Hydrocarbon-Phase Behaviors in Shale Nanopore/Fracture Model: Multiscale, Multicomponent, and Multiphase
- Yinuo Zhao (University of Alberta) | Zhehui Jin (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2,526 - 2,540
- 2019.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- nanopores, phase behavior, density functional theory, shale/tight oil, hydrocarbon mixtures
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 183 since 2007
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Hydrocarbon recovery from shale subformations has greatly contributed to the global energy supply and has been constantly reshaping the energy sector. Oil production from shale is a complex process in which multicomponent-fluid mixtures experience multiphase transitions in multiscale volumes (i.e., nanoscale pores are connected to fractures/macropores). Understanding such complicated phenomena plays a critical role in the estimation of ultimate oil recovery, well productivity, and reserves estimation, and ultimately in policy making. In this work, we use density-functional theory (DFT) to explicitly consider fluid/surface interactions, inhomogeneous-density distributions in nanopores, volume partitioning in nanopores, and connected macropores/natural fractures to study the complex multiphase transitions of multicomponent fluids in multiscale volumes. We found that vapor-like and liquid-like phases can coexist in nanopores when pressure is between the bubblepoint and dewpoint pressures of nanoconfined fluids, both of which are much lower than those of the originally injected hydrocarbon mixtures. As the volume ratio of the bulk at the initial conditions to pores decreases, both the bubblepoint and the dewpoint in nanopores increase and the pore two-phase region expands. Within the pore two-phase region, both C1 and C3 are released from the nanopores to the bulk phase as pressure declines. Meanwhile, both liquid and vapor phases become denser as pressure drops. By further decreasing pressure below the dewpoint of confined fluids, C3 in the nanopore can be recovered. Throughout the process, the bulk-phase composition varies, which is in line with the field observation. Collectively, this work captures the coupled complexity of multicomponent and multiphase fluids in mutliscale geometries that is inherent to shale reservoirs and provides a theoretical foundation for reservoir simulation, which is significant for the accurate prediction of well productivity and ultimate oil recovery in shale reservoirs.
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