DRP merges three key technologies that have evolved rapidly over the last decade. One is high resolution diagnostic imaging methods that permit detailed examination of the internal structure of rock samples over a wide range of scales. The second is advanced numerical methods for simulating complex physical phenomenon and the third is high speed, massively parallel computation using powerful graphical processing units (GPU’s) that were originally developed for computer gaming and animation. Based on pore-scale images from a wide range of organic shales, it can be seen that organic material is present in a variety of forms. Three primary forms, non-porous, spongy, and pendular are commonly observed. Non-porous organic components fill all of the available non-mineral space leaving virtually no porosity or fluid flow path. Porous or “spongy” organic material is commonly encountered in thermally mature gas shales. Pendular organic material appears to fill the small intergranular and grain contact regions, leaving open pore space in the larger voids. These pore types are largely controlled by kerogen type and thermal maturity, and they exert large influence on the porosity, permeability, and overall shale reservoir quality.


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