Sixth EAGE Shale Workshop
Multiple industries are impacted by the presence and properties of shales, including the petroleum industry evaluating top seals, wellbore stability and shale reservoirs, as well as the nuclear, water and CO2 storage industries for barrier sealing, flow and diffusion properties. Understanding how such rocks tick involves a complex multi-disciplinary interplay reaching from the original sedimentary and depositional environment, through compaction, diagenesis and uplift and the impact of these processes on the current properties of a given shale. Such processes govern the initial microstructure of the sediment and how that microstructure evolves in response to changing chemical environments, tectonic and burial stresses. In turn, small scale properties feed into the development of larger scale features such as faults and fractures, damage zones around tunnel excavations, wellbore instability problems while drilling and the development of high subsurface fluid pressures. Evaluating, quantifying and modelling shales thus requires the linking of multiple disciplines including geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, petrology, geophysics, civil engineering, soil mechanics, petrophysics and reservoir engineering just to name a few.