This paper describes a novel technique for measuring the directional permeability trends exhibited by samples of sedimentary rock cores like those obtained from Western tight gas sands provinces. The technique is thought to be ingeneous, but in any case it finally does address an important laboratory measurement problem in a way that is free from some of the ambiguities associated with the several other methodologies previously referred to in the literature.

The book by Bear1  and the earlier definitive monograph by Scheidegger2  contain sufficiently extensive review of the subject so that in what follows only the theory of the measurement method under discussion needs to be developed.

It is assumed that core sample material is available that can be cut into plugs of uniform (say cylindrical) cross section, and therefore can be fit into a permeability core holder of the sort shown in Figure 1. As will be seen, the methodology to be described for measuring the peremability of anisotropic media is the same, in principle, both for single-phase and multiphase saturation and flow conditions. Similarly, the methodology is the same, in principle, regardless of what conditions of confining stress, pore fluid pressure and temperature are imposed. Even so, the data presented below apply to single-phase gas flow conditions under ambient laboratory conditions.

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