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Flow Gas Regimes in Shale Gas

Reservoir
Abhijeet Narang1, Raghav Garg2
1

Student, Department of Petroleum & Earth Sciences, University of Petroleum &


Energy Studies.

Student, Department of Petroleum & Earth Sciences, University of Petroleum &


Energy Studies.

Email: abhijeet.narang@stu.upes.ac.in1 , iraghav@live.com2 .


Mob: 089794482201, 086502233102.

Abstract:Natural gas is the one of the largest sources of primary energy, contributing 15% of
worlds energy need and its usage is increasing with each passing day. But
unfortunately, its production has been declining for over 15 years now. This
situation generates the need to look for unconventional sources which can compare
conventionals efficiency and are also economically viable. This need has lead to
introduction of a new fuel; Shale gas.
Shale gas reservoirs have huge abundance, but main difficulty lies in its production.
With major obstacles being reservoirs nano-porosity and micro-permeability. Unlike
conventional reservoirs which (10md to 1000md), shale reservoirs have porosity not
more than 0.001md. These factors completely change the flow of gas. And to take
this gas out, knowledge of this new flow is important.
Shale reservoir has two volumes, namely matrix volume and natural fracture
volume. Matrix volume includes the gas which resides in the cracks and the pores of
the shale reservoir. Whereas natural fracture volume holds the gas accumulated in
the fractures naturally formed. Accounting to its ultra low permeability, the flow of
the gas from the reservoir is affected by various factors such as Klinkenberg effect,
non-Darcy flow, geo-mechanics effect and the adsorption/desorption processes. All
these effects act in a sequential manner towards wellbore.

The factors acting on gas in its native place are adsorption/desorption effects. The
shale has rich organic content and methane adsorbs due to the same on its surface.
The gases adsorb on a surface following a particular isotherm, in this case it is
Langmuir. According to the isotherm, the surface adsorbs a particular volume for a
definite pressure and temperature. For e.g. shale has better preferential adsorption
of CO2 than methane in shale at reservoir conditions.
As the gas begins to leave the accumulation point, initially Klinkenberg effect is
considered. While defining the interactions to be considered, Klinkenberg
considered the existence of a layer (called Knudsen layer), thinner than the
molecular mean free path, adjacent to well bores wall. Thus there will be mainly
molecular wall collisions as compared to collisions among the molecules. This factor
cant be ignored in a shale reservoir to its nano-porosity and permeability. This
induces the concept of slippage velocity with which gas will be pulled.
As the dynamics starts, Geo-mechanics comes into play. As the gas is produced the
pore pressure declines which results in an increase in the effective stress in
reservoir which largely affects the cracks in rock and therefore a potential effect on
reservoir permeability.
Now as the gas enters the wellbore from the reservoir rock, the gas follows a new
type of flow called Non-Darcy flow. This Non-Darcy flow is a rate dependent skin
effect. It applies in high flow rates and, occurs in the hydraulic fractures especially
when the flow converges to horizontal well.
All the above mentioned factors should be given a deep thought so as to properly
and profitably extract the shale gas. After all, Shale gas has the potential of
becoming the fuel of the future.