Digital Rock Physics – Core Analysis Using Digital Technology

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Offshore oil and gas processing platform,

In the last decade, there has been an important breakthrough in how petroleum engineers and geoscientists obtained oil and gas reservoir rock properties.

Traditionally, reservoir rock properties or petrophysical properties such as porosity, pore size distribution, effective and relative permeability, capillary pressure, water saturation and other reservoir parameters are determined from Special Core Analysis (SCAL), electric logs and well pressure transient tests. In recent years, a new method in determining rock properties using Digital Rock Physics (DRP) has gained serious attention from petroleum engineers, petro-physicists and geoscientists.

What is digital rock physics? Digital rock physics is also referred to as digital core analysis. In this measurement method, high-resolution digital images of the rock pores and mineral grains of selected reservoir core samples are made and analyzed. These images are usually 3D digital X-ray micro-tomographic images. The rock properties are then determined using numerical simulation at the pore scale.

The significant benefit of this new DRP technology is now a large number of complex reservoir parameters can be determined faster and more accurately than the traditional laboratory measurements or well testing methods.

Using the DRP technology to determine the rock properties, oil and gas companies can now analyze their reservoir capacity and performance more accurately and sooner during the field evaluation and development phase. This, in turn, allows them to develop and manage their reservoirs more efficiently and economically.

Source – Digital Rock Physics for Fast and Accurate Special Core Analysis in Carbonates – A Chapter in New Technologies in the Oil and Gas Industry – By  Mohammed Zubair Kalam

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