Effect of Capillary Condensation on Gas Transport in Shale: A Pore-Scale Model Study
- Binh T. Bui (Colorado School of Mines and Aramco Research Center) | Hui-Hai Liu (Aramco Research Center) | Jinhong Chen (Aramco Research Center) | Azra N. Tutuncu (Colorado School of Mines)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- April 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 601 - 612
- 2016.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transport in Pore , Pore Scale Modeling , Shale Gas , Capillary Condensation
- 8 in the last 30 days
- 658 since 2007
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The condensation of the gas inside nanopores at pressures lower than the dewpoint pressure, or capillary condensation, is an important physical phenomenon affecting the gas flow/transport process in shale. This work investigates the underlying transport mechanism and governing factors for the gas transport at a pore scale associated with capillary condensation. We numerically simulate and compare the gas-transport process within pores for two cases, with and without capillary condensation, while Knudsen diffusion, wall slippage, and phase transition are included in the numerical model. In each case, the simulations are performed for two pore geometries corresponding to a single pore and two parallel-connected pores. The main objective is to determine whether capillary condensation blocks or enhances gas transport during production. The results show that the presence of the liquid phase in the pore throat initially enhances the gas flow rate to the outlet of the pore, but significantly reduces it later. This blockage depends on pore geometry and the properties of the oil and gas phases. The relatively low mobility of the condensed liquid in the pore throat is the main factor that reduces the mass transport along the pore. The reduction of overall mass transport in a single pore is more significant than that for the parallel pore geometry. Implications of this work for predicting large-scale gas transport in shale are also discussed.
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