Nanoscale pore and crack evolution in shear thin layers of shales and the shale gas reservoir effect

Yan Sun, Yiwen Ju, Wei Zhou, Peng Qiao, Liru Tao, Lei Xiao

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Abstract


Studies on matrix-related pores from the nanometer to the micrometer scale in shales have made considerable progress in recent decades. However, nanoscale pores and cracks developed in the shear thin layers have not been systematically discussed. In this work, interlayer shear slip occurring in shales are observed through practical examples. The results show that the shear thin layer constructed by nanograin coating is widely distributed on superimposed shear slip planes. Usually, the development of the shear thin layer undergoes viscoelastic-rheological-embrittling deformation stages, and the nanograin texture assembled in the shear thin layer can demonstrate three pore and crack structure types. Based on the mechanical analysis concerning nanoscale cohesion force, it is identified that, as long as force remains a state, the shear thin layer must bear a nanoscale pore and crack character. Furthermore, the shale gas reservoir effect of the nanoscale pore and crack is simply discussed. Obviously, the adsorbed gas effect of the nanograin itself has a larger nanoscale size and surface functionality than those of kerogen and clay particles in the shales; three structure types of the nanoscale pore and crack can act as given controlling factors of storage and permeability for the free gas. Both the matrix-related pores and the three pore and crack structures have an intimate connection with respect to each other in the genetic mechanism and temporal-spatial evolution. This work has important theoretical implications for supplementing the pore and crack classification of shale. Moreover, it makes a significant contribution to shale gas exploration and development.

Cited as: Sun, Y., Ju, Y., Zhou, W., Qiao, P., Tao, L., Xiao, L. Nanoscale pore and crack evolution in shear thin layers of shales and the shale gas reservoir effect. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2022, 6(3): 221-229. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2022.03.05


Keywords


Shale, shear thin layers, pore and crack, shale gas, reservoir effect

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