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Coupling of high Knudsen number and non-ideal gas effects in microporous media

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 February 2018

Ziyan Wang
Department of Engineering Mechanics and CNMM, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Moran Wang
Department of Engineering Mechanics and CNMM, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Shiyi Chen
State Laboratory of Turbulence and Complex Systems, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China Southern University Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China
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High Knudsen number non-ideal gas flows in porous media are important and fundamental in various applications including shale gas exploitation and carbon dioxide sequestration. Because of the small pore size in tight rocks, the Knudsen number (Kn) may be high (i.e. much higher than 0.01) even though the gas is really dense. In fact, due to the high pressure and temperature underground, the gas usually manifests a strong non-ideal gas effect. Understanding the coupling mechanism of the high Kn effect and non-ideal gas effect is a premise to accurately model deep-seated underground gas exploitation or carbon dioxide sequestration. In this work, we theoretically analyse the high Kn non-ideal gas flows in microporous media. Based on the relative importance of the non-ideal gas effect and high Kn effect, the coupling is divided into four types. The analysis is subsequently validated by multiscale numerical simulations, in which the four types of coupling are clearly demonstrated. After applying the analysis to laboratory measurements, we propose a characteristic pressure model to calculate the gas permeability of tight rocks with better precision. The new model incorporates the non-ideal gas effect with the high Kn effect accurately and better bridges the laboratory measurements with the reservoir engineering.

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