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Reservoir Rock Properties

Review:
This topic defines the rock properties needed to describe reservoir
behaviour, their measurement and application in reservoir engineering.

Content:
Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability – Darcy’s Law
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis

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A Typical Reservoir Rock

Matrix

Grain

Grain – Grain
Cementation

PORE SPACE
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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
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Porosity
Definition
Measure of the volume within a rock that is available to contain reservoir
fluids.
The volume of petroleum fluids in a given reservoir depends directly
upon porosity.

Porosity is the ratio of the total void space within a rock (the pore volume) to
the total bulk volume of the rock

V
Porosity = f = p x 100, percent
Vb
Vp (pore volume) = V b (bulk volume) - V g (grain volume)

Units are in fractions or percentage


Normally used as a fraction.
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Porosity

Types of porosity:

1. Primary porosity - formed during initial deposition

2. Secondary porosity - formed during the stage of diagenesis.

3. Absolute porosity - measure of the total pore spaces in a rock as a


function of its bulk volume

4. Effective porosity - measure of the interconnected pore spaces in a


reservoir rock as a function of its bulk volume

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Porosity

Measurement
Various methods are available to measure porosity:

1. direct measurement from cores


2. well logs; sonic,density,neutron, NMR

Application
The volume pf petroleum fluids in a reservoir depend directly upon porosity

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
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Compressibility
Definition
The compressibility of rock like that of oil co, water cw or gas cg, is
defined as;

1 dVp
c=- psi -1

Vp dp

dV = - c V p

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Compressibility
Definition

Pore volume (rock, formation) compressibility is defined as;

1 dVp -1
cf = psi
Vp dp

Pore volume compressibility cf can be defined as the relative change in the


pore volume of the rock divided by the change in pressure

cf is typically in the range 3 to 6 x 10 -6 psi -1

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Compressibility

Measurement

Halls correlation is generally acceptable for use with carbonates and


consolidated sandstones and shows compressibility as a function of
porosity.

Application

Material Balance calculations

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
11
Absolute Permeability

Definition

• Measure of the ability of the permeable rock to transmit a fluid when


only one fluid is present in the rock - Defined from Darcy’s Equation

• No clear physical meaning

• Proportionality constant relating flow rate to pressure change in a rock

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Absolute Permeability
Darcy’s Law for one dimensional linear horizontal flow
(incompressible fluid)
Darcy Units

kA Δp
q=
μ ΔL

q = flow rate cc/sec


k = permeabili ty, Darcy, D
2
A = cross sectional area to flow cm
p = pressure atm
μ = fluid viscosity cp
L = length cm 13
Absolute Permeability
Darcy’s Law for one dimensional linear horizontal flow
(incompressible fluid)
Field Units
3 kA Δp
q = 1.127 x10
μBo Δl

q = production rate stb/d


k = permeabili ty mD
2
A = cross sectional area to flow ft
Δp
= pressure gradient psi/ft
Δl
μ = fluid viscosity cp
Bo = oil formation volume factor rb/stb
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Field units of permeability are Darcy, D and milliDarcy, mD
Absolute Permeability

• Horizontal Permeability – Parallel to Bedding Plane

– kx, kv, KH

• Vertical Permeability – Series Flow

– kz, KV

• Permeability Anisotropy – Directional

– Permeability in One Horizontal direction Dominates

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Absolute Permeability
Average Permeability
1.Thickness weighted Average (Calculations of horizontal fluid flow)
n

 ki hi
k avg = i =1
ht

k = permeabili ty of layer
h = thickness of layer
h t = total thickness

2.Geometric Mean (Used when permeabilities are randomly distributed)

kGM = k1 k2 k3...kn 1 /n


(All permeabilities must represent layers of the same thickness) 16
Absolute Permeability

Measurement

Measured from core samples using a permeameter


Calculated from Darcy’s Equation

Also be measured in the reservoir during pressure build up tests:

– value determined is the average effective permeability to oil in the


presence of initial water saturation.

Application

The absolute permeability is used to determine the relative permeability of


different fluids to flow simultaneously in a reservoir.
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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
18
Fluid Saturations
Definition
Not a rock property but the volume of each fluid present and the ability of each fluid to flow
depends upon the pore space it occupies

Fluid saturation is defined as a fraction of the total pore space occupied


by a certain fluid
V
Water saturation , S w = w
Vp
V
Oil saturation , So = o
Vp
Vg
Gas saturation , S g =
Vp

So  S w  S g = 1

Vw, o,g = fluid volume

Vp = pore volume
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Fluid Saturations

Measurement

Directly measured from core samples and indirectly measured by


well logs.

Application

Material Balance calculations

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
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Wettability

Definition
Tendency of one fluid to adhere to the surface of a rock when other fluids are
present

Wettability states for reservoirs include water-wet, oil-wet and intermediate


wettability.

θ
θ Water

Water-wet Oil-wet

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Wettability

Measurement
Measured on core samples. Determine the contact angle between the reservoir
rock and the fluids in contact with the rock.

Application

Not required in reservoir engineering calculations but affect many core analysis
properties including capillary pressure, relative permeability and electrical
properties.

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
24
Capillary Pressure
Definition
Capillary pressure is the difference in pressure that exists across any curved
interface between two immiscible fluids.

Contact angle, θ
poil
pwater
h
pc = poil - pwater

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Capillary Pressure

In the capillary tube capillary pressure can be defined as:

2σwo Cosθ
Pc =
r
σow = interfacia l tension between oil and water
θ = contact angle
r = radius of tube Contact angle, θ
poil
pwater

Pc = ρw  ρo gh h

ρ w, o = fluid density
g = gravity
h = height of water column
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Capillary Pressure

Capillary pressure is a function of the saturations of fluids within a rock.

pc

Irreducible wetting
phase saturation
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0 100
S (wetting phase) %
Capillary Pressure
In a water-wet oil reservoir there is a transition from 100%
water (free water level) in the water zone to the connate water
saturation, Swc in the oil zone due to capillary pressure.
Known as the transition zone
It’s height in field units is:
Water Distribution in Oil Zone Caused by Capillary Pressure
144 P c
h=
  w - o  Transition
zone

Pc = psi h

h = ft
w , o = lb / cuft
0 Swir 100 28
Sw %
Capillary Pressure

If Pc = 0
- No transition zone

Oil
OWC h=0

Water
0 Swc 100
Sw %

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Capillary Pressure
Related to
1. Fluid Saturation
2. Pore Size Distribution

3. Saturation History:

– Drainage Process

Wetting phase decreasing


Initial conditions in reservoir

– Imbibition Process

Wetting phase increasing


Water displacing oil in reservoir

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Capillary Pressure

Measurement

Core Analysis

1. The porous plate (restored state core) method


2. The centrifuge method
3. Mercury injection method.

Application

Assists in determining saturation values for calculations of


hydrocarbons in place.

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
32
Effective and Relative Permeability

Definition – Effective Permeability

When a rock contains more than one fluid the ability of each fluid to
flow is impaired by the presence of the other fluids.

Effective permeability is the permeability of a rock to a particular fluid


in the presence of a combination of fluids.

ko = Effective permeability to oil


kg = Effective permeability to gas
kw = Effective permeability to water

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Effective and Relative Permeability

Definition – Relative Permeability kr

The ratio of effective permeability to a particular fluid as a measure


of the absolute rock permeability

Largely dependent on fluid saturation and phase wettability

kro = ko/k = relative permeability to oil


krg = kg/k = relative permeability to gas
krw = kw/k = relative permeability to water

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Effective and Relative Permeability
1
k’ro = 1

Swc = connate water saturation


Oil
k’rw Sor = residual oil saturation
kr

Water

0
Swc Sw 1 - Sor

Water – Oil Rock Relative Permeability Curves

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Movable Oil Volume = MOV = Pore Volume, PV (1 – Sor – Swc)
Effective and Relative Permeability

Measurement

1. Core analysis
2. Mathematical models
3. History matching techniques.

Application

Calculate displacement efficiency and ultimate recovery.

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis
37
Core Analysis for Reservoir Engineering

CORE LABORATORIES (U.K.) Ltd – Aberdeen


Reservoir Description Services
– Characterisation of Reservoir Rock and Reservoir Fluid Samples

Conventional Core Analysis Special Core Analysis (SCAL)


Laboratory Measurements/Calculations: Laboratory Measurements/Calculations:

• Grain Volume • Capillary Pressure


• Bulk Volume • Wettability
• Porosity • Water – Oil Relative Permeability
• Water Saturation
• Permeability

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Reservoir Rock Properties

Review:
This topic defines the rock properties needed to describe reservoir
behaviour, their measurement and application in reservoir engineering.

Content:
Porosity
Compressibility
Absolute Permeability – Darcy’s Law
Fluid Saturations
Wettability
Capillary Pressure
Effective and Relative Permeability
Core Analysis

39
Reservoir Rock Properties

Further Reading

1. The Practice of Reservoir Engineering (Revised Ed.), L.P. Dake,


Elsevier, 2001

2. Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering, L.P. Dake, Elsevier, 1978


3. Petroleum Engineering - Principles and Practice, J.S. Archer and C.G. Wall,
Kluwer, 1990

4. Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering, B.C. Craft and M.F. Hawkins,


Prentice Hall Inc., 1959

5. Petroleum Engineering Handbook, H.B. Bradley, CD from SPE

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