Effect of thermal exposure on oil shale saturation and reservoir properties

Aliya Mukhametdinova, Polina Mikhailova, Elena Kozlova, Tagir Karamov, Anatoly Baluev, Alexey Cheremisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The experimental and numerical modeling of thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) requires a detailed laboratory analysis of core properties influenced by thermal exposure. To acquire the robust knowledge on the change in rock saturation and reservoir properties, the fastest way is to examine the rock samples before and after combustion. In the current paper, we studied the shale rock properties, such as core saturation, porosity, and permeability, organic matter content of the rock caused by the combustion front propagation within the experimental modeling of the high-pressure air injection. The study was conducted on Bazhenov shale formation rock samples. We reported the results on porosity and permeability evolution, which was obtained by the gas pressure-decay technique. The measurements revealed a significant increase of porosity (on average, for 9 abs. % of porosity) and permeability (on average, for 1 mD) of core samples after the combustion tube experiment. The scanning electron microscopy showed the changes induced by thermal exposure: the transformation of organic matter with and the formation of new voids and micro and nanofractures in the mineral matrix. Low-field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) was chosen as a primary non-disruptive tool for measuring the saturation of core samples in ambient conditions. NMR T1 –T2 maps were interpreted to determine the rock fluid categories (bitumen and adsorbed oil, structural and adsorbed water, and mobile oil) before and after the combustion experiment. Changes in the distribution of organic matter within the core sample were examined using 2D Rock-Eval pyrolysis technique. Results demonstrated the relatively uniform distribution of OM inside the core plugs after the combustion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9065
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020


  • Bazhenov Formation
  • High-pressure air injection
  • NMR relaxometry
  • Oil shale
  • Rock-Eval pyrolysis
  • SEM
  • Thermal EOR


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