Gas transport properties through intact and fractured Callovo-Oxfordian mudstones
Jon F. Harrington, Robert J. Cuss, Jean Talandier, 2017. "Gas transport properties through intact and fractured Callovo-Oxfordian mudstones", Geomechanical and Petrophysical Properties of Mudrocks, E. H. Rutter, J. Mecklenburgh, K. Taylor
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A series of controlled water and gas experiments was undertaken on samples of Callovo-Oxfordian (COx) mudstone using a synthetic fluid and helium gas. Data from this study demonstrate that the advective movement of gas through COx is accompanied by dilation of the original fabric (i.e. the formation of pressure-induced microfissures) at gas pressures significantly below that of the minimum principal stress. Flow occurs through a local network of unstable pathways, the properties of which vary temporally and spatially within the mudstone. The coupling of variables results in the development of significant time-dependent effects affecting many aspects of COx behaviour, from the gas breakthrough time to the control of deformation processes. Variations in gas entry, breakthrough and steady-state pressures may result from the arbitrary nature of the flow pathways and/or microstructural heterogeneity. Under these conditions, the data suggest that gas flow is along pressure-induced preferential pathways, where permeability is a dependent variable related to the number, width and aperture distributions of these features. This has important implications for modelling gas migration through low permeability, clay-rich materials.