Microfractures in black shales and their transport properties (PROMETHEUS)

About the project

Our main question is how hydrocarbons are expelled from source rocks during burial, a process called primary migration that controls how much oil and gas could migrate toward reservoir rocks. More generally, several geological processes  involve the expulsion of fluids from low permeability rocks, such as diagenesis of clays in sedimentary basins or dehydration of sediments in subduction zones.

Shales are layered sedimentary rocks, which can be almost impermeable for fluids and act as seals and cap-rock, or, if a shale layer hosts a fracture network, it can act as a fluid reservoir and/or conduit. Organic-rich shales contain organic matter - kerogen, which can transform from solid state to oil and gas during burial and exposure to heat. When the organic matter is decomposing into lighter molecular weight hydrocarbons, the pore-pressure inside the shale rock increases and can drive propagation of hydraulic fractures.

We follow three complementary approaches, including a baseline understanding of the relationship between organic content and maturation as it relates to the geomechanical components of the rock, a thorough analysis of the kerogen lenses to characterize them (size, shape, fabric, anisotropy, volume of total rock, orientation etc.) and how they interact with fractures (size, shape, fabric, anisotropy, volume of total rock, etc.), and analogue modelling of the fracturing process within an anisotropic medium focused on understanding size, shape, density, and orientation of fractures in relationship to the anisotropy.

Two synchrotron microtomography images of a shale sample on the left side for resolution of 6.63 micrometers (top), and  0.7 micrometers (bottom). A glass rectangle with grey lines in front of a white rectangle on the right side, representing analogue modelling of primary migration in a gelatin system with five layers.
Left – Synchrotron microtomography images of a shale sample from a borehole in the Draupne formation, North Sea. A label analysis is carried out for all kerogen lenses and fractures, with examples two resolutions (6.63 micrometers – top; 0.7 micrometers – bottom). An analysis of size, shape, fabric, anisotropy, volume of total rock, and kerogen patch orientation is carried out for both, as well as how these parameters relate to one another. Right – Analogue modelling of primary migration in a gelatin system with five layers. The two darker layers have sugar/yeast representing organic content rich layers, while the three lighter layers do not content organic matter.

Financing

The Research Council of Norway (project PROMETHEUS, #267775, 2017-2022)

Cooperation

  • The Njord Center, University of Oslo, Norway
  • University Grenoble Alpes, France
  • British Geological Survey, Nottingham, UK
  • Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
  • University of Nancy, France

Seals of project participants.

 

Publications

  • Johnson, James Ronald; Hansen, Jørgen André; Rahman, Md Jamilur; Renard, Francois & Mondol, Nazmul Haque (2022). Mapping the maturity of organic-rich shale with combined geochemical and geophysical data, Draupne Formation, Norwegian Continental Shelf. Marine and Petroleum Geology. ISSN 0264-8172. 138. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2022.105525. Full text in Research Archive
  • Chavez Panduro, Elvia Anabela; Cordonnier, Benoit; Gawel, Kamila; Børve, Ingrid; Iyer, Jaisree & Carroll, Susan [Show all 15 contributors for this article] (2020). Real time 3D observations of Portland Cement Carbonation at CO2 storage conditions. Environmental Science and Technology. ISSN 0013-936X. 54(13), p. 8323–8332. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c00578. Full text in Research Archive
  • Rabbel, Ole; Mair, Karen; Galland, Olivier; Grühser, Carina & Meier, Tobias (2020). Numerical Modeling of Fracture Network Evolution in Organic‐Rich Shale With Rapid Internal Fluid Generation. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9313. 125. doi: 10.1029/2020JB019445. Full text in Research Archive
  • Chauve, Thomas; Scholtes, Luc; Donzé, Frédéric-Victor; Mondol, Nazmul Haque & Renard, Francois (2020). Layering in shales controls microfracturing at the onset of primary migration in source rocks. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9313. 125(5). doi: 10.1029/2020JB019444. Full text in Research Archive
  • McBeck, Jessica Ann; Ben-Zion, Yehuda & Renard, Francois (2020). The mixology of precursory strain partitioning approaching brittle failure in rocks. Geophysical Journal International. ISSN 0956-540X. 221(3), p. 1856–1872. doi: 10.1093/GJI/GGAA121. Full text in Research Archive
  • Johnson, James Ronald; Hansen, Jørgen André; Renard, Francois & Mondol, Nazmul Haque (2019). Modeling maturation, elastic, and geomechanical properties of the Draupne Formation, Offshore Norway. SEG technical program expanded abstracts. ISSN 1949-4645. p. 3245–3249. doi: 10.1190/segam2019-3215340.1. Full text in Research Archive
  • Zhang, Lingran; Nasika, Christina; Donzé, Frédéric-Victor; Zheng, Xiaojiao; Renard, Francois & Scholtès, Luc (2019). Modeling Porosity Evolution Throughout Reaction‐Induced Fracturing in Rocks With Implications for Serpentinization. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9313. 124(6), p. 5708–5733. doi: 10.1029/2018JB016872.
  • Panahi, Hamed; Kobchenko, Maya; Meakin, Paul; Dysthe, Dag Kristian & Renard, Francois (2019). Fluid expulsion and microfracturing during the pyrolysis of an organic rich shale. Fuel. ISSN 0016-2361. 235, p. 1–16. doi: 10.1016/j.fuel.2018.07.069. Full text in Research Archive
  • Johnson, James Ronald; Hansen, Jørgen André; Renard, Francois & Mondol, Nazmul Haque (2019). Geomechanical Analysis of Maturation for the Draupne Shale, Offshore Norway, 6th EAGE Shale Workshop 2019, Bordequx, France 28 April - 1 May 2019 . European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). ISSN 978-1-5108-8666-7. doi: 10.3997/2214-4609.201900272.
  • Panahi, Hamed; Kobchenko, Maya; Meakin, Paul; Dysthe, Dag Kristian & Renard, Francois (2018). In-situ imaging of fracture development during maturation of an organic-rich shale: Effects of heating rate and confinement. Marine and Petroleum Geology. ISSN 0264-8172. 95, p. 314–327. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.05.002. Full text in Research Archive
  • McBeck, Jessica Ann; Kobchenko, Maya; Hall, Stephen; Tudisco, Erika; Cordonnier, Benoit & Meakin, Paul [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2018). Investigating the Onset of Strain Localization Within Anisotropic Shale Using Digital Volume Correlation of Time-Resolved X-Ray Microtomography Images. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR): Solid Earth. ISSN 2169-9313. 123(9), p. 7509–7528. doi: 10.1029/2018JB015676. Full text in Research Archive

View all works in Cristin

  • Johnson, James Ronald; Hansen, Jørgen André; Mondol, Nazmul Haque & Renard, Francois (2019). Modeling maturation, elastic, and geomechanical properties of the Draupne Formation, Offshore Norway.
  • Johnson, James Ronald; Hansen, Jørgen André; Renard, Francois & Mondol, Nazmul Haque (2019). Geomechanical Analysis of Maturation for the Draupne Shale, Offshore Norway.

View all works in Cristin

Published Apr. 7, 2021 9:34 AM - Last modified Dec. 6, 2021 1:48 PM