Quantifying the Influence of Fractures for More-Accurate Laboratory Measurement of Shale Matrix Permeability Using a Modified Gas-Expansion Method
- Sheng Peng (University of Texas at Austin) | Bo Ren (University of Texas at Austin) | Mianmo Meng (China University of Petroleum, Beijing, and University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- March 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- shale matrix permeability, laboratory measurement, influence of fractures, matrix porosity, analytical solution
- 14 in the last 30 days
- 79 since 2007
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Matrix permeability is a key petrophysical parameter in reservoir evaluation and simulation. However, measurement of this parameter remains problematic for unconventional reservoirs. One of the challenges lies in the influence of fractures. Inclusion of fractures can lead to overestimation of shale matrix permeability. In this paper, new experimental and data-analysis procedures are developed for more-accurate yet relatively fast measurement of shale matrix permeability on the basis of previous work (Peng and Loucks 2016). The influence of fractures on matrix porosity and permeability is quantified and excluded. Reliability and consistency of the measurement results are confirmed through multiple means, including analytical solution back calculation and measurements for similar samples but with different plug diameters. Because the influence of fractures is explicitly excluded in data analysis, the new method is also more flexible regarding sample conditions—even broken plug samples with fractures can be used in this method. This is another advantage of the new method given the difficulty in obtaining “intact” plugs because of the fissility of shale.
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