The validity of generic trends on multiple scales in rock-physical and rock-mechanical properties of the Whitby Mudstone, United Kingdom

L. A N R Douma, M.I.W. Primarini, M. E. Houben, A. Barnhoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Finding generic trends in mechanical and physical rock properties will help to make predictions of the rock-mechanical behaviour of shales. Understanding the rock-mechanical behaviour of shales is important for the successful development of unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs. This paper presents the effect of heterogeneities in mineralogy and petrophysical properties on the validity of generic trends on multiple scales in rock-mechanical and rock-physical properties of the Whitby Mudstone. Rock-mechanical laboratory experiments have been performed on Whitby Mudstone samples from multiple outcrops within five kilometres laterally in order to investigate the heterogeneity and possible trends on an outcrop scale. Unconfined compression tests and acoustic measurements have been conducted to obtain the rock-mechanical properties, including rock strength, Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and velocity anisotropy. The rock-physical properties, including mineralogy, porosity, and matrix density, were measured using X-ray fluorescence and helium pycnometry. Various methodologies have been applied to the resultant data in order to derive different brittleness indices. Significant heterogeneity in rock-mechanical and rock-physical properties is present on an outcrop scale. There is no obvious correlation between mineral content and rock-mechanical properties on an outcrop scale in the Whitby Mudstone. Comparison with shales from different basins show, however, correlations between composition and elastic properties. The presence of significant heterogeneities on an outcrop scale and between shales from different basins make it difficult to find generic trends in rock-physical and rock-mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Volume84
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Heterogeneity
  • Petrophysics
  • Posidonia shale
  • Strength
  • Velocity anisotropy
  • Young's modulus

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