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This paper deals with a study of the gas relative permeability of tight sandstones under loading. Specific experiments have been designed and the experimental measurements obtained show that, not only the absolute permeability but also the gas relative permeability are sensitive to confinement and that the residual gas saturation (through permeability “jail”) increases with loading. This observation represents an additional source of complexity in the evaluation of low-permeability sandstone gas reservoirs.
Low-permeability sandstone gas reservoirs, also called tight reservoirs, are generally considered stress-sensitive reservoirs. Numerous laboratory tests under single-phase flow have shown that the absolute permeability of these reservoir rocks decreases strongly with confinement. This dependence on confinement is attributed to the existence of joints and interfaces in tight rocks, which close when loading increases, as pointed out by Walsh and Brace (1984) and Warpinski and Teufel (1992).