Abstract

Recent studies have shown that shale gas industry is incorrectly determining gas-in-place volumes in reservoirs with a large sorbed-gas by not properly accounting for the volumes occupied by the sorbed and free gas phases. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has discovered nanopores in organic-rich shale with sizes typically in 3-100 nm range, although pores less than 3 nm cannot be captured with current SEM technology. At that scale the adsorption layer thickness is not infinitesimally small. Thus a portion of the total pore volume would be occupied by a finite-size adsorption layer and not available for the free gas molecules. In SPE 131772, we proposed a volumetric method which accounts for the volumes taken up by the free gas and by the adsorption layer. The study was based on a single-component Langmuir adsorption model, however. This paper extends the discussions on the adsorption layer effect for multi-component natural gases with a sorption model also known as extended-Langmuir.

We combine the extended-Langmuir adsorption isotherm with volumetrics and free gas composition to formulate a new gasin-place equation accounting for the pore space taken up by a multi-component sorbed phase. The method yields total gas-inplace predictions, which suggest that an adjustment is necessary in volume calculations, especially for gas shales with high C2+ composition and high in total organic content. Using typical values for the parameters, calculations show a 20% decrease in total gas storage capacity compared to that using the conventional approach. The adjustments need to be done on the free gas volume is 18% more than the value using single-component (methane) case. The role of multi-component adsorption is more important than previously thought. The new methodology is therefore recommended for shale gas-inplace calculations.

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