Macro-, meso-, micro-pore systems combined with clay content are critical for fluid flow behavior in tight sandstone formations. This study investigates the impact of clay mineralogy on pore systems in tight rocks. Three outcrop samples were selected based on their comparative petrophysical parameters (Bandera, Kentucky, and Scioto). Our experiments carried out to study the impact of clay content on micro-pore systems in tight sandstone reservoirs involve the following techniques: Routine core analysis (RCA), to estimate the main petrophysical parameters such as porosity and permeability, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to assess mineralogy and elemental composition, Mercury Injection Capillary Pressure (MICP), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and Micro-Computed Tomography (Micro-CT) to analyze pore size distributions. Clay structure results show the presence of booklets of kaolinite and platelets to filamentous shapes of illite. The Scioto sample exhibits a micro-pore system with an average pore body size of 12.6±0.6 μm and an average pore throat size of 0.25±0.19 μm. In Bandera and Kentucky samples illite shows pore-bridging clay filling with an average mineral size of around 0.25±0.03 μm, which reduces the micro-pore throat system sizes. In addition, pore-filling kaolinite minerals with a diameter of 5.1±0.21 μm, also reduce the micro-pore body sizes. This study qualifies and quantifies the relationship of clay content with primary petrophysical properties of three tight sandstones. The results help to advance procedures for planning oil recovery and CO2 sequestration in tight sandstone reservoirs.

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