The aim of this work is to study shale gas production subject to water blocking in compressible shale. Water blocking is a capillary pressure end-effect causing the wetting phase (e.g. water) to accumulate near the transition from a porous medium to an open medium; in this context, a transition from shale matrix to a hydraulic fracture. Shale is considered a tight porous medium with ultralow permeability, and hydraulic fracturing is essential to obtain economical production. Water is frequently used as a fracturing fluid, but its accumulation at the matrix end-face reduces the gas mobility and can lead to rapid decline of gas production rate.
The tight nature of the shale as a porous medium also introduces non-standard flow and storage mechanisms. This work develops a mathematical model that accounts for apparent permeability, compressibility of gas and shale, gas adsorption, Forchheimer gas flow, and multiphase flow parameters like relative permeability and capillary pressure, which depend on wettability. The behavior of the model at steady state production is explored to understand the impact of the various mechanisms.