All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Peter M Walsh

Advisory Committee Members

J I Alexander

Richard A Esposito

Roy P Koomullil

Jack C Pashin

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering

Abstract

To provide a greater understanding of critical parameters of ultra-tight geologic formations such as shales, this report considers alternative approaches to the laboratory-scale pressure-pulse-decay permeametry method. These include new analytical models with which to analyze data from the principal rapid pulse-decay variants used in professional laboratories today. Novel revisions to the pulse-decay method are suggested and compared, in theory, against existing technologies. A new experimental procedure for the assessment of whole-core cylindrical samples is proposed that simultaneously determines the porosity and apparent permeabilities parallel and perpendicular to the native bedding plane from a single test on a single cylindrical core sample. Using this new technique, called the Full Immersion Pressure-Pulse Decay, permeability tensors from two-inch diameter, one-inch long plug samples were determined in the sub-nanodarcy regime during tests lasting 6 to 9 hours. Permeabilities were also determined for 1.5-in diameter, one-inch long samples in the range from 30 to 300 nanodarcy during tests lasting 5 to 20 minutes. The latter estimates showed good agreement with independent determinations from an independent professional laboratory. Core-scale measurements are considered the ``ground truth'' that industries such as oil and gas producers or electric utilities use to predict migration of deep underground fluids (e.g., petroleum, natural gas, carbon dioxide, or brine) during their extraction or injection operations. The proposed techniques are expected to propel the current state of the art to fill a critical need for the determination of porosity and permeability in a time-effective manner and in a way that provides the desired accuracy, repeatability, and representativeness of the results.

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