Published in Petroleum Transactions, AIME, Volume 195, 1952, pages 289–296.

Abstract

The internal surfaces of rocks which are in contact with interstitial fluids are known to influence in some degree the recovery of hydrocarbons from pay zones. Despite the admitted importance of the influence of solid surfaces on hydrocarbon recovery, little information is available concerning the extent of surface of reservoir rocks. In this paper a description is given of the apparatus and procedure employed in the determination of the surface areas of sedimentary rocks, and values are reported for a variety of sandstone and limestone cores. In addition, consideration is given to the Kozeny equation, which relates surface area to porosity and permeability. A comparison is made between the surface areas as calculated from this equation and the geometrical areas of a series of packs of spherical glass beads. Also, for a group of sandstone cores, Kozeny areas are compared with surface areas as determined by the gas adsorption method employed in this investigation.

Introduction

It has long been recognized that many processes which are of importance to hydrocarbon production are controlled in some degree by the extent of the surface of the reservoir rock through which the hydrocarbons move. For example, the recovery efficiency that is obtained in a given reservoir is certainly determined in part by the action of interfacial forces between the reservoir fluids and rock, and this action is influenced in turn by the extent of solid surface. Despite the admitted importance of surface effects to problems of petroleum recovery, little information is available concerning the extent of surface of reservoir rocks. A recent paper by Kulp and Carr reports surface areas of deep-sea sediments. Their values are in general much higher than those reported herein for reservoir rocks probably because of the high clay and silt content of the sediments. It is the purpose of this paper to describe an apparatus which has been employed for the measurement of the surface areas of rock samples and to present the values which have been obtained for a variety of sandstone and limestone cores. In addition, the relationship of surface area to permeability and porosity, as given by the Kozeny equation, will be discussed.

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