Physical Characterization of Shale

Companies and researchers are seeking ways to extract oil and gas from shale reserves in the United States and worldwide in the light of recent economic conditions. The complexity of the porosity of shale samples and the issues involved in sample cleaning before analysis make them unique.

Like any sample preparation technique, thorough cleaning of shale samples is a key requirement for proper physical characterization. For this purpose, a soxhlet extraction procedure is typically used before analysis.

Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry

Mercury intrusion porosimetry is generally used to obtain pore size distribution, porosity, total pore volume and density measurements of shale. These data can be used to estimate geological parameters such as pore tortuosity and diffusion parameters.

BET Surface Area Analysis

BET surface area analysis is also widely used for the physical characterization of shale samples. It uses the gas adsorption technique for surface area analysis to estimate the quantity of free gas present in the pores, the quantity of gas adsorbed or dissolved on the surface or in pores, as well as the kinetics for rate of gas production.

Gas Displacement Pycnometers

The skeletal volume of shale can be measured using gas displacement pycnometers. Using skeletal volume and other density measurements, porosity of both crushed and intact shale samples can be determined.

High Pressure Gas Adsorption Isotherms

Kinetic data can be modeled with high pressure gas adsorption isotherms using nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane in order to predict the adsorbed volume at simulated shale depth conditions.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Micromeritics Instrument Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Micromeritics Instrument Corporation.

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