Detailed core characterization is often overlooked in the sampling process for core analysis measurements. Random core sampling is usually performed and the selected plugs are not associated with rock types or the reservoir heterogeneity. The objective of this study is to obtain representative samples for direct simulation of petrophysical and fluid flow properties in complex rock types.

A robust sampling strategy was followed in reservoir cores from two successive heterogeneous carbonate and siliciclastic formations in the Raudhatain field in Kuwait. The sample selection criteria were based on statistical distribution of litho-types in the cores to ensure optimum characterization of the main reservoir units. The litho-types were identified based on porosity and mineralogy variations along the core lengths utilizing advanced dual-energy X-ray CT scanning. High resolution micro-CT imaging and subsequent segmentation provided 3D representation of the pore space and geometric fabric of the core samples. Primary drainage and imbibition processes were simulated in numerical experiments using a pore-scale simulator by the Lattice Boltzmann Method. Capillary pressure (Pc) and relative permeability (Kr) curves together with water and oil distributions were investigated for complex geometries by the different rock types.

The dual energy CT density was compared with wireline log and provided accurate calibrations to the downhole logs. The different rock types gave distinct capillary and flow properties that can be linked to the rock structure and pore type of the samples. The Lattice Boltzmann based pore-level fluid calculations provided realistic fluid distributions in the 3D rock volume, which are consistent with pore-scale physical phenomena.

This characterization method by the dual energy CT eliminates sampling bias and allows for each cored litho-type to be equally represented in the plugs acquired for subsequent petrophysical and fluid flow analyses. It also provides accurate calibration tool for downhole logs. The digital analysis gave reliable SCAL data with improved understanding of the pore-level events and proved its effectiveness in providing advanced interpretations at multiple scales in relatively short timeframes.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.