Numerical and experimental analysis of diffusion and sorption kinetics effects in Marcellus shale gas transport

Miao Zhang, Nirjhor Chakraborty, Zuleima Karpyn, Hamid Emami-Meybodi, Luis Ayala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Nano-scale pores and a dual storage mechanism shared between free and adsorbed gas make the transport behavior in shale gas reservoirs very different from conventional macropore reservoirs. This work explores a straightforward model for the gas transport behavior in shale nanopores, which couples sorption, diffusion, and sorbed-phase surface diffusion phenomena. The model combines two governing equations for free and sorbed gas phase transport processes in nanopores, respectively: a diffusion-based equation for free gas phase transport, and a surface-diffusion equation for the sorbed phase. Mass transfer between the two phases is quantified by kinetic models of sorption. The two governing equations are solved simultaneously using finite element methods (FEM). Model performance is successfully validated by closely matching density propagation profiles of a gas transport experiment obtained by quantitative X-ray computerized tomography (CT) imaging for a Marcellus shale sample. Transport-related parameters estimated from history matching are shown to be consistent with literature data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Reservoir Simulation Conference 2019, RSC 2019
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9781613996348
StatePublished - 2019
EventSPE Reservoir Simulation Conference 2019, RSC 2019 - Galveston, United States
Duration: Apr 10 2019Apr 11 2019

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Reservoir Simulation Conference 2019, RSC 2019


ConferenceSPE Reservoir Simulation Conference 2019, RSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Modeling and Simulation

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