Measuring Elastic Properties to determine the influence of TOC on Synthetic Shale Samples
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This paper describes the factors that control elastic properties of organic shale, which is crucial for exploration and successful gas production from unconventional reservoirs. Mechanical and dynamic elastic properties are main shale characteristics that are not yet well understood as there have been a limited number of investigations involving organic rich shale samples. Synthetic shale core samples whose clay mineralogy, non-clay mineral content and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content are known can be used to study variations of elastic parameters in a controlled experimental environment including in-situ stress conditions. More than 20 synthetic shale samples were created for our investigations under reservoir stress conditions with different mineral composition and TOC percentage. Ultrasonic transducers were used to measure body wave velocities, which were then used to calculate the elastic properties of different shale samples. The results demonstrate that P- and S-wave velocities vary with changing TOC under isotropic stress conditions. It is shown that the velocities of P-and S-waves are inversely proportional to TOC content. In addition, the increase in the TOC produced a decrease in density from approximately 2.4 g/cc to 2.15 g/cc and increase in porosity from approximately 16% to 20%.
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