New methods and instruments developed for measurement of rock thermal properties (thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, volumetric heat capacity, and coefficient of linear thermal expansion) have provided a sharp increase in the quality of experimental data for reservoirs and surrounding formations. Optical scanning technology primarily provides numerous high-precision, nondestructive, noncontact measurements of thermal conductivity and diffusivity directly on full cores, core plugs, and nonconsolidated rock samples and enables determination of thermal property tensor components and the recording of thermal property variations along cores. The instrument for simultaneous determination of thermal conductivity, diffusivity at formation temperature (up to 250 degC), and three-component pressure (pore, confining axial, and lateral) enables measurements at formation conditions to study thermal property variations during the heating of reservoirs and oil production in thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The instrument for measurements of the coefficient of linear thermal expansion at temperatures up to 250 degC within every temperature interval of 20 degC provides measurements on core plugs that account for rock anisotropy. Application of the new techniques to study more than 8,000 cores from 17 Russian oil-gas and heavy oil fields provided a representative thermal property database for sedimentary rocks saturated by brine, oil, and gas, accounting for rock anisotropy and inhomogeneity as well as formation pressure and temperature. New correlations between thermal and other physical properties were established. The new experimental data demonstrated that previous information on thermal reservoir properties often needs to be significantly corrected. The new instruments provided detailed information on the spatial and temporal variations in the thermal reservoir properties during thermal EOR. Authors used this to construct detailed 4D reservoir models for estimation of reservoir thermal regime, thermal losses, and heat and mass transfer within reservoirs, enabling better design and optimization of thermal methods of EOR.

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