Summary

A novel multiphysics multiscale multiporosity shale gas transport (M3ST) model was developed to investigate shale gas transport in both transient and steady states. The microscale model component contains a kerogen domain and an inorganic matrix domain, and each domain has its own geomechanical and gas transport properties. Permeabilities of various shale cores were measured in the laboratory using a pulse decay permeameter (PDP) with different pore pressure and confining stress combinations. The PDP-measured apparent permeability as a function of pore pressure under two effective stresses was fitted using the microscale M3ST model component based on nonlinear least squares fitting (NLSF), and the fitted model parameters were able to provide accurate model predictions for another effective stress. The parameters and petrophysical properties determined in the steady state were then used in the transient-state,continuum-scale M3ST model component, which performed history matching of the evolutions of the upstream and downstream gas pressures. In addition, a double-exponential empirical model was developed as a powerful alternative to the M3ST model to fit laboratory-measured apparent permeability under various effective stresses and pore pressures. The developed M3ST model and the research findings in this study provided critical insights into the role of the multiphysics mechanisms, including geomechanics, fluid dynamics and transport, and the Klinkenberg effect on shale gas transport across different spatial scales in both steady and transient states.

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