Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
April 1, 2014

Novel apparatuses have been developed to measure permeability using steady- and unsteady- state methods on nano-Darcy (nD) shale (source rock) using intact cylindrical samples returned to isostatic effective reservoir stress. The steady-state method uses a high pressure dual pump system using supercritical fluids. High pressure supercritical fluids have low viscosity and low compressibility. The effect of low viscosity fluid results in measureable flow rates and the effect of low compressibility fluid minimize unsteady-state transients thereby reducing the amount of time required to achieve steady-state equilibrium. Specially designed and configured pump systems, seals and sleeves reduce leak rates to allow Darcy flow and permeability determination below 1 nD. The unsteady-state method is based upon standard designs but is optimized for small pore volume. In this report we present a summary of over 200 such permeability measurements. Permeability is observed to be dependent on geologic parameters, such as, texture and composition. Stress dependence, with hysteresis, is observed for samples with and without fractures as is rate dependent skin (Forchheimer). An interpretation model where matrix storage
feeds a progressively larger fracture network provides a logical basis for a dual-porosity reservoir simulation model. This dual-porosity model is used to understand the influence of reservoir production parameters, such as choke management.

Authors: Munir Aldin, Rich Rosen, Bill Mickelson, and Robi Kosanke