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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 96, No. 2 (February 2012), P. 355374.

Copyright copy2012. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/05181110171

Innovative methods for flow-unit and pore-structure analyses in a tight siltstone and shale gas reservoir

Christopher R. Clarkson,1 Jerry L. Jensen,2 Per Kent Pedersen,3 Melissa Freeman4

1Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4; [email protected]
2Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4; [email protected]
3Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4; [email protected]
4Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4; [email protected]

ABSTRACT

Tight gas reservoirs are notoriously difficult to characterize; routine methods developed for conventional reservoirs are not appropriate for tight gas reservoirs. In this article, we investigate the use of nonroutine methods to characterize permeability heterogeneity and pore structure of a tight gas reservoir for use in flow-unit identification. Profile permeability is used to characterize fine-scale (lt1 in. [lt2.5 cm]) vertical heterogeneity in a tight gas core; more than 500 measurements were made. Profile permeability, although useful for characterizing heterogeneity, will not provide in-situ estimates of permeability; furthermore, the scale of measurement is much smaller than log scale. Pulse-decay permeability measurements collected on core plugs under confining pressure were used to correct the profile permeability measurements to in-situ stress conditions, and 13-point averages of profile permeability were used to relate to log-derived porosity measurements. Finally, N2 adsorption, a new method for tight gas was used to estimate the pore-size distribution of several tight gas samples. A unimodal or bimodal distribution was observed for the samples, with the larger peak corresponding to the dominant pore-throat size, as confirmed by independent methods. Furthermore, the adsorption-desorption hysteresis loop shape was used to interpret the dominant pore shape as slot-shaped pores, which is typical of many tight gas reservoirs. The N2 adsorption method provides rapid analysis and does not suffer from some of the same limitations of Hg injection. In the future, we hope that the N2 adsorption method may prove useful for flow-unit characterization (based on dominant pore size) of fine-grained (siltstone-shale) tight gas reservoirs.

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