Multiscale Characterization and Flow Mechanisms for Shale Oil/Gas Recovery
Dongxiao Zhang, Ph.D
Dean, College of Engineering
A systematic investigation of multiscale pore structure in organic-rich shale by means of the combination of various imaging techniques is presented, including the state-of-the-art Helium-Ion-Microscope (HIM). The study achieves insight into the major features at each scale and suggests the affordable techniques for specific objectives from the aspects of resolution, dimension and cost. The pores, which appear to be isolated, are connected by smaller pores resolved by higher resolution imaging. This observation provides valuable information, from the microscopic perspective of pore structure, for understanding how gas accumulates and transports from where it is generated. A comprehensive workflow is proposed based on the characteristics acquired from the multiscale pore structure analysis to simulate the gas transport process. The simulations are completed with three levels: the microscopic mechanisms should be taken into consideration at level I; the spatial distribution features of organic matter, inorganic matter, and macropores constitute the major issue at level II; and the micro-fracture orientation and topological structure are dominant factors at level III. The results of apparent permeability from simulations agree well with the values acquired from experiments. Other flow mechanisms important for shale oil/gas recovery are also discussed. Some realistic industrial examples at the field scale are presented in the end.
About the Speaker:
Professor Zhang is the Dean of College of Engineering, Director of Institute of Ocean Research, and Director of Institute of Clean Energy at Peking University, Beijing, China. Professor Zhang is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Member of Society of Petroleum Engineers, and a Fellow of Geological Society of America. He had held positions as Senior Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Miller Chair Professor at the Department of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, and Chair Professor at the University of Southern California. He has authored 2 books and published over 160 peer-reviewed papers. He earned both his Master’s degree and Ph.D. in hydrology and water resources in 1992 and 1993, respectively, from the University of Arizona. Professor Zhang has been an associate editor for SPE Journal, Water Resource Research, Advances in Water Resources, SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulation, Journal of Computational Geosciences, and Vadose Zone Journal. He has served as a panelist on the RCUK Review of Energy, UK Research Councils, a member of US National Research Council’s Committee on New Research Opportunities in the Earth Sciences, a council member of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on New Energy Architecture, and an elected member of board of trustees at Western Academy of Beijing.