A pulse-decay method for low (matrix) permeability analyses of granular rock media

Zhang, Tao; Hu, Qinhong; Ghanbarian, Behzad; Elsworth, Derek; Lu, Zhiming

Nanodarcy level permeability measurements of porous media, such as nano-porous mudrocks, are frequently conducted with gas invasion methods into granular-sized samples with short diffusion lengths and thereby reduced experimental duration; however, these methods lack rigorous solutions and standardized experimental procedures. For the first time, we resolve this by providing an integrated technique (termed gas permeability technique, GPT) with coupled theoretical development, experimental procedures, and data interpretation workflow. Three exact mathematical solutions for transient and slightly compressible spherical flow, along with their asymptotic solutions, are developed for early- and late-time responses. Critically, one late-time solution is for an ultra-small gas-invadable volume, important for a wide range of practical usages. Developed to be applicable to different sample characteristics (permeability, porosity, and mass) in relation to the storage capacity of experimental systems, these three solutions are evaluated from essential considerations of error difference between exact and approximate solutions, optimal experimental conditions, and experimental demonstration of mudrocks and molecular-sieve samples. Moreover, a practical workflow of solution selection and data reduction to determine permeability is presented by considering samples with different permeability and porosity under various granular sizes. Overall, this work establishes a rigorous, theory-based, rapid, and versatile gas permeability measurement technique for tight media at sub-nanodarcy levels.



Zhang, Tao / Hu, Qinhong / Ghanbarian, Behzad / et al: A pulse-decay method for low (matrix) permeability analyses of granular rock media. 2023. Copernicus Publications.


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