Over past decades, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has allowed improved access to large volumes of natural gas in shale gas reservoirs that were previously uneconomical to produce. Shale gas has become an important source of natural gas and has successfully rejuvenated the oil and gas industry. A larger proportion of natural gas is said to be stored by adsorption mechanism, accounting for about 40-80% of the total original gas-in-place. However, it is critical to study the adsorption behaviour in shale gas to accurately estimate the amount of gas in place. Since the adsorbed gas volume is pressure dependent, an accurate description of the effect of adsorbed gas on production process (particularly in late stage, when reservoir pressure is low) is meaningful for predicting production.
In this study, numerical simulation effort has been developed to accurately describe gas production process in shale. The impact of desorption was critically analysed using available laboratory data of Langmuir isotherm from two shale formations including Marcellus and Barnett. Desorption effect on these two shales with different reservoir properties was then compared to observe the property that affects desorption contribution most. Furthermore, Marcellus model was validated by history matching with available field gas production data from Marcellus, and then production was forecasted for 30 years to observe desorption effect. Results suggest that if desorption is overlooked, the reservoir potential would be underestimated. Desorption contributes over 11% increase in gas recovery and 14% increase in production at 30 years of gas production, and much lesser at early stage production. This shows that desorption is more evident at later stage of production. Also, a series of parameter sensitivity analysis was performed by using C.M.G.(CMOST) to investigate the impact of reservoir properties (including Langmuir parameters) on desorption effect.
This paper enables operators to develop an early better understanding of the contribution of desorption on shale gas performance and key parameters affecting the effectiveness of adsorbed gas contribution.
First and foremost, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my parents, MrAgu Emmanuel Onyekweli and MrsAguEme-Gladys, who has shown endless support and guidance to me throughout my life.
I also would like to thank my supervisor and co-supervisor, Dr JebraeelGholinezhad and Dr Afshin Anssari-Benam for their valuable contribution towards the progress of this project. It was a pleasure to study under their supervision; it was an additional experience for my future career.
I also would like to thank Mr John Fianu, for his technical assistance throughout the project and friendship.
Special thanks to my lovely siblings, MrsAguNkeiruAwachie and MrsAguEkeneolisa Nweke, for their kind love and encouragement. I sincerely appreciate you lots.
Lastly, a big appreciation to all my course mates and friends who has shown me kindness, love and assistance in one way or the other. God, bless you all.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Global shale gas basins distribution (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2013) 2
Figure 1.2: Graphical representation of world natural gas production by type (the past and future projections) from 2010-2040, adapted from “U.S. EIA, International Energy Outlook 2016.” 2
Figure 1.3: Permeability of nano-Darcy for shale gas reservoirs (Yu, 2015). 3
Figure 1.4: Combination of horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing to natural gas wells (Morley, 2016). 3
Figure 2.1: Representation of the adsorption process of a given gas on a solid surface at given temperature and pressure (Microtrac-bel.com, 2017). 8
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