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Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1019461, 8 pages
Research Article

Experimental Characterization of Dielectric Properties in Fluid Saturated Artificial Shales

1Department of Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6151, Australia
2CSIRO Energy, Perth, WA 6151, Australia
3School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
4Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resources, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Roman Beloborodov

Received 27 July 2017; Accepted 20 November 2017; Published 20 December 2017

Academic Editor: Feng Yang

Copyright © 2017 Roman Beloborodov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High dielectric contrast between water and hydrocarbons provides a useful method for distinguishing between producible layers of reservoir rocks and surrounding media. Dielectric response at high frequencies is related to the moisture content of rocks. Correlations between the dielectric permittivity and specific surface area can be used for the estimation of elastic and geomechanical properties of rocks. Knowledge of dielectric loss-factor and relaxation frequency in shales is critical for the design of techniques for effective hydrocarbon extraction and production from unconventional reservoirs. Although applicability of dielectric measurements is intriguing, the data interpretation is very challenging due to many factors influencing the dielectric response. For instance, dielectric permittivity is determined by mineralogical composition of solid fraction, volumetric content and composition of saturating fluid, rock microstructure and geometrical features of its solid components and pore space, temperature, and pressure. In this experimental study, we investigate the frequency dependent dielectric properties of artificial shale rocks prepared from silt-clay mixtures via mechanical compaction. Samples are prepared with various clay contents and pore fluids of different salinity and cation compositions. Measurements of dielectric properties are conducted in two orientations to investigate the dielectric anisotropy as the samples acquire strongly oriented microstructures during the compaction process.