inefficiency of contemporary shale gas production technology.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Fracture conductivity change for proppant diagenesis

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Fig. 2

Fracture conductivity change for proppant crushing

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Fig. 3

Stimulated area for a single well pad (5280 ft × 2640 ft)

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Fig. 4

Illustration of the simulated reservoir layout

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Fig. 5

Numerical blocks grid (only two stages shown for clarity)

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Fig. 6

Natural fracture spacing

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Fig. 7

Gas recovery factor for single and multiphase flow

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Fig. 8

Gas recovery factor as a function of sandface pressure

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Fig. 9

Cumulative gas recovered as a function of sandface pressure

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Fig. 10

Gas recovery factor as a function of absorbed gas

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Fig. 11

Percentage of adsorbed gas recovered

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Fig. 12

Adsorbed gas RF as a function sandface pressure

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Fig. 13

Gas recovered—using various empirical estimates forβ

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Fig. 14

RF as a function of physical phenomena at psf = 1000 psi

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Fig. 15

RF as a function of physical phenomena at psf = 250 psi

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