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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Digital Reservoir Properties from Cuttings: Case Studies from Tight Gas Sand and Carbonate Rocks

Elizabeth Diaz1; Guoping Li1; Boaz Nur1; Jack Dvorkin1; Ted Zaleski1

(1) INGRAIN, inc., Houston, TX.

Experimental quantification of rock properties requires regular-shaped intact fragments of rock. These fragments (plugs) are cut from cores extracted from wells. Coring is expensive in general and, arguably, impossible where new drilling technologies (e.g., coiled tubing) are employed.

One application of Ingrain’s technology was in quantifying carbonate reservoir properties from drill cuttings that were collected from a deep deviated well. Naturally, the configuration of the well prevented the operator from extracting core material. As a result, digital rock physics lab was the only option to understand this reservoir and design production strategy.

A large number of these cuttings were imaged, segmented, and digitally tested at Ingrain. The resulting porosity, permeability, and elastic-wave velocity were consistent with the operator’s expectation based on the well’s performance.

Using the latest-generation CT (computed tomography) scanners to capture in 3D the actual fabric of reservoir rock samples -- the pore-space and mineral matrix geometry and fabric -- at resolutions as high as 100 nanometers, physical measurements that require weeks or months in a physical lab can now be completed in a matter of days, on a massive scale, and on any rock material, including sidewall plugs and drill cuttings.

With the digital rock physics technology advancing rapidly, we also envision that, in the near future, complicated natural pore-scale processes (fine particle migration, formation damage, diagenesis, and chemical reactions) will be virtually simulated.