Routine measurement of hydraulic diffusivity of ultralow permeability rocks, such as shale, is a prolonged process. This study explores the effects of a sorptive characteristic of the porous medium on hydraulic diffusivities of shale rocks. The examined rock types include Mancos Shale, Catoosa Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, and core samples from the Gulf of Mexico. First, the adsorption isotherms of the selected shale rocks were obtained. Then, the hydraulic properties of the selected shale rocks were determined using Shale/Fluid Interaction Testing Cell, which employs pore pressure transmission technique. The experimental results show that the moisture content of shale is correlated with water activity using a multilayer adsorption theory. It is found that the adsorption isotherms of various shale formations can be scaled using their respective cation exchange capacity (CEC) into a single adsorption curve. Analyzing the transient pore pressure response in the downstream side of shale sample allows calculating the transport coefficients of shale samples. Hydraulic properties of shales are obtained by matching the pore pressure history with one-dimensional coupled fluid flow model. The experimental results indicate that sorptive properties can be inversely related to the hydraulic diffusivity of shale rocks. It is found that with an increase in the magnitude of sorption potential of shale, the hydraulic diffusivity decreases. This study is useful for shale characterization and provides a correlation, which can have various applications including, but not limited to, wellbore stability prediction during well planning.

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