Computer assisted tomography (CAT) has been a revolutionary technique in medical radiology. Recently, CAT scanners started to be used as non-destructive testing facilities in different industrial applications. Most of the applications of the new technology are in the areas of petroleum engineering. Majority of this CAT scanner technology has been developed in the U.S.A. However, several Canadian companies have acquired CAT scanners and are using for novel commercial as well as research applications. This paper presents a comprehensive review of advances made in the areas of CAT scan technology as applied to the petroleum industry.

Recent efforts in developing CAT scan technology has been in the areas of core analysis methods. The ultimate objective is the quantitative monitoring of dynamic two- and three-phase experiments in porous media. Even though advances have been made in using CAT scan for quantitative evaluation of fluid flow, more research has to be done before gaining confidence in such a technique. This paper presents a critical review of recent research publications. Also, discussed is the possibility of using CAT scan as a unique reservoir characterization tool. Reservoir properties, such as direction and frequency of fractures, the presence of vuggs, stratification in the bedding plane, etc. may be identified only through non-destructive testing of reservoir cores. Various applications of CAT scanning to oil industry are discussed in detail.

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