Multiscale factors that control hydrocarbon storage capacity, and successful hydrofracturing and refracturing in mudrocks
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AbstractHydrocarbon production from mudrocks (“shales”) is vital to global economic growth and smooth transition to a clean energy infrastructure. The commercial development prospect of a shale play depends on its evolution history over millions of years. Economic hydrocarbon production from shale starts after hydraulic fracturing, that creates a multiscale fracture network leading to an increased overall permeability. The properties of the stimulated rock can be assessed via parameters at different scales (nano-, micro- and macro-scale). Better understanding of these parameters is the key to predicting well productivity and profitability.
This work aims to deepen the understanding of the multiscale parameters that define effective hydraulic fracturing. To investigate permeability increase in shales, we start with a model of micro-capillary in contact with nanopores . We show that the nanopores that discharge gas into a fracture network in the source rock significantly increase and extend gas flow into the hydrofractured horizontal wells. We then use a fractal stimulated reservoir volume model to match production histories of 45 Barnett gas wells and to quantify connectivity between the nanopores and the fracture network. This model relies on a source term,