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SPE 134830

Modeling of Fluid Transfer from Shale Matrix to Fracture Network


E. Ozkan, SPE, Colorado School of Mines, R. Raghavan, SPE, Phillips Petroleum Co. (Retd.), O. G. Apaydin,
EOG Resources

Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers


This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Florence, Italy, 1922 September 2010.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed
by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or
members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is
restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract
The objective of this paper is to incorporate a more detailed description of flow in shale matrix to improve modeling of production
from fractured shale-gas reservoirs. Currently, most modeling approaches for shale-gas and oil production are based on the
dominance of Darcy flow in both natural fractures and matrix. We improve the description of matrix flow by considering diffusive
(Knudsen) flow in nanopores. In our dual-mechanism approach, when Darcy flow becomes insignificant due to nanodarcy matrix
permeability, Knudsen flow takes over and contributes, substantially, to the transfer of fluids from matrix to fracture network.
Furthermore, we consider stress-dependent permeability in the fracture network. Therefore, incorporating Darcy and diffusive
flows in the matrix and stress-dependent permeability in the fractures, we develop a dual-mechanism dual-porosity naturally
fractured reservoir formulation and derive a new transfer function for fractured shale-gas reservoirs. The dual-mechanism dualporosity formulation presented in this paper can be used for numerical or analytical modeling purposes. We use the new
formulation of matrix to fracture fluid transfer with an analytical model and demonstrate the differences from the conventional
formulation.
Introduction
One of the major factors determining the productivity of shale reservoirs is the existence of a natural fracture network. In most
cases, a question arises about the contribution of the shale matrix. Unfortunately, a complete understanding of fluid transfer from
shale matrix to fracture network has not yet been achieved. Current studies, whether they model fluid flow in both fractures and
matrix or incorporate the effect of fluid transfer from matrix to fractures with dual-porosity idealization, assume that the main
contributor of the fluid transfer is the Darcy flow in the matrix induced by the pressure differential between the matrix and
fracture. Fundamental considerations of Darcy flow, however, reveal that fluid movement in the nanodarcy shale matrix should be
negligible for practical periods of time, unless exaggerated or unrealistic importance is assigned to other parameters to justify the
sustained production levels observed in practice. Therefore, a more detailed look at the flow in the matrix is essential for better
understanding of the contribution of shale matrix to production.
In recent studies (Javadpour et al., 2007, Javadpour, 2009), gas flow in shale matrix has been described by Knudsen diffusion
and slip flow in the nanopores, Darcy flow in the micropores, desorption from the surface of kerogen, and diffusion in solid
kerogen. Our objective in this paper is to incorporate this more detailed description of flow in shale matrix to modeling of
production from fractured shale-gas reservoirs. We limit our attention to Darcy and diffusive flow processes here. Desorption in
shale reservoirs has been likened to that in coalbeds where gas desorbs from the surface of the coal matrix to the cleat system. The
major difference in shale-gas reservoirs is in that desorption takes place from the surface of the organic content (kerogen)
embedded in the shale matrix to nanopores. Therefore, to describe desorption in shale matrix, in addition to the standard
parameters, such as the volume and maturity of the organic content and the Langmuir isoterms, the distribution of kerogen,
pressure profile, and the exposed surface area of nanopores in the shale matrix should be considered. This information is currently
nonexistent or incomplete and, thus, we defer incorporating desorption into our gas-flow model for shale matrix until later.
Here, we will present an improved dual-mechanism dual-porosity formulation that takes into account the transient Darcy and
diffusive flows in the shale matrix. We consider spherical matrix blocks in this paper but the formulation can be readily extended
to other matrix block geometries. To account for the closure of natural fractures under pressure drop, we also consider stress

SPE 134830

dependent permeability in natural fractures by using the approach proposed by Raghavan and Chin (2004). The general
formulation presented in this paper and the transfer function for the transfer of fluids from matrix to fracture can be used for
numerical or analytical modeling purposes. We use the new formulation of matrix to fracture fluid transfer with the analytical
trilinear flow model presented by Ozkan et al. (2009) and Brown et al. (2009) for multiply fractured horizontal wells in shale and
demonstrate the differences from the conventional formulation.
Apparent Matrix Permeability for Dual-Mechanism Flow
We consider a dual porosity medium with spherical matrix blocks of uniform radius, rm , in this study. We assume that the
pressure at the surface of the matrix blocks is uniform so that the flow within the matrix is spherical. Using the approach taken by
Ertekin et al. (1986), we define the radial component of the matrix flow velocity, vrm , as the sum of the radial components of the
Darcy velocity, v prm , and the slip velocity, vsrm ; that is,
vrm = v prm + vsrm .

(1)

The radial component of the Darcy velocity in (1) is given by


v prm =

km pm

g r

(2)

The radial component of the slip velocity in (1) is given by the modified form of the Ficks Law (Ertekin et al., 1986) as follows:
vsrm =

M g Dg Cm

g r

(3)

In (3), M g is the molecular weight of the gas, Dg is the diffusivity coefficient for the matrix, and Cm is the concentration. Then,
vrm =

km pm

g r

M g Dg
+

Cm

(4)

From the real gas law, molar concentration for single phase flow is
Cm =

g
Mg

pm

(5)

zRg T

Thus, (4) can be written as


( pm z )

.
r

(6)

p p 1 1 dz p pcg p

=
,
=

r z z p z dp r
z r

(7)

vrm =

km pm

g r

M g Dg
+

g Rg T

Because

we can write (6) as


vrm =

km pm

g r

p
+ cg Dg m

km g cg Dg
1 +
=

g
km

pm

(8)

SPE 134830

Following Ertekin et al. (1986), we define an apparent gas slippage term by


bam =

Dg g cg pm

(9)

km

and an apparent matrix permeability by


b
kam = km 1 + am

pm

(10)

The apparent matrix permeability in (10) is in the form defined by Klinkenberg (1941). As indicated by (9), however, bam is not a
constant; it is a function of pressure. In this study, we used the following correlation given by Ertekin et al. (1986) to compute the
diffusivity constant:
Dg =

31.57
Mg

k 0.67 ,

(11)

where Dg is in sq ft/D.

PERMEABILITY, k, md

Figure 1 shows the comparison of the apparent matrix permeability, kam , and the Darcy permeability, km , for a 0.8 specific
gravity gas of molecular weight 16 lbm/lbm-mol at 120 oF. The contribution of diffusive flow is more significant at low pressures
and for lower values of permeability. As shown for km = 108 md in Fig. 1, the difference between the apparent and Darcy
permeabilities may be in the order of magnitude. Figure 2 shows the percentage error in permeability as a result of neglecting
diffusive flow in matrix.
1.E+01
1.E-01

k am

1.E-03

k am

1.E-05

k am

SG = 0.8
M g = 16 lbm/lbm-mol
T = 120oF

k m = 1E-2 md

k m = 1E-5 md

1.E-07
1.E-09
1.E+01

k m = 1E-8 md
1.E+02

1.E+03

1.E+04

PRESSURE, p, psi

Figure 1 Contribution of diffusive flow to the apparent matrix permeability for a 0.8 specific gravity gas.

ERROR IN PERMEABILITY ,
100 x (kam-km )/kam , %

1.E+05
SG = 0.8
Mg = 16 lbm/lbm-mol
T = 120oF

1.E+04

1.E+03

km = 1E-8 md
1.E+02

km = 1E-5 md
1.E+01

km = 1E-2 md
1.E+00
1.E+01

1.E+02

1.E+03

1.E+04

PRESSURE, psi

Figure 2 Error caused by neglecting diffusive flow in matrix for a 0.8 specific gravity gas.

SPE 134830

Note that the slip velocity defined in (3) is because of the concentration gradient in the matrix. At the matrix-fracture interface,
the concentration gradient should disappear and the slip velocity should approach zero. Therefore, we impose the condition that
kam ( r = rm ) = km

(12)

and thus
0
bam ( r ) =
bam

for r = rm
for r < rm

(13)

These conditions will be used in coupling flows in the matrix and natural fractures.
Stress-Dependent Natural-Fracture Permeability
To account for the closing of fractures when pressure drops in the reservoir, we use a stress-dependent permeability in our naturalfracture flow model. A fundamental discussion of the concept and modeling of stress-dependent permeability is outside the scope
of this paper. Here, following Raghavan and Chin (2004), we define the stress-dependent natural-fracture permeability by
d p
k f = k fi exp d f ( p fi p f ) = k fi e f f .

(14)

In (14), k fi is the permeability at initial conditions and d f is a characteristic parameter of the rock, which is determined
experimentally (the range of d f is between 104 and 103 psi-1). This definition corresponds to Type I rocks considered by
Raghavan and Chin (2004). Other relationships defining the stress-dependent permeability could also be used in the derivations
(Walsh, 1981, Gutierrez et al., 2000, Raghavan and Chin, 2004, Chipperfield et al., 2007).
Figure 3 shows the stress-dependent fracture permeability, k f , as a function of pressure for d f = 5 104 psi-1 and
k fi = 2000 md at pi = 5000 psi. It is shown in Fig. 3 that the first 1000 psi pressure drop causes 5% reduction in the initial

permeability and neglecting this reduction, causes 5.13% error in permeability at 4000 psi. In this example, we used a moderate
value for d f , which may be more appropriate for the reduction of permeability in rock matrix. For an unpropped natural fracture
in shale, d f should be much larger, but no experimental data are available to us. Results in Fig. 3 indicate that the reduction in
natural fracture permeability due to stress dependency may be significant and should be considered in modeling flow in fractured
shale-gas reservoirs.
1200

ERROR IN PERMEABILITY
100 x (kfi-kf)/kf, %

PERMEABILITY, kf, md

2000

1000
1500

1000

800

kfi = 2000 md
pi = 5000 psi
df = 5E- 4 psi-1

600
400

500
200
0
1.E+01

1.E+02

1.E+03

0
1.E+04

PRESSURE, p, psi

Figure 3 Stress-dependent fracture permeability and the error for neglecting the stress dependency as a function of pressure.

As in the conventional formulations of dual-porosity models, we assume fixed volumes of matrix and fracture in a control
volume; that is, the matrix-fracture interface stays stationary when pressure drops in the fracture. To accommodate this
assumption, we impose the condition that the fracture permeability remains constant at the matrix-fracture interface; that is,
k f ( r = rm ) = k fi .

(15)

SPE 134830

As a result of this condition, we use a discontinuous function to represent d f as


0
d f (M ) =
d f

for M on the matrix-fracture interface


otherwise

(16)

Dual-Mechanism Dual-Porosity Reservoir Model and Transfer Function


As indicated by the results in Figs. 1 and 2, diffusive flow in low permeability shale matrix may be significant and should be
accounted for in modeling gas flow in shale formations. In this paper, we incorporate diffusive flow in matrix into a dual-porosity
formulation for fractured shale. Figure 3 shows the schematic of the dual-porosity system considered in our formulation.
MATRIX
FRACTURE

WELLBORE

rm
r=0
R=Rm

Figure 3 Schematic of the system used to incorporate matrix diffusive flow into transient dual-porosity model.

For convenience, in demonstrating the derivation of the dual-mechanism dual-porosity reservoir model, we consider radial
flow in the reservoir (e.g., a fully penetrating vertical well) and spherical geometry for the matrix blocks. In the discussion part of
this paper, however, we apply the dual-mechanism dual-porosity formulation developed here to linear flow for a multiply fractured
horizontal well in a shale-gas reservoir. Besides, the spherical matrix geometry chosen here is not a requirement for our
formulation; the formulation can be readily extended to other matrix shapes. The details of the derivation of the dual-mechanism
dual-porosity model incorporating Darcy and diffusive matrix flows and stress-dependent natural fracture permeability are given in
the Appendix. Here, we highlight the special features and assumptions of the formulation.
Assumptions
As customary, we derive the dual-mechanism dual-porosity model in the Laplace transform domain. We consider transient fluid
flow in the matrix system. To linearize gas-flow equations, we use the pseudopressure approach. The pseudopressure is defined by
p

m ( p ) = 2

g z

dp ; = m or f ,

(17)

where the subscripts m and f indicate matrix and fracture properties, respectively,

m = 1 +

bam ( r )
,
pm

(18)

and

f = e

d f ( M ) p f

(19)

At the matrix-fracture interface, we use the continuity of pressure expressed by


pm ( rm , Rm , t ) = p% f ( Rm , t ) ,

(20)

SPE 134830

where p% f ( Rm , t ) is the surface-averaged fracture pressure at r = rm (the surface of the matrix block); that is,
p% f ( Rm , t ) =

Am

p f ( R, t ) dAm =

4 rm2 0 0

p f ( Rm + cos , t ) rm2 sin d d =

( Rm + cos , t ) sin d .

(21)

In (21), Am is the surface area of a matrix block and dAm is the differential element of the matrix surface. The assumption of
uniform pressure distribution on the surface of the matrix block is based on the premise that the radius of investigation is larger
than the dimension of the matrix blocks. Therefore, the time for this assumption to be valid increases as the size of the matrix
blocks, rm , increases. Note that, as a result of the conditions in (13) and (16) and the continuity of pressure, we also have the
continuity of pseudopressure at the matrix-fracture interface; that is,
mm ( rm , Rm , t ) = m f ( Rm , t ) .

(22)

Following de Swaan O (1976), we assume that the flux from each matrix block is instantaneously and uniformly distributed in
one-half the fracture volume, V f , that envelopes the matrix block. If we let F ( R, t ) represent the mass influx per unit volume of
fracture per unit time and qm ( r = rm , Rm , t ) denote the matrix outflux per unit time, we have
R, t q R , t
) m ( )
g(
F ( R, t ) = g ( R, t ) q%m ( R, t ) =

Vf 2

( r = r

m , Rm ,t

=
)

(V f

r 2 km pm
.
g

g r
2)
( r = rm , Rm ,t )

If we further assume that the fracture volume that envelopes the matrix block has a uniform average thickness,

(23)

h f , and that h f is

small compared with the dimensions of the matrix block, rm , then, we can write
1

V f Am

hf

= 4 rm2

hf

(24)

Thus, the condition of flux continuity at the matrix-fracture interface, given by (23), becomes
F ( R, t ) =

k p
2
g m m
.

h f
g r
( r = rm , Rm ,t )

(25)

Definitions
For convenience, we define the following dimensionless variables:
m D =

k fi h ft Tsc

m ,

for = f or m ,

(26)

qsc pscT

where
pi

m ( p ) = m i ( pi ) m ( p ) = 2

tD =

k fi

( f ctf g )i L2

t,

qmD ( rD , RD , t D ) = n f ( qmsc qsc )

g z

dp ; for = m or f ,

(27)

(28)

( r , R ,t )

(29)

SPE 134830

where qmsc is the volumetric flow rate, at standard conditions, crossing a radius r in the matrix block and n f is the number of
natural fractures in the pay thickness,

mD =

fD =

m ctm g k fi rm2

( f ctf g )i kam L2
f ctf g k fi

(30)

( f ctf g )i k f

(31)

rD = r rm ,

(32)

RD = R L ,

(33)

rmD = rm L .

(34)

and

In the above definitions, we have used the intrinsic properties of the matrix and fracture, the subscript i indicates the property at
initial conditions, and L is a characteristic length of the system (e.g., the wellbore radius, fracture half-length, etc.),
As in the standard dual-porosity models (Warren and Root, 1963, de Swaan O, 1976, Kazemi, 1969), we also define the
following dimensionless dual-porosity parameters. The transmissivity is defined by

k ( 4 3) rm3
kamiVm
2k r
= L2 ami
= L2 ami m

2
3k h
fi f

k fi (V f 2 )
k fi 4 rm ( h f 2 )

= L2

(35)

where Vm and V f are the volumes of a matrix block and the fracture enveloping it, respectively. As in (23), in (35), we assume
that the flux from each matrix block is distributed in one-half the fracture volume around it (de Swaan O, 1976). Therefore,

Vm V f 2 represents the volume ratio of the matrix and fracture in a representative reservoir element. In (36), we have defined

the shape factor, , for spherical matrix blocks, by

( n fs + 2 )
(Vm

Am )

15

(36)

rm2

where n fs is the number of orthogonal sets of facture. For spherical matrix blocks, n fs = 3 .
The storativity ratio of the matrix and fracture media is defined by

( ct )mi Vm
( ct ) fi (V f 2 )

( ct )mi ( 4 3) rm3
( ct ) fi 4 rm2 ( h f 2 )

2 ( ct )mi rm
3 ( ct ) fi h f

(37)

Similar to the definition of transmissivity in (35), in (37), we have used the volume ratio of the matrix and fracture in a
representative dual-porosity volume element. Omitting the ratio, 2 / 3 , in (35) and (37), yields the standard definitions of and
without affecting our formulation. However, we keep the constants in the definitions of and to preserve the physical
meaning of these parameters. The matrix and fracture properties used in the definitions of and are the intrinsic properties.
Matrix and Fracture Flow Equations
As shown in the Appendix, the matrix flow equation, incorporating Darcy and diffusive flows, is given, in terms of
pseudopressure, by

SPE 134830

2 mmD
r
D
rD2 rD
rD

= mD mmD .

t D

(38)

As customary with the pseudopressure approach, we linearize the matrix flow equation by assuming

(m ctm g )i k fi rm2

mD mDi =
= 15 .

( f ctf g )i kami L2

(39)

The solution of the matrix flow equation is obtained in the Appendix and given, in the Laplace transform domain, by
15

srD
sinh


m%
mmD ( rD , RmD , s ) =
fD ( RmD , s ) .
15
rD sinh
s

(40)

Using (40), we obtain the following expression (in Laplace domain) for the dimensionless volumetric rate that crosses the radius r
in the matrix blocks at a distance R from the well:
2
qmD ( rD , RmD , s ) = srmD

5s

rD2

mmD
2
= srmD
[ f ( rD , s ) 1] m% fD ( RmD , s ) .

rD ( r , R ,t )
D mD D

(41)

In (41), f ( rD , s ) is defined by
15

sinh
srD

15


15

.
f ( rD , s ) = 1 1
srD coth
srD

5s

sinh 15 s

(42)

As shown in the Appendix, the fracture flow equation, in terms of pseudopressure, is given by
m fD

R
D
RD RD
RD
1

2% mD

rD

m fD

,
= fD

t D
( rD =1, RmD ,tD )

(43)

where

% =

km rm L2

(44)

k fi h f rm2

Assuming

fD fDi = 1 ,

(45)

and

% %i =

kami rm L2
k fi h f rm2

10

and also using (41) yields the following linearized diffusion equation

(46)

SPE 134830

m fD

RD

RD RD
RD

sf ( s ) m fD = 0 .

(47)

In (47), f ( s ) is the transfer function between the matrix and fractures given by
f ( s ) = f ( rD = 1, s ) = 1

1
5s

15
s coth
s ,

15

(48)

where f ( rD , s ) is defined by (42).


The transfer function defined in (48), together with the definitions of and in (35) and (37) and the definition of the matrix
and fracture pseudopressures in (17) constitute the main result of our dual-mechanism dual-porosity formulation for fractured
shale-gas reservoirs. Substituting these definitions for their counterparts in the conventional dual-porosity solutions yields the
solutions for dual-mechanism dual-porosity systems. In the following sections of this paper, we will use this approach to discuss
the effect of diffusive flow in matrix on the performances of multiply fractured horizontal wells in shale-gas reservoirs. In passing,
we also note that our formulation includes stress dependency of the fracture permeability. However, because the stress dependency
of the fracture permeability is embedded in the definition of fracture pseudopressure only, the results shown in the following
sections in terms of pseudopressure do not display the effect of stress-dependent permeability. This effect becomes apparent if
results are presented in terms of pressure.
Model Verification and Discussion of Results
In this section, we consider a multiply fractured horizontal well in a shale-gas reservoir and apply the dual-mechanism dualporosity approach introduced above. We use the trilinear model of Ozkan et al. (2009) and Brown et al. (2009) to represent flow in
the reservoir. The trilinear model considers three mutually orthogonal flow regions; one in finite-conductivity hydraulic fractures,
one in the naturally fractured zone between hydraulic fractures (the stimulated reservoir volume, SRV, around the well and the
hydraulic fractures), and one in the outer reservoir beyond the tips of the hydraulic fractures (made of unfractured shale).
Hydraulic fractures are assumed to be identical and uniformly distributed along the length of the horizontal well. Therefore, each
hydraulic fracture produces 1 nF of the total flow rate, where nF is the number of hydraulic fractures. For the purposes of our
discussion in this paper, other details of the trilinear model are not essential. We refer the interested reader to the original
references for additional details. In our examples below, we use the data given in Table 1, unless otherwise stated.
TABLE 1 WELL AND RESERVOIR PROPERTIES FOR EXAMPLES
Specific gravity of gas, SG
0.55 Initial fracture permeability, kfi, md
Molecular weight of gas, M, lbm/lbm-mol
16 Initial fracture porosity, fi
Initial reservoir pressure, pi, psi
2300 Initial fracture compressibility, ctfi, psi-1
Reservoir temperature, T, oF
109 Fracture thickness, hf, ft
Formation thickness, h, ft
250 Number of fractures in pay thicknes
Wellbore radius, rw , ft
0.25 Hydraulic fracture porosity, F
Reservoir size perpendicular to well axis, xe, ft
500 Hydraulic fracture permeability, kF, md
Half-distance between hydraulic fractures, ye, ft
250 Hydraulic fracture compressibility, ctF, psi-1
0.0184 Hydraulic fracture half-length, xF, ft
Initial viscosity, , cp
Constant matrix permeability, km, md
1.E-08 Hydraulic fracture width, wF, ft
0.05 Hydraulic fracture flow rate, qF, Mscf/D
Initial matrix porosity, mi
Initial matrix compressibility, ctmi, psi-1
9.E-04

2000
0.45
9.E-04
0.001
20
0.38
1.E+05
9.E-04
250
0.01
94

Comparison of the Dual-Porosity Formulations with Spherical Matrix Blocks and Slabs
We consider a multiply fractured horizontal well in a shale-gas reservoir with the properties given in Table 1. To verify the dualporosity formulation of this work with spherical matrix blocks, we compute the pseudopressure and derivative responses for
constant matrix and fracture permeabilities and compare the results to those of a conventional transient dual-porosity model with
slab matrices (de Swaan O, 1976, Kazemi, 1969, Serra et al., 1983). The trilinear model for the multiply fractured horizontal well
considered here is given by Brown et al. (2009) for slab matrices. To obtain the solution for spherical matrix blocks, we make the
substitution of the dual-porosity parameters and the transfer function defined in (35), (37), and (48) in the solution given by Brown
et al. (2009). Also, for a fair comparison, we make the adjustments to equate the matrix to fracture volume ratio in a representative
volume element in both models). Figure 4 shows that the agreement between the two sets of the results is excellent. This verifies
the dual-porosity formulation with spherical matrix blocks used in this paper.

10

SPE 134830

LOGARITHMIC DERIVATIVE, psi /cp

SLABS PSEUDOPRESSURE
SLABS DERIVATIVE
SPHERES PSEUDOPRESSURE
SPHERES DERIVATIVE

PSEUDOPRESSURE DROP, mwf, psi /cp

1.E+09

1.E+08

1.E+07

1.E+06

1.E+05

1.E+04
1.E-03

1.E-02

1.E-01

1.E+00

1.E+01

1.E+02

1.E+03

1.E+04

TIME, Days

Figure 4 Comparison of pseudopressure and derivative responses for dual-porosity models with slab and spherical matrix blocks.

Production from Shale Matrix


The contribution of matrix flow is essential for the sustained productivity of shale-gas wells. Here, we consider flow in a spherical
matrix block adjacent to a hydraulic fracture of a multiply fractured horizontal well. The schematic of the system considered in this
example is shown in Fig. 5 and the other relevant data are given in Table 1.
FRACTURE
MATRIX

rm
r=0
x=xm
y=ym

HYDRAULIC
FRACTURE

y
WELLBORE

Figure 5 Schematic of a spherical shale-matrix block adjacent to a horizontal well fracture.

Figure 6 shows the dimensionless matrix flow rate profile given by (29) crossing the dimensionless radius rD in the spherical
matrix block after 27.3 years of production. In Fig. 6, only Darcy flow is considered in the matrix. The flow rate profiles in Fig. 6
indicates that, for permeabilities close to nanodarcy range, most of the matrix production comes from the volume immediately
below the surface of the matrix block even after 27.3 years of production. In other words, the core of the matrix block is not
drained. Although not shown here, for matrix blocks farther away from the hydraulic fracture, production is limited to a thin layer
on the surface of the matrix only.
DIMENSIONLESS FLOW RATE IN MATRIX
qmD = nf x (qmsc/qsc)

0.0010

km = 1E-8 md
km = 1E-7 md
0.0008

km = 1E-6 md
km = 3E-6 md
km >= 5E-6 md

0.0006

Matrix flow rate profile after 27.3 years


0.0004

0.0002

0.0000
0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

DIMENSIONLESS DISTANCE FROM MATRIX CENTER, rD = r/rm

Figure 6 Matrix flow rate profiles after 27.3 years of production.

SPE 134830

11

The results shown in Fig. 6 are one of the motivations of this study to incorporate additional mechanisms of flow in matrix.
When we consider diffusive flow in addition to Darcy flow in the matrix (dual-mechanism flow), the general characteristics of the
flow rate profiles do not change but the magnitudes of the flow rates are increased. Due to the scale of the figure, a comparison of
the flow rate profiles for Darcy flow and dual-mechanism flow is not visually meaningful. However, Fig. 7 shows the error in flow
rate if the contribution of diffusive flow is ignored. As expected, at low (nanodarcy range) permeabilities, the error quickly
approaches 100% moving from the surface ( rD = 1 ) to the center ( rD = 1 ) of the matrix block. (Because flux practically disappears
below rD 0.9 for km 107 , error computations are meaningless and not shown in Fig. 7). The results in Fig. 7 indicate that, at
low permeabilities, diffusive flow dominates flux in the matrix, except close to the surface. For higher permeabilities, contribution
of diffusive flow is moderate to low (less than 10%).

After 27.3 years of production

1.E+01

ERROR IN FLOW RATE, 100 X (qms qmd)/qmd

1.E+02

1.E+00

km = 1E-8 md
km = 1E-7 md
km = 1E-6 md
km = 3E-6 md
km = 5E-6 md

1.E-01
0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

DIMENSIONLESS DISTANCE FROM MATRIX CENTER, rD = r/rm

Figure 7 Error in flow rate by neglecting diffusive flow in matrix. After 27.3 years of production.

Effect of Dual-Mechanism Flow in Matrix on the Performances of Fractured Horizontal Wells


Figure 8 shows the pseudopressure and derivative responses of a multiply fractured horizontal well in a shale-gas reservoir for the
data given in Table 1. The contribution of diffusive matrix flow is not appreciable on this log-log diagnostic plot of pseudopressure
and derivative responses for km = 108 . In Fig. 9, we consider matrix permeabilities in the range of 108 to 106 md and present

the pseudopressure drop on linear scale. It is clear in Fig. 9 that, for km 107 , the contribution of diffusive flow considerably
reduces pseudopressure drop, particularly at late times.

DERIVATIVE, dmwf/dlnt, psi2/cp

PSEUDOPRESSURE DROP, mwf, psi2/cp

1.E+09

km = 1E-8 md
1.E+08

1.E+07

1.E+06

Pressure - Darcy Flow


Derivative - Darcy Flow
1.E+05

Pressure - Dual Mechanism


Dual Mechanism

1.E+04
1.E-03

1.E-02

1.E-01

1.E+00

1.E+01

1.E+02

1.E+03

1.E+04

TIME, t, Days
-8

Figure 8 Log-log plot of pseudopressure and derivative responses for k = 10 md.

1.E+05

SPE 134830

PSEUDOPRESSURE DROP, mwf, psi2/cp

12

2.5E+09

2.0E+09

km = 1E-8 md - Darcy Flow


km = 1E-8 md - Dual Mechanism
km = 1E-7 md - Darcy Flow
km = 1E-7 md - Dual Mechanism
km = 1E-6 md - Darcy Flow
km = 1E-6 md - Dual Mechanism

1.5E+09

1.0E+09

5.0E+08

1.0E+03
0.E+00

1.E+04

2.E+04

3.E+04

4.E+04

5.E+04

6.E+04

7.E+04

8.E+04

9.E+04

1.E+05

TIME, t, Days

Figure 9 Effect of diffusive flow on pseudopressure responses of a multiply fractured horizontal well in a shale-gas reservoir.

Finally, we examine the effect of diffusive flow on the productivity of the multiply fractured horizontal well considered in
Figs. 8 and 9, except that the reservoir size in the direction perpendicular to the well axis is 250 ft in this example. In Fig. 10, the
transient productivity index is shown as a function of time for km = 108 . We define the transient productivity index by (Medeiros
et al., 2008, Ozkan et al., 2009)
J=

qF
q
= nF
.
1422qF T
mwf
mwfD m% D
k fi h ft

(49)

In (49),
m% D 2

t D L2
(1 + ) A

(50)

where A is the drainage area of the well.

PRODUCTIVITY INDEX, q/mwf


Mscf-cp/D-psi2

1.E-04

1.E-05

1.E-06

1.E-07

km = 1E-5 md - Darcy Flow


km = 1E-5 md - Dual-Mechanism
km = 1E-8 md - Darcy Flow
km = 1E-8 md - Dual-Mechanism

1.E-08
1.E-03 1.E-02 1.E-01 1.E+00 1.E+01 1.E+02 1.E+03 1.E+04 1.E+05 1.E+06 1.E+07

ELAPSED TIME, t, Days

Figure 10 Effect of diffusive flow on the productivity of the fractured horizontal well.

As expected, higher productivities are predicted in Fig. 10 by the dual-mechanism approach than that considering Darcy flow
only in the matrix. The contribution of diffusive flow is more significant at late times and for lower matrix permeabilities. The
error in productivity estimates because of neglecting the contribution of diffusive flow in matrix is presented in Fig. 11. In the
vertical axis of Fig. 11, J d and J s stand for the productivities for Darcy and dual-mechanism flows in the matrix, respectively. It
is shown, especially for km = 108 md, that significant underestimation of productivity results if diffusive flow in matrix is not
taken into consideration.

13

400

Error for km = 1E-5 md

350

Error for km = 1E-8 md


100 x (Js-Jd)/Js,

ERROR IN PRODUCTIVITY ESTIMATES

SPE 134830

300
250
200
150
100
50
0
1.E-01

1.E+00

1.E+01

1.E+02

1.E+03

1.E+04

1.E+05

1.E+06

ELAPSED TIME, Days

Figure 11 Error in productivity estimates by neglecting diffusive flow in matrix.

Conclusions
In this work, we have presented a dual-mechanism dual-porosity formulation for naturally fractured shale-gas reservoirs. The
formulation and the transfer function given here is applicable for the numerical and analytical computation of well performances in
shale-gas reservoirs. The analytical formulation includes the standard assumptions of pseudopressure approach to linearize the
flow equations. In numerical formulations, some of these assumptions may be removed.
Based on the analytical use of the dual-mechanism dual-porosity formulation in this paper, the following conclusions are
warranted:
1. For matrix permeabilities close to nanodarcy range, flow only occurs close to the surface of the matrix. The core of the
matrix blocks cannot be drained within realistic production times.
2. Flow is dominated by Darcy flow close to the surface and diffusive flow close to the core of the matrix blocks at low
permeabilities approaching nanodarcy range.
3. Although the contribution of dual-mechanism flow in matrix is not apparent on log-log diagnostic plots, the magnitude of
pseudopressure drop is significantly reduced by the contribution of diffusive flow at low permeabilities.
4. Neglecting diffusive flow in matrix results in significant underestimation of well productivities and the error increases as
the permeability decreases.
Acknowledgments
Parts of this work have been completed to fulfill the PhD degree requirements of Osman G. Apaydin at Colorado School of Mines.
The financial support for Mr. Apaydins graduate studies has been provided by EOG Resources. This research has been conducted
under Marathon Center of Excellence for Reservoir Studies (MCERS) at Colorado School of Mines.
Nomenclature
A = drainage area, ft2
b = gas slippage factor, psi
c = total compressibility, psi-1
C = concentration, lbm-mol/ft3
d = characteristic parameter of rock, psi-1
D = diffusivity coefficient, ft2/D
f = transfer function
F =mass influx, lbm/ft3/D
h = thickness, ft
J = productivity index, Mscf-cp/D-psi2
k = permeability, md
L = characteristic length, ft
m = pseudopressure, psi2/cp
Mg = molecular weight of gas, lbm/lbm-mol
M = point in reservoir

14

SPE 134830

n = number of specific features


p = pressure, psi
q = production rate, Mscf/D
r = radial distance in spherical coordinates, ft
R = radial distance in radial coordinates, ft
Rg = gas constant, 10.73 psi-ft3/lbm mol-oR
s = Laplace transform parameter
SG = specific gravity
T = reservoir temperature, R
t = time, hrs, D
v = volumetric velocity, ft/D
w = width, ft
x = length in direction perpendicular to horizontal well axis, ft
y =length in direction parallel to horizontal well axis, ft
z = gas compressibility, fraction
Greek Symbols
= partial derivative
= difference operator
= spherical coordinate, Radian
= density, lbm/ft3
= shape factor, ft-2
=transmissivity
= porosity
= spherical coordinate, Radian
= diffusivity, ft2/hr, ft2/D
= viscosity, cp
= storativity
Subscripts
a = apparent
d = Darcy
D = dimensionless
e = external
f = natural fracture
F = hydraulic fracture
g = gas
i = initial
m = matrix
p = pressure
r = radial
s = dual-mechanism
sc = standard conditions
t = total
w = wellbore
wf = flowing wellbore
References
Brown, M., Ozkan, E., Raghavan, R., and Kazemi, H. (2009). Practical Solutions for Pressure Transient Responses of Fractured Horizontal Wells
in Unconventional Reservoirs. SPE 125043 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 October, New Orleans,
LA.
Chipperfield, S. T., Wong, J. R., Warner, D. S., Cipolla, C. L., Mayerhofer, M. J., Lolon, E. P., and Warpinski, N. R. (2007). Shear Dilation
Diagnostics: A. New Approach for Evaluating Tight Gas Stimulation Treatments. SPE 106289 presented at the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing
Technology Conference, 29-31 January, College Station, TX,

SPE 134830

15

de Swaan-O., A. (1976). Analytical Solutions for Determining Naturally Fractured Reservoir Properties by Well Testing. Soc. Pet. Eng. Jour.
(June) 117-122; Trans., AIME, Vol. 261.
Ertekin, T., King, G. R., and Schwerer, F. C. (1986). Dynamic Gas Slippage: A Unique Dual-Mechanism Approach to the Flow of Gas in Tight
Formations. SPE Formation Evaluation (Feb.) 43-52.
Gutierrez, M. ino, L. E., and Nygrd, R. (2000). Stress-Dependent Permeability of a De-Mineralised Fracture in Shale. Marine and Petroleum
Geology 17. 895907.
Javadpour, F., Fisher, D., and Unsworth, M. (2007). Nanoscale Gas Flow in Shale Gas Sediments. Jour. Canadian Pet. Tech. Volume 46, No. 10
(Oct.) 55-61.
Javadpour, F. (2009). Nanopores and Apparent Permeability of Gas Flow in Mudrocks (Shales and Siltstone). Jour. Canadian Pet. Tech.Volume
48, No. 8 (Aug.) 16-21.
Kazemi, H. (1969). Pressure Transient Analysis of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs with Uniform Fracture Distributions, Soc. Pet. Eng. Jour.
(Dec.) 451-461; Trans., AIME, Vol. 246.
Klinkenberg, L. J. (1941). The Permeability of Porous Media to Liquids and Gases. Drill. And Prod. Prac. API. 200-213.
Medeiros, F., Jr. Ozkan, E., and Kazemi, H. (2008). Productivity and Drainage Area of Fractured Horizontal Wells in Tight Gas Reservoirs. SPE
Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 5 (Oct.) 902-911.
Ozkan, E., Brown, M., Raghavan, R., and Kazemi, H. (2009). Comparison of Fractured Horizontal-Well Performance in Conventional and
Unconventional Reservoirs, SPE 121290, SPE Western Regional Meeting, 2426 March 2009, San Jose, California.
Raghavan, R. and Chin, L. Y. (2004). Productivity Changes in Reservoirs With Stress-Dependent Permeability. SPE Reservoir Evaluation and
Engineering (Aug.) 308-315.
Serra, K., Reynolds, A. C., and Raghavan, R. (1983). New Pressure Transient Analysis Methods for Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Jour. Pet.
Tech. (Dec.) 2271-2283.
Walsh J. B. (1981). Effect of Pore Pressure and Confining Pressure on Fracture Permeability. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. and Geomech. Abstr.,
18, 3, 429-435.
Warren, J. E., and Root, P. J. (1963). The Behavior of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Soc. Pet. Eng. Jour. (Sept.) 245-255; Trans., AIME, Vol.
228.

Appendix
Derivation of Dual-Mechanism Dual-Porosity Model for Shale-Gas Reservoirs
Here we demonstrate the derivation of the dual-mechanism dual-porosity for a radial flow system in the reservoir. We consider
spherical geometry for the matrix blocks. The schematic of the dual-porosity system considered here is shown in Figure 3.
Appendix A Dual-Mechanism Flow in a Spherical Matrix Block
Consider flow in a spherical matrix block of radius rm . Assume that the pressure and flux are uniformly distributed on the surface
of the matrix block. Mass balance for the flow of a real gas of density g , viscosity g , and compressibility cg on a spherical

control volume of porosity m yields

1
r r
2

( r 2 g vrm ) = ( gm ) .

(A.1)

Define the radial component of the matrix flow velocity, vrm , as the sum of the radial components of the Darcy velocity, v prm , and
the slip velocity, vsrm ; that is,
vrm = v prm + vsrm .

(A.2)

The radial component of the Darcy velocity in (A.2) is given by


v prm =

km pm

g r

(A.3)

The radial component of the slip velocity is given by the modified form of the Ficks Law (Ertekin et al., 1986) as follows:
vsrm =

M g Dm Cm

(A.4)

where M g is the molecular weight of the gas, Dm is the diffusivity coefficient for the matrix, and Cm is the concentration.
Substituting (A.2) into (A.1) and using the real gas equation of state,

16

SPE 134830

g =

pM g

(A.5)

zRg T

and molar concentration for single phase flow of a real gas,


Cm =

g
Mg

pm

(A.6)

zRg T

we obtain

1 2 km bam
r
1+

r 2 r g
pm

p p
p pm
m
m
,
= m ctm m

z t
z r

(A.7)

where
pm ( r , Rm , t ) = pi pm ( r , Rm , t ) .

(A.8)

In (A.7), we have defined the total matrix compressibility by


1 1 dz 1
+
,
ct = cg + c f =
p z dp p

(A.8)

an apparent gas slippage term, bam , by (9), and an apparent permeability, kam , by (10).
Initially,
pm ( r , Rm , t = 0 ) = 0 ,

(A.9)

the pressure drop at r = 0 is bounded; that is,


pm ( r = 0, Rm , t ) = finite ,

(A.10)

and the boundary condition at the surface of the matrix block, rm , is obtained from the continuity of the matrix and fracture
pressures given by
pm ( r = rm , Rm , t ) = p% f ( Rm , t ) ,

(A.11)

where p% f ( Rm , t ) is the surface-averaged fracture pressure at r = rm (the surface of the matrix block) defined in (21).
We can write (A.7), (A.9), (A.10), and (A.11) in terms of the matrix pseudopressure defined in (17) and the dimensionless
variables in (26), (28), (30), and (32) as follows:
2 mmD
r
D
rD
rD2 rD
1

= mDi mmD ,

t D

(A.12)

mmD ( rD , RmD , t D = 0 ) = 0 ,

(A.13)

mmD ( rD = 0, RmD , t D ) = mmD 0 ( t D ) = finite ,

(A.14)

mmD ( rD = 1, RmD , t D ) = m% fD ( RmD , t D ) .

(A.15)

and

In (A.12), we have used the assumption in (39) to linearize the differential equation and proceed with an analytical solution.
Making the substitution

SPE 134830

17

umD ( rD , RmD , t D ) = rD mmD ( rD , RmD , t D ) ,

(A.16)

into (A.12) through (A.15) and taking the Laplace transform of the resulting equations, we obtain
2 umD
rD2

smDi umD = 0 ,

(A.17)

umD ( rD = 0, RmD , s ) = 0 ,

(A.18)

umD ( rD = 1, RmD , s ) = m% fD ( RmD , s ) .

(A.19)

and

The solution of (A.17) through (A.19) and the use of (A.12) yields
mmD ( rD , RmD , s ) =

) m% ( R , s ) .
fD
mD
rD sinh ( smDi )
sinh

s mDi rD

(A.20)

Note that the volumetric flow rate crossing a radius r in the matrix block is given by

g kam pm
T
qmsc ( r , Rm , t ) = 4 r 2
= 2 km sc

pscT
gsc g r ( r , Rm ,t )

2 mm
r

( r , Rm ,t )

(A.21)

Non-dimensionalizing (A.21) by the definitions in (26), (29), and (32) through (37), taking the Laplace transform of the resulting
expression, and substituting mmD rD from (A.21) yields (41) in the text.
Appendix B Flow in Fracture Network with Stress-Dependent Permeability
For demonstration purposes, consider a cylindrical, dual-porosity reservoir. Mass balance on a fracture control volume yields
1

R R

( R g vRf ) + F ( R, t ) = ( g f ) ,

(B.1)

where F ( R, t ) is the source term representing the mass influx from matrix per unit volume of fracture per unit time given by (25).
In (B.1), the radial component of the velocity vector for flow in fractures is given by

vRf ==

k f p f

g R

(B.2)

Defining the stress-dependent fracture permeability, k f , by (14), substituting (B.2) into (B.1), and using the real gas equation of
state, (A.5), and the definition of total compressibility, (A.8), we obtain
d p
1 e f f
R

R R g

p p
2k m
f
f

z r k fi h f

f ctf p f p f
pm pm
=
,

k fi z t
g r ( r = rm , Rm ,t )

(B.3)

where
p f ( R, t ) = pi p f ( R, t ) .

(B.4)

We assume that initially


p f ( R, t = 0 ) = 0

(B.5)

18

SPE 134830

and define a fracture pseudopressure by (17). Also using the definitions of dimensionless variables, (26), (28), (31), and (33), we
have
m fD

RD

RD RD
RD
1

2% mD

rD

m fD

,
= fD

( rD =1, RmD ,tD )


D

(B.6)

and
m fD ( RD , t D = 0 ) = 0 .

(B.7)

In (2.17), % is defined by (44). Assuming the conditions expressed by (45) and (46) and using (B.7) yields the following
linearized form of (B.6) in the Laplace transform domain:
m fD

RD

RD RD
RD
1

2%i mmD

rD

sm fD = 0 .

( rD =1, RmD , s )

(B.8)

Appendix C Coupling Fracture and Matrix Flows to derive a Dual-Mechanism Dual-Porosity Transfer Function
From the matrix flow solution given by (A.20), we have
m
mD

rD

= 1 s mDi coth

( rD =1, RmD , s )

smDi m fD ( RmD , s ) .

(C.1)

Substituting (C.1) into (B.8), we obtain


m fD

RD

RD
RD RD
1

2%
s 1 i 1 smDi coth

smDi m fD = 0 .

(C.2)

Defining a dual-mechanism dual-porosity transfer function, f ( s ) by (48), we obtain the fracture flow equation coupled with
matrix flow as follows:
m fD

R
D
RD RD
RD
1

sf ( s ) m fD = 0 .

(C.3)