Abstract

Due to the micro/nanoscale and intricate pore structure, poor connectivity, complex pathways, the presence of microfractures, and the coexistence of organic and inorganic pores, shale and other tight reservoirs exhibit increasingly complex conductive characteristics. This paper mainly studied the electrical properties of shale based on experimental test data, including scanning electron microscope (SEM) thin-section and microtomography CT (μ-CT) images, and analyzed the shale pore type, pore structure characteristics, and development of fracture. Then, the distribution of pyrite, content, and graphitization of organics and their influence on the electrical properties are discussed. Furthermore, the double electrical layer and zeta potential in the shale zone were discussed in depth. The results revealed that, within the content of pyrite, organics, and its graphitization, the vitrinite maturity are inversely proportional to shale resistivity. It was also found that in the presence of an external electromagnetic field, the fluid in shale pores is subjected to the combined strength of pore pressure and external field potential difference. Thus, its response equation should be an improved Navier-Stokes equation, which considers pore pressure, zeta potential, and Coulomb force. When shale is subjected to an external electromagnetic field, due to the complex pores structure and organic and inorganic minerals, it will represent more of a dielectric-like property than electricity. So, it will form special microscopic ionic capacitors, which are different from common plate capacitors. There are three special kinds of microscopic ionic capacitors, they are (I) the intergranular pore microscopic ionic capacitor model, (II) the particle with isolated pore microscopic ionic capacitor model, and (III) the pyrite or graphite or other organics microscopic ionic capacitor model. Finally, the characteristics of microscopic ion capacitors are summarized: irregular polar area and varying distance between poles, varying charges with time, and salinity of the formation water.

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