Petrographie Image Analysis (PIA) is an emerging technology used to estimate the properties of pore systems that occur worldwide in sandstone, carbonate and conglomerate reservoir rock samples. It provides quantitative evaluations from standard core plugs as well as from material unsuitable for conventional core analysis such as core rubble and drill cuttings. PIA technology also supplements routine core analysis by estimating other parameters like the specific pore size interval that regulates fluid flow.

The method described here is based on a simulated capillary pressure curve. It has been used routinely to estimate pore and pore-throat size distributions, porosity, permeability, air-mercuiy capillary pressure, irreducible water saturation, effective porosity, microporosity, seal capacity, and the minimum saturation of the non-wetting phase at which it becomes mobile throughout the pore system. These and other new relationships being developed and tested can be mapped to help delineate trends in reservoir quality.

PIA procedures and relationships are discussed and illustrated with an example application from a large gas reservoir in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

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