Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Pore accessibility and trapping of methane in Marcellus Shale
International Journal of Coal Geology  (IF6.806),  Pub Date : 2021-09-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.coal.2021.103850
Andrzej P. Radlinski, Tomasz Blach, Phung Vu, Yeping Ji, Liliana de Campo, Elliot P. Gilbert, Klaus Regenauer-Lieb, Maria Mastalerz

Accessibility of pore space in unconventional reservoirs is an important factor influencing both methane storage capacity and the kinetics of methane desorption. The determination of open (accessible) versus closed (inaccessible) porosity is therefore vital for the prediction of gas production potential. This study investigates accessibility of pores to methane in overmature middle Devonian Marcellus Shale samples (cut parallel and perpendicular to bedding) using small and ultra-small neutron scattering (SANS and USANS) with contrast matching (CM), supplemented by other complementary techniques, such as mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) and low pressure gas (N2 and CO2) adsorption.

Our results demonstrate that for the samples studied, only about 6% of pores with diameter 25–500 nm are accessible to methane. The accessible fraction for pores larger than 500 nm is 35%. For nanopores smaller than 25 nm, pore accessibility could not be quantitatively determined due to increased methane density and condensation effects in confinement. Our observations indicate that methane penetrates the accessible small mesopores and micropores down to at least 1 nm in diameter, and the density of confined deuterated methane (CD4) is 0.68 g/cm3 for pores of diameter 25 nm and gradually increases with the decreased pore size. Moreover, elevated gas pressure causes formation of additional high-density methane nano-clusters. These clusters have a form of slightly anisotropic polydisperse discs oriented along bedding plane, about 1–12 nm in diameter and with average thickness of 3.6 nm. Utilizing samples cut parallel and perpendicular to the bedding, this study also briefly addresses anisotropy of pores. Based on the isosize intensity ratio ℛ, our SANS and USANS results demonstrate anisotropy in the out-of-bedding direction and suggest that the degree of anisotropy depends on the pore size. Specifically, for pore diameters ~2.5 to 250 nm, the degree of anisotropy is larger than for pores ~500 nm to 6 μm in diameter. Finally, comparison of pore size distribution results calculated from SANS/USANS to those obtained using MICP shows good agreement at low pressures, but large difference at pressures above 1000 bar. This discrepancy requires further testing; it is possible that the high mercury pressure used in MICP alters the mesopore and micropore structure of shales.