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Carbonate Pore System Characterization and Porosity Prediction Using Multi-Scale Data


Heterogeneity is a complex characteristic of carbonate rock pore systems, defined by pores of various shapes and sizes across multiple scales. Key questions remaining in reservoir characterization and modeling are (1) at what scale is a system accurately defined, and (2) can measurements taken at the core- and thin section-scale (mm-cm) be used to accurately predict porosity values at the reservoir scale (cell size of 10s~100s meters)? This study examines thin section (mm-cm) and confocal (mm-µm) photomicrographs from a suite of carbonate rocks with varying depositional and diagenetic histories in order to address this issue. We examine pore size distributions at these different scales and find that the data sets can be modeled by power law functions. Furthermore, these multi-scale data sets can be collapsed to a single power law function if they are normalized to the size of the sample. By using such power laws to model our data, we are able to predict porosities at the scale of interest (up- and down-scale from those observed and measured). This multi-scale method allows us to integrate the measurements at all scales and predict corresponding porosities, taking into account contributions of pores with sizes much greater than that of the sample.