Modeling of gas migration through low-permeability clay rock using information on pressure and deformation from fast air injection tests
Rights accessOpen Access
The characterization of gas migration through low-permeability clay formations has been a focus of R&D programs for radioactive waste disposal, which is also of great importance for shale gas exploration, cap-rock behavior of hydrocarbon reservoirs, and (Formula presented.) sequestration. Laboratory tests have been performed on Opalinus Clay, a Mesozoic claystone that is being investigated in Switzerland as a potential host rock for the storage of nuclear waste. The laboratory program included specific water and air injections tests, as well as oedometer and isotropic compression tests. Undisturbed core samples have been retrieved from a shallow borehole in the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory (URL) and from a deep borehole in northern Switzerland. For the shallow cores from Mont Terri URL, largely linear-elastic deformations associated with the gas injection test could be inferred and the change in void ratio was accounted for by the pore compressibility. The corresponding change in permeability was obtained from the results of the water tests, indicating a log-linear relation between permeability and porosity. The derived porosity change and the corresponding change in permeability were implemented in the standard TOUGH2 code, which reproduced the measured gas test results using fitted water retention data derived from laboratory measurements. Similar air injection tests performed on Opalinus Clay cores from the borehole at greater depth showed overall similar behavior, but at lower porosities, lower permeability values, and lower compressibility. These cases indicated nonlinear behavior which was implemented using an effective stress-dependent porosity change and the associated change in permeability. In addition, the anisotropy associated with the bedding planes of the clay formation was considered by assuming different properties for “soft” and “hard” layers to account for storage capacity for the injected gas prior to gas breakthrough. The computed change in the overall porosity could be compared to the measured axial deformation during the gas injection test and was used for calibration of the parameters describing the relationship between the effective stress and porosity, as well as the corresponding change in permeability and capillary pressure.
CitationSenger, R., Romero, E., Marschall, P. Modeling of gas migration through low-permeability clay rock using information on pressure and deformation from fast air injection tests. "Transport in porous media", Juliol 2018, vol. 123, núm. 3, p. 563–579.