NMR application in unconventional shale reservoirs – A new porous media research frontier

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Unconventional shale reservoirs have greatly contributed to the recent surge in petroleum production in the United States and are expected to lead the US oil production to a historical high in 2018. The complexity of the rocks and fluids in these reservoirs presents a significant challenge to the traditional approaches to the evaluation of geological formations due to the low porosity, permeability, complex lithology and fluid composition. NMR has emerged as the key measurement for evaluating these reservoirs, for quantifying their petrophysical parameters, fluid properties, and determining productivity. Measurement of the T 1 /T 2 ratio by 2D NMR has been found to be critical for identifying the fluid composition of kerogen, bitumen, light/heavy oils, gases and brine in these formations. This paper will first provide a brief review of the theories of relaxation, measurement methods, and data inversion techniques and then will discuss several examples of applications of these NMR methods for understanding various aspects of the unconventional reservoirs. At the end, we will briefly discuss a few other topics, which are still in their developmental stages, such as solid state NMR, and their potential applications for shale rock evaluation.




Song, Y. Q., & Kausik, R. (2019, June 1). NMR application in unconventional shale reservoirs – A new porous media research frontier. Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnmrs.2019.03.002

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