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Aug 28, 2019

Tang 2019

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Reservoir geomechanics Modeling

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Reservoir geomechanics Modeling

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in Shale Gas and CBM Reservoir

Xuanhe Tang, State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum

University; Haiyan Zhu, State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest

Petroleum University & State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China

University of Mining & Technology; Qingyou Liu and Yujia Song, State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir

Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University

This paper was prepared for presentation at the International Petroleum Technology Conference held in Beijing, China, 26 – 28 March 2019.

This paper was selected for presentation by an IPTC Programme Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s).

Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the International Petroleum Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The

material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the International Petroleum Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Papers presented at

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Abstract

To investigate the time-lapse, three-dimensional (so-called four dimensional/4D) stress during production/

injection, a 4D multi-physical modeling method is proposed. A finite difference method (FDM) reservoir

simulator is used to couple thermal-hydrological-chemical (THC) processes, while a finite element method

(FEM) geomechanical simulator takes on the role of a thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) coupling

calculator. Heterogeneity and anisotropy of the reservoir flow and geomechanical properties as well as the

permeability stress-sensitivity can be considered in modelling based on field and experimental data. In order

to couple the flow model with the geomechanical model, an improved interface (coupling) Python code is

provided to communicate data between the finite difference (FD) and finite element (FE) grids. Ultimately,

this method is applied to analyze the stress and poro-elastic parameters evolution of hydraulic fractured

Sichuan Basin shale gas reservoir and Qinshui Basin coalbed methane (CBM) reservoir in production.

Keywords: Multi-physical modeling, 4D stress, Interface code, Heterogeneity and anisotropy, Shale gas

reservoir and CBM reservoir

Introduction

To quantitatively describe stress and reservoir properties field evolution during production/injection,

dynamic stress modeling methods were widely developed for years. By coupling a geomechanical simulator

and a reservoir simulator, researchers investigated the rock deformation, formation compaction/subsidence

and porous parameters change (Teufel and Rhett, 1991; Gutierrez, 1994; Gutierrez and Makurat, 1997;

Settari and Walters, 1999) with different coupling method (Onaisi and Samier et al., 2002; Samier and Onaisi

et al., 2006). Moreover, formation mechanical anisotropy (Sinha and Kostek, 1996; Prioul and Bakulin et al.,

2004) and stress-sensitivity (Shovkun and Espinoza, 2017) have been considered in numerical simulations.

With commercial simulators have been widely used to build flow-geomechanical model and have proved

2 IPTC-19288-MS

insightful, FEM/FDM numerical solutions are the most popular for full coupling (Bower and Zyvoloski,

1997; Li and Ito et al., 2009; Kolditz and Görke et al., 2012), partial coupling (Rutqvist and Tsang, 2002;

Liu and Kvamme, 2008; Taron and Elsworth et al., 2009; Fei and Li et al., 2015) and one-way coupling

(Olden and Pickup et al., 2012; Nakaten and Kempka, 2014). The effect of discontinuities and natural

fractures is more difficult to rigorously represent in these coupling solutions/methods, although there are

some documented cases including using Eclipse or CMG with Abaqus, TOUGHReact with FLAC3D and

FEMH with Abaqus.

This paper presents a 4D multi-physical modeling method by improving the previous method (Zhu and

Tang et al., 2018) to investigate the stress and reservoir properties evolution. In the improved edition, the

geometry of the overburden formation was neglected while the heterogeneous vertical stress distribution

was applied on the reservoir as an alternative. More importantly, except for the properties mapping during

coupling process, the interference code was integrated with the functions of 3D properties initialization for

the geomechanical model and the stress initialization testing. Besides, the FL2 platform with four fracturing

treated wells in Fuling shale gas reservoir was performed with this improved modelling method. In addition,

the more comprehensive data were utilized to investigate the geomechanics evolution during Qinshui Basin

CBM reservoir drainage. These supplementary data includes the calibrated well logs and the longer period

well production.

In this paper, CMG or Eclipse was selected as a reservoir simulator which can conduct THC coupling

process, while Abaqus serves as the geomechanical simulator which can conduct THM coupling process.

To establish the geomechanical and complete a partial (sequential) coupling process, a Python interface

code bridges the properties from geological model to the geomechanical model, as well as communicates

the data between an FD grid in the reservoir simulator and an FE grid in the geomechanical simulator. With

a set of subroutines, heterogeneity and anisotropy of the reservoir flow and geomechanical properties as

well as the permeability stress-sensitivity can be considered in modelling based on field and experimental

data. Using this modeling method, a 4D multi-physics model for Sichuan Basin shale gas reservoir (China)

and a 4D multi-physics model for Qinshui Basin CBM reservoir are developed to discuss the evolution of

stress and poro-elastic parameters.

Reservoir FDM model. Partial coupling is adopted. This means that, in one calculation step, the

THC coupling process is fully coupled within the flow FDM model independently considering the THM

coupling results. THM coupling follows the fully coupling mode within the FEM geomechanical model,

independently considering THC coupling. Thus, the flow model for a shale gas reservoir should be first

established in a reservoir simulator. Since the THMC coupling is only partially implemented (soft coupling),

THC coupling cannot be independently simulated from the initial production/injection time to the expected

end time. The simulation schema is illustrated in the following sections.

Geomechanical FEM model.

IPTC-19288-MS 3

Figure 1—New interference code for geomechanical modeling and coupling process

Geometry, mesh and properties. Following the development of THC coupling flow model, a THM

coupling geomechanical model is constructed using the Abaqus platform. As is shown in Fig. 1, the reservoir

geometry in the geomechanical model is simply constructed with conventional CAD software (e.g. Pro-E)

and imported into Abaqus. In the previous modelling method, the shape of grid can be altered as hexahedron

or tetrahedron to overcome the non-convergence in simulation dependent on the discontinuities. And the

geometry with the discontinuities can be the same as the geologic model used to develop the reservoir

FDM model (in CMG or Eclipse), while the overburdens can be considered in the geometry for the load of

overburden pressure in geomechanical model. Using a customized interpolation code, the geomechanical

properties profiles of each well are assigned to the geomechanical mesh model.

Figure 2—Tetrahedral grid for discontinuities (Zhu and Tang et al., 2018)

The previous method was applied to construct the geomechanical properties model by interpolating the

geomechanical properties profiles from individual wells into the 3D geomechanical mesh model (Zhu and

Tang et al., 2018). However, there are several problems in the previous method: (i) since the properties of

the overburdens may not be measured in most cases, the overburden pressure in the numerical model may

be largely different with the real overburden pressure; (ii) although the geomechanical properties model

interpolated from individual wells can describe the properties distribution, the properties in any 3D location

may be inconsistent between the reservoir model and geomechanical model, because interpolation strategies

are different between geomechanical model and the geological which is consistent with reservoir model.

The interference code was improved to modify the 3D isotropic geomechanical modelling method: (i)

only the geometry of reservoir is constructed for geomechanical mesh model, and the overburden pressure

4 IPTC-19288-MS

can be ignored, because the overburden pressure effect can be replaced by the vertical stress as an alternative

(Zoback, 2007), which can be applied on the geomechanical model immediately. On the other hand, without

the overburdens, the mesh refinement is preferred and practical to obtain a more accurate strain for the

smaller sized grid, as shown in Fig. 3; (ii) the properties are calibrated with individual well properties

profiles in geological model, and then mapped to geomechanical mesh model to build the 3D isotropic

geomechanical model.

Assumptions of isotropy in a formation may not be realistic except conventional sand formation.

Anisotropy tests should be conducted to acquire the rock mechanical parameters in different directions

of cores, such as acoustic emission and uniaxial/tri-axial compression tests. An anisotropic elastic-plastic

tensor matrix can be implemented to represent transversely isotropic constitutive behavior. Anisotropic

parameters can be assigned with field variables in Abaqus. Meanwhile, simplified analytical models

with one-way coupling for the permeability stress sensitivity in the flow model can't describe the actual

geomechanical effect on the permeability (Law and Bert Van Der Meer et al., 2005). To represent stress

sensitivity in the THMC coupling simulation, user-defined FORTRAN-subroutines are called in Abaqus to

describe stress dependent porosity and the permeability.

Since the stress distributions are mapped from the geological model, and properties in geological

model are interpolated from the individual wells profiles without the constraint of sedimentary facies, the

stress distributions may be inaccurate due to the trial interpolation strategies. Thus, a stress equilibrium

simulation should be conducted for the 3D actual geomechanical model. If the stress equilibrium simulation

is convergent and the volumetric strain is less than 1.0 × 10−6, the stress distributions can be regarded as the

reasonable initial stress (Shen and Standifird, 2017). If the stress equilibrium simulation is non-convergent

or the volumetric strain is much larger than 1.0 × 10−6, another interpolation strategies must be tried to test

the stress equilibrium.

Multi-physical coupling process. The coupling process follows a sequential coupling which means the

flow model and geomechanical model are implemented separately, and the parameters within these two

models are updated at the end of each calculation step for the next calculation step (Rutqvist, 2011). With the

interface code, properties data are communicated between the flow and the geomechanical models. The data

communicating process between the FD grid in the flow model and the FE grid in the geomechanical model

are shown in Fig. 4. In every coupling step, the data interface involves three generic procedures: Create

an adaptive spherical search zone centered on one node in the non-updated model, and search the nearest

node(s) in the updated model; Interpolate the properties from the node(s) in the updated model to the node

in un-updated model using the nearest neighbor method or the linearly interpolation method depends on the

grid density difference between the updated model and the non-updated model; Perform the interpolation

over all nodes in the non-updated model.

IPTC-19288-MS 5

Figure 4—Data communicating between the FD grid in the flow model and the FE grid in the geomechanical model

Modeling process

Overview. The FL2 platform accommodates four horizontal wells (FL2-1HF, FL2-2HF, FL2-3HF,

FL2-4HF), and is located in the Sichuan Basin shale gas reservoir, China. This laminated gas shale reservoir

is located in the Lower Silurian Longmaxi-Upper Ordovician Wufeng formation. There is poor development

of natural fractures in this normal fault stress regime. The vertical depth to the target formation varies

from 1641.14 m to 2045.54 m. The shale sequence is about 160 m thick. A geologic model was developed

from previous petro-physical evaluations of the four wells. Layering is evident as is lateral variation and

heterogeneity. The FL2 platform data collected includes gas and water production rates, and casing pressure

which covers productivity testing period and gas production period. Forward production predictions have

been carried out for 60 months (from January 2015 to January 2020) into the future. The well logging data

of four wells were interpolated to the geological model with the constraint of sedimentary facies, part of

the 3D distributions of physical and geomechanical properties are shown in Fig. 5. As there might be a

overturning, high stress region appears in the shallow area while the low stress region appears in the deeper

area in the same layer. Besides, a strike-slip fault mechanism (the vertical stress is the middle principal

stress) shows in the reservoir mainly affected by tectonism.

6 IPTC-19288-MS

Modelling. Based on the calibrated geological and well logging data, a flow model for the area drained by

wells from the FL2 pad (referred to as the global model) was prepared in Eclipse. Moreover, the hydraulic

fractures were inversed in Petrel dependent by microseismic monitoring results and mapped to Eclipse, as is

shown in Fig. 6, the fractures length of this four wells ranges from 145 m to 156 m, and the fractures height

ranges from 28 m to 37 m. The 3D geological model was used to build a global geomechanical model in the

FL2 platform vicinity. The dimension of this domain are 5616 m×2355 m×402 m. A 10 nodes displacement-

pore-temperature element (C3D10MPT) was used to mesh the model in Abaqus.

IPTC-19288-MS 7

Fluid transport and storage, rock mechanical and thermal properties are required. Geomechanical

properties profiles for the four wells are interpolated into calibrate the geological properties model, and then

the properties from the geological model are attributed to the grid with the interference code. The stress

equilibrium was simulated to test the initial stress distribution of geomechanical model (Fig. 7)

Transversely isotropy and stress-dependent permeability. In this shale reservoir, the laminated character

precludes treating the shale as an isotropic elastic material. Recognizing significant bedding in this reservoir,

the anisotropic (transversely isotropic) characteristics should be considered in the THM simulations

(Baumgärtel, 1979). The transverse isotropy intensity coefficient for Young's modulus rE, and transverse

isotropy intensity coefficient for Poisson's ratio rv are based on the experimental result of the reference (Zhu

and Tang et al., 2018). Besides, the relationships between porosity/permeability and volumetric strain-εv,

can be expressed as (Zhu and Zhao et al., 2015) and incorporated into a user-defined subroutine associated

with the geomechanical model.

(1)

(2)

where ϕs is the porosity of shale, εv is the volumetric strain, ϕs0 is the initial shale porosity, where ks is the

permeability of shale, and ks0 is the initial permeability of shale.

8 IPTC-19288-MS

Variations in the reservoir. Fig. 8 shows the effect on the pore pressure distribution of shale gas

production in the period of 60 producing months after fracturing. Fig. 8(a) shows that the initial pore

pressure distribution declines from north-east to south-west. After producing for 60 months, the depression

cones occur around each well, shown as Fig. 8(b), and the hydraulic fractures evidently contributes to the

domain increase of production effect. Besides, the greatest pore pressure drops is located at the second stage

(Stage-2) of FL2-3HF. Fig. 9 shows the compaction distribution of shale gas production in the period of 60

producing months after fracturing, the largest compactions are not located at trajectory for any wells but

at the side where there is no other well.

IPTC-19288-MS 9

Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 show the effect on the minimum/maximum horizontal effective stress distribution

of shale gas production in the period of 60 producing months after fracturing. Fig. 10(a) and Fig. 11(a)

show that the initial minimum/maximum horizontal effective stress distribution declines from north-east to

south-west resulted from the formation overturning. After producing for 60 months, the depression cones

occur around each well, shown as Fig. 10(b) and Fig. 11(b), and it can be seen that the stress changes are

mainly controlled by the pore pressure. Fig. 10(c) and Fig. 11(c) show the stress orientation distribution

after production, and the dramatic re-orientations appear around the wellbore and that mean the stress

reorientations are mainly control by the pore pressure.

10 IPTC-19288-MS

Stress evolutions in depletion. The comparative simulations were conducted with isotropic material and

transversely isotropic material. The rock mechanical parameters used for the isotropic material were those

measured parallel to the shale bedding. As is shown in Fig. 8 to Fig. 11, the greatest pore pressure drop

is located in the stage-2 of hydraulic fracturing in the well of FL2-3HF, and the discussions are conducted

based on the evolution of FL2-3HF stage-2.

Fig. 12 shows the transient values of the minimum and maximum horizontal effective stresses with pore

pressure depletion near well FL2-3HF. The pore pressure decline is decreasing from 35.15 MPa to 19.06

MPa with time and the minimum and maximum horizontal effective stresses increase with the pore pressure

drop. The minimum horizontal effective stress increases from 25.36 MPa to 28.08 MPa in the transversely

isotropic material and reaches 27.57 MPa in the isotropic material. The maximum horizontal effective stress

increases from 29.15 MPa to 35.76 MPa in the transversely isotropic material and to 34.88 MPa in isotropic

material. Since the elastic modulus parallel to the bedding is greater than the elastic modulus perpendicular

to the bedding, deformation is preferentially impeded in the direction parallel to the bedding, and the

minimum/maximum horizontal effective stress changes for a transversely isotropic material will be greater

than for an isotropic material. In addition, for the transversely isotropic material, the increase in minimum/

maximum horizontal effective stress is 11% and 23%, respectively. For an isotropic material, the increase

in the minimum/maximum horizontal effective stresses over 60 months is 9% and 20%, respectively. For

both transversely isotropic and isotropic materials, the increase in the minimum horizontal effective stress

is greater than that of the maximum horizontal effective stress, and that means that stress re-orientation

occurs during depletion.

Since the hydraulic fractures of this model were considered in the reservoir simulation, the effect

of fracturing on the flow-geomechanical coupling process should be discussed. Fig. 13(a) shows the

relationship between the minimum horizontal effective stress and the pore pressure at the area near the

wellbore and the east half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture. Moreover, the trajectory of FL2-3HF is

paralleled to FL2-4HF which was fracturing treated and produced in the same period of FL2-3HF, thus the

effect of paralleling fractured wells producing should be discussed as well. Fig. 13(b) shows relationship

between the minimum horizontal effective stress and the pore pressure at the area near the wellbore, the

west half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture, the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF and the same

distance area to the east of FL2-3HF.

IPTC-19288-MS 11

According to the Fig. 13(a), the pore pressure drops 16.10 MPa near the wellbore, while the pore

pressure drops 13.48 MPa near east half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture. Besides, the minimum

horizontal effective stress increases by 2.72 MPa near the wellbore, while minimum horizontal effective

stress increases by 2.47 MPa near east half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2fracture. Whether the pore

pressure or the effective stress, the geomechanical changes near the wellbore is greater than near east

halffracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture, because the half-fracture tips is just one of the producing

effect contribution to the changes near the wellbore.

According to the Fig. 13(b), the minimum horizontal effective stress increases by 2.72 MPa with the pore

pressure drops 16.10 MPa near the wellbore, the minimum horizontal effective stress increases by 2.53 MPa

with the pore pressure drops 13.71 MPa near west half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture, and the

minimum horizontal effective stress increases by 1.44 MPa with the pore pressure drops 4.89 MPa at the

center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF. The difference of the effective stress increase among the three area

show the same change trend. It can be concluded that, decreasing with the distance away from FL2-3HF,

the pore pressure drops less and the effective stress increase less.

Besides, by comparing the difference between the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF and the same

distance area to the east of FL2-3HF, the minimum horizontal effective stress increases by 1.44 MPa with the

pore pressure drops 4.89 MPa at the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF, while the minimum horizontal

effective stress increases by 0.52 MPa with the pore pressure drops 2.35 MPa at the same distance area to

the east of FL2-3HF. It can be conclude that the parallel well (FL2-4HF) have a considerable effect on the

geomechanical changes.

Permeability evolutions. The transverse isotropy is more realistic to describe the shale rock mechanical,

hence, only the effect of fracturing on the flow-geomechanical coupling process and the effect of fractured

wells paralleling are discussed.

Fig. 14(a) shows the relationship between normalized permeability and the pore pressure at the area

near the wellbore, the east half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture. The normalized permeability

at the area near the wellbore decreases to 0.502 while decreases to 0.630 near the east half-fracture tips

of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture. Fig. 14(b) shows the relationship between normalized permeability and the

minimum horizontal effective stress at the area near the wellbore, the west half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF

stage-2 fracture, and the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF. Comparing the distance effect away from

the wellbore, The normalized permeability at the area near the wellbore decreases to 0.502, the normalized

permeability near the west half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture decreases to 0.601, and the

normalized permeability at the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF decreases to 0.799. Meanwhile, the

12 IPTC-19288-MS

normalized permeability decreases at the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF is larger than the decrease

of same distance area to the east of FL2-3HF which is only 0.103.

Fig. 15(a) shows the relationship between normalized permeability and pore pressure at the area near the

wellbore, the east half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture. Fig. 15(b) shows the relationship between

normalized permeability and the minimum horizontal effective stress at the area near the wellbore, the west

half-fracture tips of FL2-3HF stage-2 fracture, and the center area of FL2-3HF and FL2-4HF. Based on the

Fig. 15, the effect of stress increase at different region on the permeability can be compared.

Modeling process

Overview. Shouyang NYZ-A2 area locates in the middle of Shanxi province and the northern part of the

Qinshui Basin. The altitude of this area ranges from 980.0 m to 1342.1 m. The altitude of the western and

northern part is higher than that of the eastern and southern parts, shown as Fig. 16. 15# coalbed of this area

are confirmed as the main commercial production layer. The A2 area is the main producing area in the NYZ

area with totally 165 wells drilled and 127 wells stimulated, as presented in Fig. 17. According to the wells

sites of 23 gas producing wells, most of them locate in the central-northern part of the NYZ-A2 area.

IPTC-19288-MS 13

Modelling. Since the production of most wells was less than 50 m3/day or even 10 m3/day, the flow model

was established in CMG with the geological sub-model of the major producing which covers about 39 wells,

shown as Fig. 18. The production data of 36 months, including casing pressure, bottomhole pressure, gas

production rate and water production rate of 23 gas producing wells and 16 water drainage wells, were

employed for the THM coupling simulation after the geomechanics model establishment.

14 IPTC-19288-MS

Fig. 19 shows the computational domain of the NYZ-A2 major producing area, which covers 3375

m × 1875 m in plane and 311 m to 519 m in vertical direction. The vertical depth of 15# coalbed

ranges from 435.15 m to 926.66 m with a thickness of 3.77 m to 6.08 m. The roof (with a thickness

of 20-33 m) and the floor (with a thickness of 3.41-5.29 m) of the 15# coalbed are the limestone and

mudstone respectively. The geomechanical mesh model was established by the geometry and meshes

of the geological model. Considering that the thickness of coalbed is too thin for tetrahedral grid, the

element type of the geomechanical model was assigned as the C3D8PT with 8 nodes and hexahedron

geometry which can conduct the THM coupling calculation. The initial physical properties fields (porosity,

permeability, saturation) and geomechanical properties fields (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, pore

pressure, temperature and in-situ stresses) were obtained from the geological model (Fig. 20). Then initial

properties are bridged to the geomechanical model by the interface code as well as the initial boundary

conditions. The bottom and four lateral boundaries are restricted with all displacements and rotations. With

the 3D geomechanical model, the initial stresses fields were tested by stress equilibrium simulation. (Fig.

21).

IPTC-19288-MS 15

Figure 21—The initial stress field of the NYZ-A2 major producing area (minimum horizontal stress)

Anisotropy and stress-dependent permeability. The orthotropic intensity coefficient of the Young's

modulus and Poisson's ratio in the x direction & the y direction are considered and the stress-sensitive

permeability model are implemented in the geomechanical model by the subroutines as the following

equations which was verified by the laboratory experiments (Zhu and Tang et al., 2018).

The equations of the porosity and permeability is:

(3)

where ϕ is the coal porosity, a is the Biot's coefficient, ϕ0 is the initial coal porosity, Kc is the bulk modulus,

p0 is the pore pressure, p is the pore pressure, and the mean effective stress .

(4)

Variations in the reservoir. Fig. 22 shows the effect on the pore pressure distribution of CBM production

in the period of 36 producing months. After producing for 36 months, the depression cones occur

around each well. According to the production data of all the wells in this region, six wells (SYNY-109,

SYNY-125, SYNY-136, SYNY-161, SYNY-173, SYNY-187) with the similar high gas production rate and

low water production rate among these producing wells were preferred for re-fracturing operation, and

correspondingly, it shows the larger pore pressure drop at these six wells. Fig. 23 shows the compaction

distribution of CBM production in the period of 36 producing months, the largest compactions are located

at region where the producing wells concentrated.

Figure 22—Pore pressure after 36 producing months of NYZ-A2 major producing area

16 IPTC-19288-MS

Fig. 24 and Fig. 25 show the effect on the minimum/maximum horizontal effective stress distribution of

CBM production in the period of 36 producing months. Fig. 24(a) and Fig. 25(a) show that the increase of

minimum/maximum horizontal effective stress are mainly affected by the pore pressure drop and the well

location concentration simultaneously. Fig. 24(b) and Fig. 25(b) show the minimum/maximum horizontal

effective stress vectors distribution, it can be seen that the stress re-orientation appears at the region where

the producing wells concentrated, especially for the maximum horizontal effective stress, and that is the

major controlling factor of stress re-orientation

Figure 24—Minimum horizontal effective stress after 36 producing months of NYZ-A2 major producing area

Figure 25—Maximum horizontal effective stress after 36 producing months of NYZ-A2 major producing area

Stress evolution in production and drainage. Considering the rock mechanical anisotropy of the coalbed,

the minimum horizontal effective stress and the maximum horizontal effective stress changes of the

six producing wells (SYNY-109, SYNY-125, SYNY-136, SYNY-161, SYNY-173, SYNY-187) during 36

months' production are illustrated respectively in Fig. 26 and Fig. 27 to discuss the heterogeneity of the

coalbed. The pore pressure drops of these six wells range from 2.59 MPa to 2.94 MPa, and their minimum/

maximum horizontal effective stress increase with the pore pressure decrease. Comparing that the largest

IPTC-19288-MS 17

pore pressure drop is 2.94 MPa which appears at the wellbore of SYNY-173, but the largest minimum

horizontal effective stress increase is 0.94 MPa which appears at the wellbore of SYNY-187 and the largest

maximum horizontal effective stress increase is 1.19 MPa which appears at the wellbore of SYNY-125.

As differences still exist on the stress evolution of each well, it can be concluded that the initial stresses

and stresses evolution differences are caused by the geomechanical heterogeneity and producing wells

concentration of this CBM reservoir. Based on the differences among the stress change rate of these six

wells, the intensities of the stress reorientation are distinct with each other owing to the heterogeneity of

different wells including reservoir depth/thickness, pore parameters and rock mechanics parameters.

Figure 26—Minimum horizontal effective stress evolution in depletion of NYZ-A2 major producing area

Figure 27—Maximum horizontal effective stress evolution in depletion of NYZ-A2 major producing area

Permeability evolution with the change of mean effective stress. The volumetric strain of the coalbed

changes with the variation of stress condition, affecting the pores, fractures and cleats in coalbed. The

porosity and permeability change with the re-construction of pore medium. The relationship between

permeability and volumetric strain, and the relationship between permeability and the effective stress can

reveal the mechanism of permeability stress-sensitivity during depletion.

Since the change of the mean effective stress of the well SYNY-136 is 0.274 MPa which is the

lowest among the six wells mentioned before, SYNY-136 is preferred to discuss the sensitivity of

porosity and permeability in CBM drainage. Fig. 28 and Fig. 29 show the effects of coal anisotropy

and heterogeneity on the permeability evolution. During the CBM drainage, the coal around the well

SYNY-136 is under compression with the effective stress increasing. Correspondingly, the normalized

porosity/permeabilities in three directions respectively decrease to 0.436/0.190 (perpendicular to face cleat),

18 IPTC-19288-MS

0.390/0.152 (perpendicular to butt cleat) and 0.544/0.296 (perpendicular to bedding). The coupling model

embedded with the permeability model proposed in this paper presents a high permeability stress-sensitivity.

Table 1 shows the relationship between the mean effective stress change and normalized permeabilities

in different directions after 36 months' production at six wells.

Wells

stress (MPa) perpendicular to face cleat perpendicular to butt cleat perpendicular to bedding

SYNY-125 0.863 0.149 0.068 0.238

SYNY-136 0.263 0.190 0.152 0.296

SYNY-161 0.374 0.169 0.147 0.225

SYNY-173 0.651 0.079 0.051 0.139

SYNY-187 0.615 0.087 0.076 0.191

Although the six wells have the similar gas production rate and water drainage rate, as more high

gas production rate wells crowd in the area where SYNY-109 and SYNY-125 locates in, the inter-well

interference is merged in this area and the effective stresses at SYNY-109 and SYNY-125 increase more

obviously than other four wells, the corresponding permeabilities decrease more sharply. Besides, the mean

IPTC-19288-MS 19

effective stress and normalized permeability at the SYNY-109 and SYNY-125 behave the similar evolutions

which results from almost the same buried depth, drainage and production rate, and flowgeomechanical

conditions of the two wells. The normalized permeability in the direction of butt cleat shows the highest

stress-sensitivity, and the permeability stress-sensitivity in the direction of face cleat is higher than in the

direction of bedding, which shows that the cleats have a larger influence than the bedding on the permeability

change.

Conclusions

1. In the case of the Sichuan Basin simulations, after 60 months of production, the transversely

isotropic intensity has a moderate effect on how effective stresses, porosity/permeability, and reservoir

compaction evolve.

2. The hydraulic fractures contributes a lot to the pore pressure drops and the effective stress increases,

and whether the pore pressure or the effective stress, the geomechanical changes near the wellbore is

greater than near fracture tips; Besides, the effect of paralleling fractured wells producing contributes

to the pore pressure drops and the effective stress increases dependent with the distance away from

the wellbore.

3. The anisotropy and heterogeneity of formation have considerable effects on the stress evolution and

permeability evolution during depletion in Qinshui Basin CBM reservoir.

4. The permeability stress-sensitivity of the Shouyang 15# coalbed is very high in different directions,

and it appear the strongest sensitivity in the direction perpendicular to butt cleat.

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51874253), the China

Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2018T110142) and the Science and Technology Project of Sichuan

Province (No. 2018FZ0069).

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