Live Oil and Methane Production from Fractured Shale Cores

Nathan J. Welch, Luke P. Frash, Meng Meng, Wenfeng Li, Anne Menefee, Marcus Wigand, J. William Carey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Production of hydrocarbons in unconventional resources is determined by matrix access provided by fractures through target production intervals. Fundamentally, these fractures provide a high permeability pathway for produced fluids from the matrix to be transported to the wellbore. This work presents a new experimental capability to help develop our understanding of how hydrocarbons are mobilized out of the host rock matrix and into the fracture pathway. We've developed a system that allows for the shear generation of fractures through oil saturated core plugs while under representative subsurface stress conditions. Fluid inlet and outlet ports allow for the determination of generated fracture hydraulic aperture and collection of produced oil and gas. Several experimental methods are presented. These included in-situ x-ray real-time measurements of oil production. Oil production was observed to initiate following fracture generation and to increase with subsequent shear displacement. In contrast, gas production was most prominent following significant pressure drawdown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, URTC 2021 - Houston, United States
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 28 2021


Conference2021 SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, URTC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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