A Microscale Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) Model for Thermal Recovery of Shale Gas

Qi Gao, Songcai Han, Xian Shi, Yuanfang Cheng, Chuanliang Yan, Zhongying Han

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Studies have shown that up to 85% of total shale gas-in-place could be adsorbed gas. Thus, how much more adsorbed gas can be extracted will significantly impact the ultimate gas recovery. In recent years, the concept of using thermal stimulation to enhance shale gas recovery has been proposed as more gas desorbs under the higher temperature conditions. In this paper, a fully coupled THM model is developed to characterize gas transport and extraction in shale matrix from the microscopic perspective during thermal treatment. A set of partial differential equations are defined to model the processes involved: (1) geomechanical deformation of heterogenous shale matrix; (2) gas sorption and flow in heterogenous shale matrix; and (3) thermal transport in heterogenous shale matrix. All these processes are linked together through the porosity and apparent permeability models. This microscale THM model is verified against an analytical solution available in the literature. The verified model is then applied to investigate rock and fluid responses in shale matrix during thermal treatment and the impacts of operational and rock physical parameters on gas recovery. Simulation results indicate that a greater thermal treatment temperature enhances ultimate gas recovery; and that shale thermal properties and matrix permeability impact initial gas recovery but does not impact ultimate gas recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication57th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780979497582
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2023
Event57th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 202328 Jun 2023


Conference57th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'A Microscale Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) Model for Thermal Recovery of Shale Gas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this