We conducted pulse-decay permeability experiments on Utica and Permian shale samples to investigate the effect of rock mineralogy and pore structure on the transport mechanisms using a non-adsorbing gas (argon). The mineralogy of the shale samples varied from clay rich to calcite rich (i.e. clay poor). Our permeability measurements and scanning electron microscopy images revealed that the permeability of the shale samples whose pores resided in the kerogen positively correlated with organic content. Our results showed that the absolute value of permeability was not affected by the mineral composition of the shale samples. Additionally, our results indicated that clay content played a significant role in the stress-dependent permeability. For clay-rich samples, we observed higher pore throat compressibility, which led to higher permeability reduction at increasing effective stress than with calcite-rich samples. Our findings highlight the importance of considering permeability to be stress dependent to achieve more accurate reservoir simulations especially for clay-rich shale reservoirs.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Energy and the subsurface’.
One contribution of 12 to a theme issue ‘Energy and the subsurface’.
- Accepted June 10, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.