The application of horizontal well drilling coupled with the multistage fracturing technology enables commercial development of shale gas formations, which launches the energy revolution from conventional resources to unconventional resources. With the progress of understanding the nature of shale reservoirs, we find that some shale methane is stored as an adsorbed phase on surfaces of organic carbon. Meanwhile, laboratory and theoretical calculations indicate that organic-rich shale adsorbs CO2 preferentially over CH4. Shale gas reservoirs are recently becoming the promising underground target for CO2 sequestration. In the paper, systematic numerical simulations will be implemented to investigate the feasibility of CO2 sequestration in shale gas reservoirs and quantify the associated uncertainties.
First, a multi-continua porous medium model will be set up to present the matrix, nature fractures and hydraulic fractures in shale gas reservoirs. Based on this model, we will investigate a three-stage flow mechanism which includes convective gas flow mainly in fractures, dispersive gas transport in macro pores and multi-component sorption phenomenon in micro pores. To deal with this complicated three-stage flow mechanism simultaneously, analytical apparent permeability which includes slip flow and Knudsen diffusion will be incorporated into a commercial simulator CMG-GEM. A Langmuir isotherm model is used for CH4 and the multilayer sorption gas model, a BET model, is implemented for CO2. In addition, a mixing rule is introduced to deal with the CH4-CO2 competitive adsorption phenomenon.
In the paper, an integrated methodology is provided to investigate the CO2 sequestration process. Simulation results indicate that a shale gas reservoir is an ideal target for the CO2 sequestration. Even with the reservoir pressure maintenance due to the injection of CO2, the reservoir productivity is not enhanced. Hydraulic fracking which creates freeways for gas flow is the key to improve the reservoir performance. The multicomponent desorption/adsorption is a very important feature in a shale gas reservoir, which should be fully harnessed to benefit the CO2 sequestration process. In addition, we cannot ignore the contribution of slip flow and diffusion to the reservoir performance. Based on the methodology provided in this paper, we can easily deal with the apparent permeability effect using a commercial simulator platform.