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Advances in Neutron/X-ray Imaging and Small-Angle Scattering of Shale Rocks

Date: Dec 5th,   2017
Location: 1360 Post Oak Blvd. Houston, Tx 77056 
                It is Level 8 Conference Center Room 8.05.

Time: 11:30 am -1:00 pm    
 Parking is free in both 1360 and 1500 buildings (normally it is easier to find free spots in 1360)
· Attendees need to register in 1500 level 1 to receive a badge to access 8thfloor      
Room Capacity: 36
Lunch provided on
Catering Tables
Cost: Standard $20 & Students $10
Officer Contact: Rohollah A. Pour, 512-965-7248,       
Hydrocarbon production from shales using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has been the key development in the US energy industry in the past decade and has now become more important globally. Nevertheless, many fundamental problems related to the storage and flow of light hydrocarbons in shales are still unknown. It has been reported recently that the gas
storage within the shale rocks is predominately associated with the organic component, the so-called kerogen, in the rocks, which is found to be imbedded within the inorganic matrix and has pores of characteristic length scale between 1 and 100 nm. The surface properties of these pores in the shale rocks are determinant factors for both reserve estimation and production-rate prediction in shale reservoir. In addition, the 3D connectivity of these kerogen pores and possibly with fractures from the micrometer to centimeter scale forms the flow path for light hydrocarbons. Therefore, to better model the gas-in-place and permeability in shales, it is necessary to quantify the surface properties of the kerogen pores and identify the structural distribution of organic and inorganic components and fractures in shale rocks over a large breadth of length scales.
Simultaneous neutron and X-ray tomography offers a core-scale non-destructive method that can distinguish the organic matter, inorganic minerals, and open and healed fractures in 2.5 cm diameter shales with a resolution of about 30 µm. Three shale samples from different locations were investigated using simultaneous neutron and X-ray tomography. We were able to construct 3D images of shales and isolate 3D maps of organic matter and minerals including high-Z element. The distribution of kerogen and fractures can be used in the modeling of hydrocarbon flow in core scale, a 109 upscaling from current methods that model the flow based on SEM images.
Dr. JinHong Chen joined Aramco Research Center-Houston in 2013 and is working on developing technologies for improved evaluation and production in unconventional source rock reservoirs. Previously, he is a petrophysicist responsible for R&D in NMR formation evaluation technology at Baker Hughes. Before that, he was a senior scientist working at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center leading the research in the development of NMR technology for application in cancer diagnosis and treatments. He was also a research fellow at Harvard University and a visiting scientist at MIT