The Use of Computed Tomography and 3-D Printing Technology to Replicate Reservoir Pore Systems
Geology, Iowa State University of Technology and Science, Ames, IA, USA
At present, pore-scale imaging and modeling are becoming routine geoscience techniques for reservoir simulation in oil and gas industry. Three-dimensional printing may facilitate the transformation of digital pore-space models into physical samples that can be tested using traditional laboratory methods and compared to numerical estimates and literature data. The objective of this study is to produce artificial reservoir rocks from digital models of natural rocks and identify the difference between artificial and natural rocks in their petrophysical properties, such as porosity and permeability. The artificial rocks will be used as a proxy to better understand the characteristics of various pore systems at various scales in oil and gas reservoirs. This study uses three-dimensional printing as a novel way of interacting with a) x-ray computed tomography data from reservoir rocks and b) mathematical models of pore systems in coarse-grained sandstones and limestones. If three-dimensional printing loses important information on pore geometry, methods for "scaling up" computed tomography data will be investigated to allow larger pore network models to be printed. The results will include digital pore system models with tools for manipulation and testing petrophysical properties of artificial reservoir rocks that will increase the accuracy of reservoir flow simulations.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects