Shale oil redistribution-induced flow regime transition in nanopores

H Sun and TH Li and Z Li and DY Fan and L Zhang and YF Yang and K Zhang and JJ Zhong and J Yao, ENERGY, 282, 128553 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/

The previous neglect of shale oil multi-component characteristics and the nanpore wall properties of real shale result in an insufficient understanding of shale oil flow mechanisms in nanopores. Meanwhile, research on the flow regimes of shale oil remains lacking. In this study, molecular dynamics simulations are employed to investigate the flow of shale oil in hydroxylated quartz nanopores and rough kerogen nanopores. Simulation results show that the flow regime changed as the pressure gradient (del p) increased to a critical value (del p(c)). The velocity profile was parabolic when del p < del p(c), but gradually became piston-like when del p >= del p(c). Because increasing del p leads the adsorbed molecules desorbing, aggregating in the pore center, and forming clusters that are not easy to shear. Increasing vertical force from pore wall causes fluid aggregation in the pore center as del p increases. The del p(c) in kerogen nanopores is larger than that in quartz nanopores due to the rough kerogen surface and sticky layers. Multi-component fluids have higher del p(c) than single-component fluids in quartz nanopores. However, they have the same del p(c) in kerogen nanopores due to the rough kerogen surface. This investigation can provide theoretical basis for high-efficient production of shale oil.

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