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A Semi-analytical Model for Pressure-Dependent Permeability of Tight Sandstone Reservoirs


In tight gas reservoirs, permeability is pressure dependent owing to pore pressure reduction during the life of the reservoir. Empirical models are commonly used to describe pressure-dependent permeability. In this paper, it was discussed a number of issues which centered around tight sandstone pressure-dependent permeability experiment, first to apply core aging on permeability test and then to develop a new semi-analytical model to predict permeability. In tight sandstone permeability test experiment, the microinterstice between core and sleeves resulted in over estimation of dependency of permeability on pressure. Then, a new semi-analytical model was developed to identify the relation between permeability and fluid pressure in tight sandstone, which indicates there is a linear relation between pore pressure changes and the inverse of permeability to a constant power. Pressure-dependent permeability of 8 tight sandstone core samples from Ordos Basin, China, was obtained using the modified procedure, and results were perfectly matched with the proposed model. Meanwhile, the semi-analytical model was also verified by pressure-dependent permeability of 16 cores in the literature and experiment results of these 24 cores were matched by empirical models and the semi-analytical model. Compared with regression result of commonly used empirical models, the semi-analytical model outperforms the current empirical models on 8 cores from our experiment and 16 cores from the literature. The model verification also indicates that the semi-theoretical model can match the pressure-dependent permeability of different rock types. In addition, the permeability performance under reservoir condition is discussed, which is divided into two stages. In most tight gas reservoirs, the permeability performance during production is located in stage II. The evaluation result with proposed experiment procedure and the stress condition in stage II will reduce permeability sensitivity to stress.

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This paper is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (51474179) and China Major Science and Technique Project (2016ZX05054), which is acknowledged. Meanwhile, this research is also supported by China Scholar Council (CSC No. 201708510122). In addition, we would also like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

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Correspondence to Zhi-Min Du.

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Zhu, S., Du, Z., Li, C. et al. A Semi-analytical Model for Pressure-Dependent Permeability of Tight Sandstone Reservoirs. Transp Porous Med 122, 235–252 (2018).

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  • Tight gas
  • Pressure-dependent permeability
  • Reservoir condition
  • Microinterstice
  • Stress sensitivity