A Generalized Framework Model for the Simulation of Gas Production in Unconventional Gas Reservoirs
- Yu-Shu Wu (Colorado School of Mines) | Jianfang Li (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development) | Didier Ding (IFP Energies Nouvelles) | Cong Wang (Colorado School of Mines) | Yuan Di (Peking University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- October 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 845 - 857
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 5.8.1 Tight Gas, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
- reservoir simulation, unconventional reservoir, tight gas, shale gas
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Unconventional gas resources from tight-sand and shale gas reservoirs have received great attention in the past decade around the world because of their large reserves and technical advances in developing these resources. As a result of improved horizontal drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies, progress is being made toward commercial gas production from such reservoirs, as demonstrated in the US. However, understandings and technologies needed for the effective development of unconventional reservoirs are far behind the industry needs (e.g., gas-recovery rates from those unconventional resources remain very low). There are some efforts in the literature on how to model gas flow in shale gas reservoirs by use of various approaches - from modified commercial simulators to simplified analytical solutions - leading to limited success. Compared with conventional reservoirs, gas flow in ultralow-permeability unconventional reservoirs is subject to more nonlinear, coupled processes, including nonlinear adsorption/desorption, non-Darcy flow (at both high flow rate and low flow rate), strong rock/fluid interaction, and rock deformation within nanopores or microfractures, coexisting with complex flow geometry and multiscaled heterogeneity. Therefore, quantifying flow in unconventional gas reservoirs has been a significant challenge, and traditional representative-elementary-volume- (REV) based Darcy's law, for example, may not be generally applicable. In this paper, we discuss a generalized mathematical framework model and numerical approach for unconventional-gas-reservoir simulation. We present a unified framework model able to incorporate known mechanisms and processes for two-phase gas flow and transport in shale gas or tight gas formations. The model and numerical scheme are based on generalized flow models with unstructured grids. We discuss the numerical implementation of the mathematical model and show results of our model-verification effort. Specifically, we discuss a multidomain, multicontinuum concept for handling multiscaled heterogeneity and fractures [i.e., the use of hybrid modeling approaches to describe different types and scales of fractures or heterogeneous pores - from the explicit modeling of hydraulic fractures and the fracture network in stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) to distributed natural fractures, microfractures, and tight matrix]. We demonstrate model application to quantify hydraulic fractures and transient flow behavior in shale gas reservoirs.
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