Imbibition characteristics of the barnett shale formation

Samiha Morsy, J. J. Sheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

54 Scopus citations


In order to understand the effect of injected stimulation fluids on nano-darcy permeability, naturally fractured shale reservoirs, an integrated study of spontaneous imbibition has been performed. In this study, oil recovery during spontaneous imbibition in naturally fractured shale samples was improved using different water formulations. Different water solutions were formulated by adding different amounts of HCl and NaOH to either distilled water or 2 wt% KCl-base brine solution. Eight water formulations, distilled water, 2% KCl brine, low pH HCl solutions (0.74-1.2), and high pH alkaline solutions (11.7-12.4) were examined to recover oil from shale rocks. Outcrop samples from the Barnett shale formation were used in this study. The samples were 2.54 to 3.81 cm in diameter and 0.762 to 5.08 cm in length. Firstly, we studied the average porosity of the used samples using CT Scanning. The average porosity was around 7%. Secondly, we studied the rock stability and spontaneous imbibtion of the different Barnett samples in distilled water, 2 wt% KCl, low pH solutions (0.74-1.2), and high pH alkaline solutions (11.7-12.4). During the spontaneous imbibition, the maximum oil recovery was 24% using distilled water and low pH solution of pH0.74 (3 wt% HCl in 2 wt% KCl base brine solution). Clay swelling can contribute to the Barnett oil recovery improvement by creating along bedding cracks. Oil recoveries from the Barnett shale can be improved by 56% when used 2 wt% NaOH solution and 88% when used 3 wt% HCl when added to 2 wt% KCl simulation base fluid. High pH solutions did not improve oil recoveries from the Barnett samples when added to distilled water due to pore plugging resulted from the combination of clay swelling with mineral dissolution. Low pH solutions showed along bedding cracks similar to distilled water effect on the Barnett shale samples that helped recovery accelerations, while higher pH solutions showed sever samples damage with higher alkaline concentrations (2 wt% NaOH).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE USA Unconventional Resources Conference 2014
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781632663177
StatePublished - 2014
EventSPE USA Unconventional Resources Conference 2014 - The Woodlands, TX, United States
Duration: Apr 1 2014Apr 3 2014

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE USA Unconventional Resources Conference 2014


ConferenceSPE USA Unconventional Resources Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityThe Woodlands, TX


Dive into the research topics of 'Imbibition characteristics of the barnett shale formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this