Nano-pore Confinement and Pore Connectivity Considerations in Modeling Unconventional Resources

[+] Author and Article Information
Alireza Sanaei

Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma

Yixin Ma

Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma

Ahmad Jamili

Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering, University of Oklahoma

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040791 History: Received March 29, 2016; Revised July 01, 2018


Gas and condensate production from nano-pore unconventional resources dramatically increased during the past decade. Transport properties and mechanisms deviate from their bulk behavior when the pore sizes in shale formations are in the order of nano-scale. This is due to the dominant effect of molecule-pore wall interactions comparing to molecule-molecule interactions in nano-pores. Therefore physics of multiphase flow in current commercial simulators should be altered to take into account the effect of pore size on both transport mechanisms and fluid properties. In this paper we analyze the effect of fluid confinement on phase behavior, fluid properties, and condensate banking around the hydraulic fracture where nano-pores perform as the dominate storage region and dispersed with pores with bulk behavior. Confinement effect is considered using modified critical properties in the phase behavior calculations. Using experimental results, an equation for estimating mean pore size is presented as a function of permeability and porosity. Pore size distribution of a shale sample is used to divide the reservoir into different regions. For each region, a specific permeability is assigned using the new developed correlation. Three different types of connectivity are considered between pores and its impact on production mechanisms is analyzed. Results of this study revealed that nano-pore confinement effect on phase behavior results in an increase in production while considering permeability variation with pore size has a negative contribution on hydrocarbon production. Connectivity type between different pore sizes has a significant effect and determines the dominant factor.

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