Capillary Pressure Corrections, Quality Control and Curve Fitting Workflow

Al-Bulushi, Nabil (Saudi Aramco) | Kraishan, Ghazi (Saudi Aramco) | Hursan, Gabor (Saudi Aramco)



Capillary pressure is a crucial step in reservoir properties definition and distribution during static and dynamic modelling. It is a key input into saturation height modelling (SHM) process, understanding the fluid distribution and into reservoir rock typing process. Capillary pressure models provide an insight into field dynamic for the identification of swept zones and provide another calibration besides the log calculated saturation. Capillary pressure curve tends to be more complex in carbonates in comparison to sandstone reservoirs because of post deposition processes that impact the rock flow properties, hence complex pore throat size distribution (uni-modal, bi-modal or tri-modal). Therefore, accurate determination of this property is the cornerstone in the reservoir characterization process.

Capillary pressure can be obtained using several experimental techniques, such as mercury injection (MICP), centrifuge (CF) and porous plate (PP). Each method has its own inherited advantages and disadvantages. The MICP method tends to be faster, cheaper and provides a full spectrum of pore throat size of a plug. Whereas, the PP method can be carried out at reservoir conditions with minimum required corrections.

In this paper, a detailed workflow for quality control capillary pressure is discussed. The workflow is sub-divided into three main parts: Instrumental and experimental level, core measurement level and logs level. Experimental level starts with proper designing the actual procedure of the capillary pressure experiment. Parameters such as pore volume, bulk volume and grain density are investigated at core measurement level. In geological-petrography montage, all petrography data; X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), thin section and computed tomography scan (CT) are used along with the capillary pressure curve for assessment. Comparing various methodologies of experimental technique carried out on twin plugs, if exist, are also investigated. The capillary pressure that passes the previous QC steps is used as input into saturation-point comparison as a logs level QC. The saturation calculated from capillary pressure is compared to log-derived water saturation eliminating any issues with porosity and permeability of the trims and provides insight to the uncertainty level in the model. As an additional step, the MICP measurements are fitted with bi-modal Gaussian basis functions with two practical benefits. First, the quality of this fitting is a useful indicator for the evaluation of pore structure complexity and the identification erroneous measurements. Second, the fitting parameters are useful inputs for geological interpretation, rock typing and SHM. This rapid and automated workflow is a useful tool for screening, processing and integration of large-scale capillary pressure data sets, a key step in integrated reservoir description, characterization and modelling.