Micro-CT scanning is a non-destructive technique that can provide three-dimensional images of rock pore space at a resolution of a few microns. However, these grey scale images cannot be directly input into simulators to predict flow properties; they require image processing to segment the solid and void space in the rock. Dynamic and static single phase properties can then be computed using the images directly or on extracted equivalent network models. In this paper, we study the effect of imaging resolution (five different voxel sizes ranging from 6–20 μm) of Clashach and Doddington sandstone on predicted single phase properties (porosity and absolute permeability) and network properties. Experimental data is used to validate the predictions. The results suggest that the computed porosity was largely independent of resolution and in good agreement with the measured value, while image resolutions of a few microns are sufficient to determine the permeability of a high-permeability rock such as Doddington but may not be sufficient for lower permeability samples. The topologically representative networks are sensitive to resolution, adding additional smaller pores and throats as the resolution is increased. This latter reason was confirmed by a network extraction analysis that indicated the average throat radius was 6 µm, similar to the highest resolution used and insufficient to image all important features of the pore space properly.
Influence of Micro-Computed Tomography Image Resolution on Petrophysical Properties
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Alyafei, Nayef, Gharbi, Oussama, Qaseminejad Raeini, Ali, Yang, Jianhui, Iglauer, Stefan, and Martin J. Blunt. "Influence of Micro-Computed Tomography Image Resolution on Petrophysical Properties." Paper presented at the International Petroleum Technology Conference, Beijing, China, March 2013. doi: https://doi.org/10.2523/IPTC-16600-MS
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