Diagenetic And Compositional Controls Of Wettability In Siliceous Sedimentary Rocks, Monterey Formation, California
Modified imbibition tests were performed on 69 subsurface Monterey Formation reservoir samples from the San Joaquin Valley to measure wettability variation as a result of composition and silica phase change. Contact angle tests were also performed on 6 chert samples from outcrop and 3 nearly pure mineral samples. Understanding wettability is important because it is a key factor in reservoir fluid distribution and movement, and its significance rises as porosity and permeability decrease and fluid interactions with reservoir grain surface area increase. Low permeability siliceous reservoirs of the Monterey Formation are economically important and prolific, but a greater understanding of factors that alter their wettability will help better develop them. Subsurface reservoir samples from 3 oil fields were crushed to eliminate the effect of capillary pressure and cleansed of hydrocarbons to eliminate wettability alterations by asphaltene, then pressed into discs of controlled density. Powder discs were tested for wettability by dispensing a controlled volume of water and motor oil onto the surface and measuring the time required for each fluid to imbibe into the sample. The syringe and software of a CAM101 tensiometer were used to control the amount of fluid dispensed onto each sample, and imbibition completion times were determined by high-speed photography for water drops; oil drop imbibition was significantly slower and imbibition was timed and determined visually. Contact angle of water and oil drops on polished chert and mineral sample surfaces was determined by image analysis and the Young-Laplace equation. Oil imbibition was significantly slower with increased detrital composition and faster with increased silica content in opal-CT and quartz phase samples, implying decreased wettability to oil with increased detrital (clay) content. However, contact angle tests showed that opal-CT is more wetting to oil with increased detritus and results for oil on quartz-phase samples were inconsistent between different proxies for detritus over their very small compositional range. Water contact angle trends also showed inconsistent wetting trends compared to imbibition tests. We believe this is because the small range in detrital composition between the “pure” samples used in contact angle tests was close to analytical error. These experiments show that compositional variables significantly affect wettability, outweighing the effect of silica phase.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90215 © 2015 Pacific Section AAPG Convention, Oxnard, California, May 3-6, 2015