The gas flow in shale matrix is of great research interests for optimized shale gas extraction. The gas flow in the nano-scale pore may fall in flow regimes such as viscous flow, slip flow and Knudsen diffusion. A 3-dimensional nano-scale pore network model was developed to simulate dynamic gas flow, and to describe the transient properties of flow regimes. The proposed pore network model accounts for the various size distributions and low connectivity of shale pores. The pore size, pore throat size and coordination number obey normal distribution, and the average values can be obtained from shale reservoir data. The gas flow regimes were simulated using an extracted pore network backbone. The numerical results show that apparent permeability is strongly dependent on pore pressure in the reservoir and pore throat size, which is overestimated by low-pressure laboratory tests. With the decrease of reservoir pressure, viscous flow is weakening, then slip flow and Knudsen diffusion are gradually becoming dominant flow regimes. The fingering phenomenon can be predicted by micro/nano-pore network for gas flow, which provides an effective way to capture heterogeneity of shale gas reservoir.
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