Time-Dependent Shape Factors for Uniform and Non-Uniform Pressure Boundary Conditions

Rangel-German E. R., Kovscek A. R., AKIN S.

TRANSPORT IN POROUS MEDIA, vol.83, no.3, pp.591-601, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 83 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11242-009-9461-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.591-601
  • Keywords: Fractured media, Matrix-fracture transfer, Shape factors, NATURALLY FRACTURED RESERVOIRS, MATRIX, IMBIBITION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Matrix-fracture transfer functions are the backbone of any dual-porosity or dual-permeability formulation. The chief feature within them is the accurate definition of shape factors. To date, there is no completely accepted formulation of a matrix-fracture transfer function. Many formulations of shape factors for instantly-filled fractures with uniform pressure distribution have been presented and used; however, they differ by up to five times in magnitude. Based on a recently presented transfer function, time-dependent shape factors for water imbibing from fracture to matrix under pressure driven flow are proposed. Also new matrix-fracture transfer pressure-based shape factors for instantly-filled fractures with non-uniform pressure distribution are presented in this article. These are the boundary conditions for a case for porous media with clusters of parallel and disconnected fractures, for instance. These new pressure-based shape factors were obtained by solving the pressure diffusivity equation for a single phase using non-uniform boundary conditions. This leads to time-dependent shape factors because of the transient part of the solution for pressure. However, approximating the solution with an exponential function, one obtains constant shape factors that can be easily implemented in current dual-porosity reservoir simulators. The approximate shape factors provide good results for systems where the transient behavior of pressure is short (a case commonly encountered in fractured reservoirs).