A novel approach for solving nonlinear flow equations: The next step towards an accurate assessment of shale gas resources

Yashar Bezyan, Mohammad Ebadi (Corresponding Author), Shahab Gerami, Roozbeh Rafati, Mohammad Sharifi, Dmitry Koroteev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


As ultra-tight porous media that include organic contents, shale gas resources are technically known as complex systems having various mechanisms that impact storage and flow. The slippage, Knudsen diffusion, the process of desorption, an adsorbed layer that affects apparent permeability, and solute gas in kerogen are recognized to be the most important ones. However, simultaneous effects of multi-mechanism flow and storage, and influences of scattered organic contents on shale gas flow behaviour are not well-understood yet.

According to the mass conservation law, a basic mathematical model has been developed to investigate, step-by-step, the effects of different changes that are introduced, and examine whether patterns of how kerogen is distributed affect the production plateaus. The discretization of the second-order nonlinear Partial Differential Equation (PDE) that is evolved results in a certain number of nonlinear simultaneous algebraic equations, which are conventionally solved with the application of Newton’s method. To overcome the inherent difficulties of the initial guess, the derivations, and the inversion of the Jacobian matrix, a new application of Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) as a nonlinear solver was applied to extract the anticipated pressure profile for each step in time outside the bounds of the reference equations.

The results show that not only can the PSO effectively meet the required criteria, but also it performed faster than conventional techniques, especially in cases with a larger number of grids that encompass more phenomena. It was further revealed that the insertion of a multi-mechanism apparent permeability model in which the pore radius is also a pressure-dependent parameter causes the lower rate of production. A higher level of production has been recorded after including storage terms of adsorption and solute gas in kerogens. Although different patterns of kerogen distribution have finally overlapped, the different taken trend of each production profile underlines the impact of kerogen distribution as an important parameter within the procedure of history matching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-635
Number of pages14
Early online date17 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • shale gas reservoirs
  • apparent permeability
  • adsorbed gas
  • kerogen distribution
  • Newton’s method
  • Particle Swarm Optimization


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