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"EMPIRICALLY DERIVED CAPILLARY PRESSURE DATA

FROM CORE ANALYSES: APPLICATIONS TO MODELLING


PORE GEOMETRY IN CARBONATE RESERVOIRS,
SOUTHEASTERN SASKATCHEWAN"

D. KENT M. YURKOWSKI E. STRACHAN

this article begins on the next page F


PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM AND CANMET -5scl3 -12, PAPER NO. 12 THIS IS A PREPRINT - SUBJECT TO CORRECTION EMPIRICALLY DERIVED CAPILLARY PRESSURE DATA FROM CORE ANALYSES: APPLICATIONS TO MODELLING PORE GEOMETRY IN CARBONATE RESERVOIRS, SOUTHEASTERN SASKATCHEWAN D. Kent M. Yurkowski E. Strachan University of Regina PUBUCATION RIGHTS RESERVED THIS PAPER IS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE FIFTH PETROLEUM CONFERENCE OF THE SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN SECTION, THE PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM, HELD WITH CANMET IN REGINA OCTOBER 18-20,1993. DISCUSSION
OF THIS PAPER IS INVITED. SUCH DISCUSSION MAY BE PRESENTED AT THE TECHNICAL MEETING AND WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION IN CIM JOURNALS IF FILED IN WRITING WITH THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM CHAIRMAN PRIOR TO THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING. ABSTRACT Mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) analyses applied to modelling reservoir rock pore systems was popularized a little more than a decade ago. However, MICP analyses are time consuming and there is a need to utilize existing MICP databases to determine the pore geometry parametersfor
unanalyzed reservoir rocks. Recent studies have demonstrated that pore throat sorting and displacement pressure are two MICP parameters that may be used to characterize reservoir pore systems. These two parameters can be quantified by one value, R35, the pore throat size at 35% mercury saturation in an MICP analysis. The relationship between R35 and porosity andpermeability may be determined using multiple regression, making data_from core analyses a useful means of quantifying pore geometry in a reservoir interval and graphs of R35 vs core analyses depths can be used to
characterize pore geometry variations in those intervals. Two hundred and thirty five MICP analyses from reservoir studies in Saskatchewan make an excellent database to characterize the pore geometry of reservoir and non-reservoir rocks using R351depth plots. The combination of these plots and detailed lithologic studies, including facies and diagenetic analyses, promote a better understanding ofthe factors influencing reservoir quality in some Afiddle Devonian Winnipegosis and Mississippian Frobisher andmidale reservoirs. _ INTRODUCTION The implementation of enhanced
recovery techniques to improve reservoir productivity mitigates that the geology of the reservoir rocks, is well understood. Two elements of the geology, litho@s and diagenesis, can significantly influence reservoir pore geometry, and thus reservoir quality. Pore geometry can be characterized using components of mercury injection capillary pressure analyses (MICP), particularly unifo@ty of pore throat sizes and displacement pressure (entry pressure). Mercury injection capillary pressure analyses have been an integral part of carbonate rock hydrocarbon reservoir studies carried out
by graduate students and faculty of the Department of Geology, University of Regina, during the past 16 years. From the beginning, it was anticipated that by including this procedure in the reservoir studies, it would helped, firstly, to develop a better understanding of the geometi), of an assortment of pore networks in carbonate reservoir rocks; and secondly, it would establish a database
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PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM AND CAN MET PAPER NO 12

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THIS IS A PREPRINT - SUBJECT TO CORRECTION

EMPIRICALLY DERIVED CAPILLARY PRESSURE DATA FROM CORE


ANALYSES: APPLICATIONS TO MODELLING PORE GEOMETRY IN
CARBONATE RESERVOIRS, SOUTHEASTERN SASKATCHEWAN

D. Kenl
M. Yurkowski
E. SLrachan
University of Regina

PUBLICATION RIGHTS RESERVED


THIS PAPER IS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE FIFTH PETROLEUM CONFERENCE OF THE SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN SECTION, THE
PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM, HELD WITH CANMET IN REGINA OCTOBER 15-20, 1993. DISCUSSION OF THIS PAPER IS INVITED.
SUCH DISCUSSION MAY BE PRESENTED AT THE TECHNICAL MEETING AND WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION IN CIM
JOURNALS IF FILED IN WRITING WITH THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM CHAIRMAN PRIOR TO THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING.

j
'. ,"

ABSTRACT including Jacies and diagenetic analyses, promote a better


understanding ofthe factors influencing reservoir quality in
Mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) analyses
some Middle Devonian JVinnipegosis and Mississippian
applied to modelling reservoir rock pore systems was
Frobisher and Midale reservoirs.
popularized a little more than a decade ago. However,
MICP analyses are time consuming and there is a need to INTRODUCTION
utilize existing MICP databases to determine the pore
The implementation of enhanced recoveI)' techniques to
geometry parameters for unanalyzed reservoir rocks-
improve reservoir productivity mitigates that the geology of
Recent studies have demonstrated that pore throat the reservoir rocks, is well understood. Two elements of the
sorting and displacement pressure are two MICP geology, lithotypes and diagenesis, can significantly
parameters that may be used to characterize reservoir pore influence reservoir pore geometry, and thus reservoir
systems. These two parameters can be quantified by one quality. Pore geometry can be characterized using
value, R35, the pore throat size at 35% mercury saturation components of mercury injection capillary pressure analyses
in an MICP analysis. The relationship between R35 and (MICP), particularly uniformity of pore throat sizes and
porosity and permeability may be determined using multiple displacement pressure (entry pressure).
regression, making data from core analyses a useJul means
MetcuI)' injection capillary pressure analyses have been
of quantifying pore geometry in a reservoir interval and
an integtal part of carbonate rock hydrocarbon reservoir
graphs of R35 vs core analyses depths can be used to
studies carried out by graduate students and faculty of the
characterize pore geometry variations in those intervals.
Department of Geology, University of Regina, during the
Two hundred and thirty jive MICP analyses from past 16 years. From the beginning, it was anticipated that by
reservoir studies in Saskatchewan make an excellent including this procedure in the reservoir studies, it would
' .. database to characterize the pore geometry a/reservoir and helped, firstly, to develop a better understanding of the
non-reservoir rocks using R35/depth plots. The geometry of an assortment of pore networks in carbonate
combination of these plots and detailed lithologic studies, reservoir rocks; and secondly, it would establish a database
mjection curve is considered to represenL lhe
of MICP components that. in the future. might be employed.
displacement pressure of the largest pore throats, and
in some way, in the evaluation other carbonate reservoirs.
the penultimate point of the cun:e is recognized as
The intent of this paper is to employ an empirical meLhod the unsaturated pore volume at the maximum
based on an exisLing MlCP dntabase Lo characterize pressure attainable ""th the instrument used (Fig. I).
carbonate reservoir pore networks, llsing core analyses dala. In addition. the lowest inIlecLion point on the ejecLion
The dntabase consisLs of 230 MICP analyses from studies cun:e is considered to represent the largest pore siLe
done at the University of Regina on carbonate reservoirs from which mercury can be exLruded (Wardlaw e/
from the Mississippian of souLheastern SaskaLchewan. The al.)(2) (Fig. I) and the flatness of Lhat portion of the
empirical procedure in this study is applied to reservoir injection curve lying bCt\""'cen 20% and 80% mercury
rocks from three straLigraphic levels: the Middle Devonian saturation is an indication of the degree of unirormity
Winnipegosis in the Tableland-Hitchock-Macoun area, and of pore throat sizes (Fig. I). A flat plaLeau represents
Mississippian Frobisher and Midale Beds in the SouLh a high degree of uniformity, two or more plateaus
Workman Pool and the North Tatagwa area, respectively. indicate the distribution of pore throat sizes is
polymodal: and a sLeep slope represents poor
Background to MICP Analyses
uniformity.
Figure I demonsLrates the basic elements of an MICP
5) - Uniformity of pore throat size and displacement
analysis and the principles are listed below:
pressure are significant parameters ror characterizing
I) - MICP analyses are conducLed on core-plugs, 20em in a reservoir rock, since Lhey define the geomeLI)' of Lhe
diameter by 40cm long. The plug is placed in the flow paLh which inIluences the permeabiliLy.
stainless steel pycnometer of a mercury porosimctcr
MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF CARBONATE
and mercury is incrementally injected into the pore
RESERVOIR ROCKS
system of the specimen. The volume of mercury
injected at each increment of pressure is recorded up Introduction
La the ma.ximum pressure aLlainable for the
In the past twenty years Lwo papers. Wardlaw and
pycnometer [145 kg/cm2 (2000psi) for the instrument
Taylo,.(3) and Wardlaw and Cassan(41, Lhrough the
used in studies at the University of Regina].
application of mercury injection capillary pressure
Dccrcmcntal release of pressure resulls in ejection of
techniques. have emphasized the principle Lhat porosity is.
mercury from the pore system, the volume of which
in fact, a three-dimensional network of pores and pore
can also be measured
throats. The pores are proportionalely large openin£s in Lhe
2) - A compleLe analysis consists of injecLion, ejection network and the pore throats are the flow paths connecting
and re-injecLion and the resulLs of all Lhree phases them. Since permeability is a measure of Lhe abillLy of Lhe
can be ploUed as graphs of the percentage of porosity rock to transport fluids, then iL ""II be inIluenced by boLh the
saturated (x-axis) at each pressure increment or dimensions of the pore LhroaLs and the uniformiLy of the size
ejecLed at each decrement (both are recorded on the of the pore throats. Pore throat geomeLI)' also conLrols the
y-axis) (Fig. I). ability of a rock Lo accept hydrocarbons, this is evaluaLed
through the entI)' or displacement pressure of an MICP
l) - Each pore system consists of pores connected by pore
analysis. In this sludy, the mathematical model is focussed
throaLs. In carbonates the geomeLry of the pore
at establishing a relationship belween porosiLy, permeabiliLy
throats is eiLher Lube-like (IimesLones") or slit-like
and pore geometry.
(dolomites"). There is a mathematical relationship
between pore throat size and injection pressure, Winland's Empirical Procedure
Det = 4(H8) c050/(9.805 x 105) pc· H.D. Winland of Amoco Production Company while
studying the reservoir seal characteristics of both carbonate
Det = 2(478) cos 8,/(9.805 x 10') Po"
and siliciclasLic rocks, appears Lo have been the firsL
\\-'here Del = pore throat size (microns), cos sa = researcher to develop an empirical method to detennine pore
mercury contact angle, and Pc = incremental Lhroat geomeLI)' using an existing database of MICP
injection pressure. analyses (Kolodzie('); PiLLman(6»). He condUCLed multiple
regression analyses to identify an equaLion LhaL demonsLrated
~) - The curves obtained from ploLting mercury saturaLion
the statistical relationship between the 35% mercury
and pressure increments or decrements can be used to
saturaLion points (Fig. I) for his MICP dntabase and
identify specific characteristics of the pore system.
porosities and penneabilities, as detcnnined for each
For example, Lhe initial inflection point on the
analyzed specimen. His calculations indicated that the