Coupled Numerical Simulation of Thermal-Reactive Flow and Geomechanics with Solid Mass Conversion
- Faruk O. Alpak (Shell International Exploration and Production) | Jeroen C. Vink (Shell Global Solutions International B.V.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- February 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 310 - 325
- 2020.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- open-system geomechanics (OSG), in-situ conversion process (ICP), thermoelasticity, coupled thermal-reactive flow and geomechanics, oil shale
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 158 since 2007
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An extension of the novel fully coupled thermal-hydromechanical (THM) open-system geomechanics (OSG) model is developed for the analysis of coupled flow and oil-shale geomechanics. The model is cast within the framework of Biot’s elasticity and classical thermoelasticity. A new term in the equations accounting for the effects of pyrolysis is included in the present model to capture the removal of mass from the reactive solid phase because of the kerogen-conversion process modeled through a simplified chemical-reaction model. The proposed novel formulation approach and its numerical implementation differ from traditional methods and offer a step improvement in the geomechanical modeling of thermally reactive porous media, such as oil shales.
The numerical implementation of the OSG model, a first in the literature, is developed within the framework of a proprietary coupled thermal-reactive flow and geomechanics simulator, which was extensively validated in a previous publication. In this paper, we compare the thermal-reactive OSG model against experimental measurements. Numerical results from the validation test show that the model captures the fundamental physical behavior of oil-shale geomechanics realistically and correctly. Parametric analyses of the OSG model indicate that the chemical conversion term is the critical term that dictates the magnitude of compaction in the solid equation, and a further investigation illustrates the importance of the mobility term in the pore-pressure buildup. It is also noticed that the initiation and the rate of compaction of the oil-shale sample are governed by the chemical activation energy and the reaction-rate constant.
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