Servet Unalmiser, SPE, and James J. Funk, SPE, Saudi Aramco

Core analysis has come a long way from the days when reservoir productivity was determined by blowing through a piece of cabletool-produced core. Our tools and methods for drilling and core analysis have changed, but our interests have not. The reservoirrock properties that determine hydrocarbon production, the variation in these properties, and how these properties affect ultimate recovery are still of primary concern. Properly engineered core analysis provides a direct measurement of these reservoir-rock properties and is an essential step in formation-evaluation, reservoir, and production engineering. Fundamental core-analysis measurements are unchanged, but advances provide the ability to test at reservoir conditions and to acquire simultaneous measurements of reservoirdependent properties. Core analysis today uses X-ray computerized tomography (CT) to determine two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D, respectively) porosity distributions, while continuing to apply Boyle’s law and Archimedes’ principle to determine porosity. Mercury injection is used routinely to describe pore-throat distributions, but nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is becoming a popular method to delineate relationships between pore radii and permeability. This review addresses some recurrent concerns of core analysis as well as some new approaches and insights that are part of the physical reservoir model determined by core analysis. Refs. 1 through 6 provide more information on the subject.

bility until planned tests are completed. The ideal coring program considers rock type, degree of consolidation, and fluid type. It minimizes physical and chemical alteration of the rock and can include specialized pressure, sponge, or gel coring systems. Coring Tools. Current coring assemblies represent the best of recent drilling developments. Noninvasive, low-profile coring bits combined with full-closure core catchers or retrievable systems improve recovery in soft formations and reduce rig time. Fig. 1 is an example of a full-closure core catcher. Table 1 gives other specific applications and coring conditions. Core Preservation. When core is recovered, it must be laid out, measured, described, and prepared for shipping and preservation. Core-handling procedures should be designed on the basis of core material and coring technique. Core preservation should prevent any physical damage and minimize wettability alteration. Fluid loss and exposure to oxygen are the main factors in wettability alteration. For each core, preservation and packaging should be designed for the special core analyses and type of rock (composition, degree of consolidation, and other such factors). Basan et al.8 provide details of preservation techniques and caveats.

Reservoir studies seeking to interpret and define both geological and engineering parameters dictate the core-analysis program. Core analyses must integrate with field and production data and eliminate reservoir uncertainties that cannot be addressed with log, well-test, or seismic data. These requirements define the coring objectives that, in turn, control coring fluid, tools, and core handling. In most cases, these objectives cannot be obtained with core retrieved in a single well. Coring is thus an integral part of the reservoir-life-cycle process, with cored wells selected to verify or provide maximum information for the current geological, engineering, or production model of the reservoir. Coring Fluids. Modern drilling fluids are used during most coring operations. However, if determination of endpoint saturations is one of the objectives, a coring fluid is designed to maintain the immobile-phase saturation. If a core is to be used to define fluidsaturation-dependent parameters, such as relative permeability, capillary pressure, or electrical properties, the drilling fluid should be formulated to maintain core-wettability characteristics as they were in the reservoir. Core-handling and -preservation procedures are designed to maintain the physical integrity and reservoir wettaCopyright 1998 Society of Petroleum Engineers This is paper SPE 36780. Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptive representations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology by describing recent developments for readers who are not specialists in the topics discussed. Written by individuals recognized as experts in the area, these articles provide key references to more definitive work and present specific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to inform the general readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleum engineering. A softbound anthology, SPE Distinguished Author Series: December 1981–December 1983 is available from SPE’s Customer Service Dept.

Basic core analyses can be performed on conventional cores with minimal preservation. However, the swelling clay content and physical dilatancy of the samples should always be considered. Following core gamma ray measurements, core photographs, and CT scans, full-diameter or plug samples can be selected for basic parameter measurements. Fluid saturations, porosity, and absolute permeability are determined. These are an essential part of an overall reservoir evaluation and provide direct reservoir properties and allow calibration of vital reservoir evaluation tools, such as well logs. Fluid Saturations. Fluid saturations, once exclusively measured by Dean-Stark extraction and retort techniques, are now frequently replaced with displaced-miscible-fluid analyses that are less damaging to clays. Native-state fluid saturations combined with specialized coring, fluid tracer studies, or geochemical or imaging techniques can provide significant information on oil saturation and oil/water contacts. Porosity. Conventional core analyses provide effective porosity, determined from the interconnected pore volume in the rock. Logs usually measure total porosity with no regard for connectivity. Although the techniques behind porosity measurements are essentially those of 50 years ago, the instrumentation is changed. Today, automated equipment capable of sequential, repetitive, and simultaneous measurements of porosity and permeability is common. Concern still exists about the definition of bulk volume. Surface pore effects in large-grain sandstones introduce sleeve-conformance systematic errors that must be addressed.9 When core porosity is correlated with log porosity, a correction for overburden pressure should be applied. Measurement of porosity at overburden pressure is highly recommended because overburden-pressure
APRIL 1998 •


Outer Core Barrel

Full-Closure Core Catcher

Coring Bit

. In routine core analysis, permeability is determined Permeability. primarily by flowing nitrogen, air, or helium through the sample. Measured gas permeability can be quite different from the liquid permeability in a variety of samples, especially those with shales and clays. Although gas-permeability measurements are significantly faster and less expensive, the industry is still debating the validity and utility of gas-permeability data for liquid-producing reservoirs. The effect of overburden on the permeability measurement is also important. This effect is more pronounced in unconsolidated, low-permeability, and fractured samples; well-cemented samples are less affected by overburden pressure. Consolidated-sample ambient-pressure permeabilities can be corrected for the effect of overburden by applying a correction factor determined by measuring a few samples at both overburden and ambient conditions. Current techniques for measurement of permeability and porosity recognize the need to reproduce in-situ conditions and provide maximum information. Hence, standard routine measurements are currently done at reservoir net-overburden-pressure conditions. High-production gas wells have demonstrated the need for extended core analyses that provide not only permeability but also nonDarcy flow and Klinkenberg correction parameters. Today, the Forcheimer inertial coefficient, β, and the Klinkenberg slip factor, b, are commonly reported along with gas-permeability measurements. In interbedded formations, plug-sample measurements can be augmented with fine-scale probe measurements of porosity and permeability. In the laboratory, the probes are positioned and operated automatically. They provide a closely spaced 2D map of porosity and permeability, usually on slabbed core. In the field, portable probe instruments evaluate lateral and vertical variations in permeability on outcrop sections. These measurements are the first step in defining geostatistical permeability variations.

Fig. 1—Full-closure core catcher (after Ref. 7).

effect may be enormous for unconsolidated samples. The effect of overburden pressure on well-cemented consolidated samples is relatively low; therefore, porosity measurements on a few samples at both ambient and overburden pressure provide a correction factor for porosity. Grain volume of test samples is measured directly or calculated as part of the porosity measurement. Grain densities are calculated simply by the dividing weight of clean, dry rock sample by the grain volume. These densities are used as part of the quality check of the routine data and as a logging calculation.

Special core-analysis data are a vital tool in evaluating reservoir performance and assessing various production scenarios. Realistic and robust numerical simulations require direct physical measurements. Numerical-model sensitivity is an inefficient and insensitive substitute for measured material response parameters. However, true reservoir architecture is reflected only in physical parameters that are selected, handled, and scaled properly. Special core analyses determine the pore structure, fluid mechanics, and electrical and mechanical properties of the reservoir but are still subject to physical/chemical interactions associated with wettability, pressure, and temperature. Current approaches eliminate several variables from reservoir-condition measurements and incorporate the results in a geostatistical framework. Wettability. Wettability is an important factor affecting special core analyses. It is a combination of interactions between rock, fluid

TABLE 1—CORING TYPES AND APPLICATIONS Horizontal coring Continuous coring Sponge coring Conventional cores up to 90 ft in length can be cut in horizontal wells with downhole motors. Interchangeable and retrievable core barrels and drill plugs allow either coring or drilling without a trip of the drillstring. Redesigned continuous-coring tools use antiwobble drill bits with offset polycrystalline diamond compacts. Economical method for assessing residual oil saturation and less expensive than pressures coring. After retrieval, both core and sponge are sampled for oil to determine a corrected residual oil saturation; provides native-state core material for subsequent special core analyses. Displaceable formation-specific gel in the core barrel minimizes flushing during coring; fluid migration during retrieval and fluid loss at the surface. Also provides mechanical support for the core. Provides formation samples from the specific locations of the logged well after hole has been drilled. Rotary tool avoids shattering of hard formations experienced with percussion sidewall coring. Combination of noninvasive bits, full-closure core catchers, and sleeved inner barrels has improved core recovery from recovery from unconsolidated formations and currently has replaced most rubber-sleeved cores. Provides orientation of core to determine direction and degree of formation dip, tilt of formation fractures, and directional permeability.

Gel coring Sidewall coring Unconsolidated and friable cores Oriented core


APRIL 1998 •



Fig. 3—APEX terminology; rheon=sudden drop in capillary pressure; rison=increasing capillary pressure to previously unattained levels; subison=increasing capillary pressure to previously attained levels; subison pore system=sequence of only rheons and subisons. Fig. 2—Oil and water relative permeabilities of sandstone core for different wetting affinity (after Ref. 11).

interfaces, and pore shape3 and a measure of the preferential tendency of either water or oil to spread on the rock surface. It may demonstrate homogenous or heterogeneous wetting affinity to water or oil. Homogenous wettability is classified as strongly water wet, oil wet, or intermediate wet (a condition of equal wetting by both water and oil). Fractional and mixed wettabilities are heterogeneous. In fractional wettability, scattered areas throughout the rock have a wetting affinity to oil while the rest of the area is strongly water wet. If the oil- and water-wet surfaces are continuous rather than scattered, the term mixed wettability is used. The importance of wettability lies not in its quantitative assessment but in its influence on oil recovery and special core analyses. These analyses include capillary pressure, relative permeability, electrical properties, irreducible water saturation, and residual oil saturations. Rock minerals exposed to fluids and the chemical compositions of the fluids in the pore affect the wetting affinity of rock/fluid systems. Because of acid/base interactions between rock surface and crude oils, brine pH determines whether the surface is positively or negatively charged. Wettability is also affected by saturation history. Several authors have investigated the impact of wettability on recovery; Cuiec10 summarizes their approaches and points out that, besides higher residual oil saturation for oil-wet samples, heterogeneous wettability has a higher oil-displacement efficiency than homogeneous wettability. Fig. 2 shows an example of the effect of wettability on relative permeability. Physical and chemical effects can alter core wettability. These effects stem from coring fluids, changes in temperature and pressure, and exposure of the core to oxygen. Some core analysts recommend establishing a reference wettability because changes may occur between coring and laboratory testing. The reference is established by a qualitative or quantitative wettability test performed immediately after the core is removed from the formation.12 Others prefer to eliminate uncertain wettabilities by working with restored-state samples, which are obtained by aging a cleaned sample that has been saturated to initial conditions with native oil and synthetic brine.

No technique is available to measure fractional wettability of a porous medium where some percentage of the rock surface has a wetting affinity to oil and the remaining percentage is water wet. Standard wettability measurements, U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM), Amott, and contact-angle methods provide semiquantitative numerical scales to determine wettability characteristics of the porous medium. In a study by Longeron et al.,13 spontaneous imbibition and drainage processes are combined in the USBM index. The new index may be able to distinguish fractional and mixed wettability. Wettability should be evaluated under conditions similar to those in the reservoir on the basis of Cuiec’s14 study. Studies are being done to evaluate in-situ-wettability measurements that use electricalresistivity-index and formation-pressure data.15 However, these techniques are not at the point of practical application. Capillary Pressure and Pore Size. The pressure difference between two immiscible fluids in mechanical equilibrium at a curved interface is referred to as capillary pressure. Curvature of the interface is the result of preferential wetting of the capillary walls. Capillary pressure is widely used in reservoir engineering to define initial fluid distribution in the reservoir and pore-size distribution for formation evaluation. Laboratory techniques that determine capillary pressure are porous plate, centrifuge, mercury injection, and water-vapor desorption. Longeron et al.13 introduced a modification of the porous-plate method that reduces experimental time by a factor of 10 by use of thin oil and water-wet micropore membranes. In mercury injection, mercury is the nonwetting fluid in the porous medium. Wettability variation in water/oil/rock systems cannot be duplicated with a mercury/rock system. Therefore, the capillary behavior obtained with this technique may not reflect that of the reservoir. However, the technique has been used to characterize pore-size distribution since Purcell16 introduced it in 1949. An improvement of the technique by Yuan and Swanson17 keeps the mercury injection at a low constant rate. Their technique, referred to as apparatus for pore examination (APEX), determines the distribution of both pore bodies and pore throats. Fig. 3, which
APRIL 1998 •



Spectral Amplitude


Spectral Amplitude


0.1 time, millisecFig. 4—NMR relaxation and distribution. t2, milliseconds

shows the key aspect of the experiment, indicates the sudden decrease in injection pressure as “a mercury meniscus passes from a pore throat into a wider pore body.” NMR. NMR, applied to petrophysics as early as 1953, is an important modern core-analysis method. Historically. these measurements have been used to predict pore size and wettability. While this is still the main aspect of petrophysical NMR, the technique is now applied to estimation of permeability through its pore-size dependence and NMR measurements are also processed to provide residual and irreducible fluid saturations. The technique uses the radio-frequency resonance of protons in a magnetic field to determine spin-lattice relaxation time, t1, and spin-spin relaxation time, t2. The NMR relaxation is attributed to the hydrogen-relaxation signal originating from fluids within different regimes of the pore network. These regimes are reflected in the surface to volume ratio of the sample. Because there is a surface to volume ratio distribution, there are also t1 and t2 distributions. The declining exponential signal in Fig. 4 is inverted to a distribution of exponentials with a characteristic relaxation time (t2). NMR-determined t2 distributions are correlated with a standard pore-size measurement, such as mercury injection or image analyses. Subsequent NMR measurements are used to evaluate irreducible water saturation, permeability, and residual oil saturation. Relative Permeability. Wettability considerations aside, relative permeability relationships are the most significant and controversial parameters describing multiphase flow. Absolute permeability to single-phase-fluid flow cannot completely describe multiphase flow. Hence, measurement of effective permeability and the concept of relative permeability came into the picture. These saturation-dependent parameters are used to describe flow behavior. Effective permeability is a function of saturation and, because of interfacial viscosity between the different fluids, is nearly always less than the absolute permeability. Relative permeability is the ratio of effective permeability to a base permeability. Absolute-air, absolute-liquid, and effective-oil permeabilities at irreducible water saturation are the most common base permeabilities used in the industry. The three major factors affecting relative permeability are pore structure, saturation history, and wettability. Consequently, relative permeability tests should be performed on samples from representative facies that mimic reservoir saturation history and wettability. Issues on relative permeability include selection of representative samples, porelevel effects, measurement techniques and conditions, and scaling up from core to reservoir scale. Recent studies and technology applications have addressed some of these questions.
• APRIL 1998

Core-imaging techniques are widely used for screening and sample selection. X-radiographs, X-ray CT, and magnetic-resonance and acoustic images all elucidate internal core structures. Porelevel characteristics and sample pore types are addressed through thin-section image analyses and reservoir-quality typing. Relative permeability measurements are performed by either steady- or unsteady-state displacement. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Steady-state displacement is a straightforward technique involving a few uncertainties. Basically, it involves simultaneous injection of two or three fluids at a constant rate or pressure to acquire effective permeability to each phase at equilibrium saturation by use of Darcy’s law. Then, relative permeability is calculated at that saturation by dividing effective permeability by base permeability, which is generally oil permeability at irreducible water saturation. The relative permeability curve is obtained by changing the ratio of injection rates and measuring effective permeability when rock/fluid saturation reaches equilibrium. The unsteady-state technique is displacement of in-situ fluid (i.e., oil) by a driving fluid (i.e., water) at a constant rate or pressure. In contrast to the steady-state technique, saturation continuously changes and saturation equilibrium is not reached. Pressure drop and produced fluids are monitored with respect to time, and various mathematical approaches (e.g., Welge, Johnson-BosslerNaumann, and Jones-Roszelle) are used to obtain a set of relative permeability curves. The Buckley-Leverett equation for linear displacement of immiscible and incompressible fluids is the basis for all analyses. Centrifuge methods use the unsteady-state technique and involve spinning the saturated core sample under a known centrifugal force and monitoring the volume of the produced fluid with respect to time. Then, relative permeability to displaced phase is calculated by a mathematical approach. The method does not provide relative permeability data for the displacing phase. According to a Soc. of Core Analysts’ (SCA) survey on relative permeability methods,18 it is generally accepted that no single method is sufficient. Responses from 26 participants indicated that the centrifuge technique was the least preferred and that steady- and unsteady-state-flow methods were preferred equally. Almost 80% of the participants preferred tests run under simulated reservoir conditions, and choice of preserved vs. restored samples was equal. Following the methods survey, an experimental survey* was conducted to address the questions of endpoint saturations, endpoint permeabilities, and the number of data points required to delineate the shape of relative permeability curves. While conclusive statements could not be made because of the low number of participants,
*Workshop on Relative Permeability, 1995 SCA Intl. Symposium, San Francisco, 12–14 September.


Fig. 5—Axial stress/strain curve.

preliminary results showed that in multilaboratory, multimethod tests, relative permeabilities exhibit a precision of 9% in the measurement of overall saturation change. Other recent studies have concentrated on the simultaneous measurement of relative permeability and other special-core-analysis parameters.19 These approaches smoothly integrate other special core analyses with relative permeability. Electrical Properties. Determination of water saturation from resistivity logs depends on correct assignment of rock electrical parameters in the Archie equation.20 These parameters are empirically derived from electrical-property measurements on core samples. The structural parameter, a, is a tortuosity factor and has been attributed to the interstitial structure of the rock; it usually ranges from 0.5 to 1.5. Cementation factor, m, is associated with the degree of cementation of the grains in the rock and usually ranges from 1.5 to 2.5. To determine a and m, extracted core plug is saturated with brine of a known resistivity. Then, fully saturated rock resistivity is measured. A log-log plot is then constructed of formation resistivity factor (ratio of fully saturated rock resistivity to water resistivity) vs. porosity. From this exponential relationship, a and m are determined as the intercept and slope of the line. In this relationship, it is assumed that rock matrix does not contain any conductive minerals. Rock resistivity is a function of not only tortuosity and resistivity of brine, but also of saturation level. The third parameter, saturation exponent n, is the slope of the exponential relationship between resistivity index (ratio of partially to fully saturated resistivity of the sample) and fractional rock saturation. n is determined in the laboratory by measuring resistivity of a sample at various brine saturations and creating a log-log plot of resistivity index vs. brine saturation; the slope of this plot is the n value. It usually ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 and increases progressively in oil-wet systems. These parameters are important in reserve estimation, commercial evaluation, and prediction of oil production. The Archie equation assumes exponential relationships between formation factor and porosity and between resistivity index and water saturation. The linearity of these relationships is questioned on the basis of results from low-resistivity pay zones. Givens21 developed a phenomenological model composed of a conductive pore network and conductive rock. In contrast to the assumed linear trend, this model predicts a curvature caused by the water-saturation exponent and the relative conductance of the matrix. For many years, the Archie parameters were considered to be independent of temperature, pressure, reservoir-fluid, and solidsurface properties. Several authors have questioned these assumptions. Their studies showed that m and formation factor are functions of overburden pressure and tend to increase with increasing pressure. Studies of the effect of pressure on n showed that changes in both were based on rock type; however, the effect is negligible if

saturation is corrected for porosity compaction.22 The effect of temperature on the m generally depends on clay content. For n, the temperature effects depends more on whether the displacement process is drainage or imbibition. Because fluid distribution is controlled by wettability characteristics of the rock, n changes with wetting affinity. Where n∪2 for water wet rocks, it can exceed 10 for uniformly oil-wet cores at low brine saturation. Anderson23 suggests that simulated-reservoircondition tests provide the most reliable parameters if the reservoir is not strongly water wet. Presence of conductive clays and their effect on measured electrical properties is still a concern. New techniques may provide better results. Sandor24 describes an interesting technique that uses thermal membrane potential of the core sample to measure excess shale conductivity at reservoir conditions. Before the relative permeability study, SCA conducted an interlaboratory survey to determine the reproducibility, agreement, and suitability of different methods for obtaining electrical parameters FR, m, and n.25 In the study, 25 participating laboratories measured electrical properties on Berea sandstone and Bedford limestone at ambient temperature. The end product of the study was guidelines issued by SCA in four parts (Refs. 26 through 29). Rock-Mechanics Measurements. Rock mechanical properties are frequent concerns in wellbore design, drilling, and completion. Direct measurements on core samples provide the essential engineering parameters of compressive strength and static and dynamic mechanical moduli and ratios. Combined with oriented core, such rock-mechanics tests as anelastic-strain recovery, differentialstrain-curve analysis, and ultrasonic-velocity analysis can provide information on the direction of reservoir stresses.30 As Fig. 5 shows, measurements of linear stress/strain curves on core samples can be used to determine the Mohr-Coulomb failure criteria. The maximum axial stress at several confining stresses determines the size of the Mohr circle. Rock failure occurs at stress conditions above a line tangent to the circle. With deeper wells and horizontal drilling, measurements of both dynamic (acoustic) and static mechanical properties of reservoir rocks are made more frequently. These measurements provide correlations for seismic data and input for wellbore stability models. The essential measurements and controls include strain, directional stress, pore pressure, acoustic velocity, and temperature. Current systems provide these measurements under stress conditions set by the reservoir. Today both static and dynamic measurements can be made at moderate reservoir temperatures and pressures. New experimental equipment has been developed to extend the experimental range of the measurements and to reproduce true triaxial stress conditions, incorporating horizontal-stress anisotropy.31 Rockmechanics measurements are currently done at temperatures and pressures that match those of the reservoir. Core Imaging. Use and application of X-ray CT in core analysis has expanded since its introduction by Vinegar.32 As Fig. 6 shows, CT scans provide a noninvasive digital image of core samples. The technique is a prerequisite for sample selection and is frequently used as a saturation-monitoring tool. If accurately calibrated, CT axial-slice or longitudinal-scout images provide digital data that can identify fracture orientation and density, pore-volume connectivity, porosity, and net-to-gross ratios. Other imaging techniques are also being applied. These include NMR,33 micro-CT,34 and acoustic and electrical resistivity.35 Although X-ray CT is preferred for imaging fluids at elevated temperatures, the sensitivity and resolution of NMR imaging make it the method of choice for ambient-temperature studies. NMR images are based on the same nuclear principles used with NMR logging tools and pulsed-NMR measurements on plug samAPRIL 1998 •

1. Petrophysics, SPE Reprint Series, SPE, Richardson, Texas (1994) 39. 2. Skopec, R.A.: “Recent Advances in Rock Characterization,” Log Analyst (May–June 1992) 33, No. 3, 270. 3. Interfacial Phenomena in Petroleum Recovery, N.R. Morrow (ed.), Surfactant Science Series, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York City (1991) 36. 4. Monicard, R.P .: Properties of Reservoir Rocks: Core Analysis, Gulf Publishing Co., Houston (1980). 5. Amyx, J.W., Bass, D., and Whiting, R.L.: Petroleum Reservoir Engineering: Physical Properties, McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc., New York City (1960). 6. Tiab, D. and Donaldson, E.C.: Petrophysics: Theory and Practice of Measuring Reservoir Rock and Fluid Transport Properties, Gulf Publishing Co., Houston (1996). 7. Whitebay, E.L.: “Improved Coring and Core-Handling Procedures for the Unconsolidated Sands of the Green Canyon Area, Gulf of Mexico,” paper SPE 15385 presented at the 1986 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 5–8 October. 8. Basan, P . et.al.: “Measuring Porosity, Saturation and Permeability from Cores: An Appreciation of the Difficulties,” Petrophysics, SPE Reprint Series, SPE, Richardson, Texas (1994) 39, 190. 9. Unalmiser, S. and Stewart, R.W.: “Boundary Effects on Porosity Measurement and Its Resolution by Method and Mathematical Means,” Log Analyst (March–April 1989) 30, No. 2, 85. 10. Cuiec, L.E.: “Evaluation of Reservoir Wettability and Its Effect on Oil Recovery,” Interfacial Phenomena in Petroleum Recovery, N.R. Morrow (ed.), Surfactant Science Series, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York City (1991) 36, 319. 11. Donaldson, E.C. and Thomas, R.D.: “Microscopic Observations of Oil Displacement in Water-Wet and Oil-Wet Systems,” paper SPE 3555 presented at the 1971 SPE Annual Fall Meeting, New Orleans, 3–6 October. 12. Funk, J.: “Wettability” Development Geology Reference Manual, D. Morton-Thompson and A.M. Woods (eds.), AAPG Methods in Exploration Series, AAPG, Tulsa, Oklahoma (1992) 10. 13. Longeron, D., Hammervold, W.L., and Skjoeveland, S.M.: “Water-Oil Capillary Pressure and Wettability Measurements Using Micropore Membrane Technique,” paper SCA-9426 presented at the 1994 SCA Intl. Symposium, Stavanger, 12–14 September. 14. Cuiec, L.: “Wettability Laboratory Evaluation Under Reservoir Conditions: A New Apparatus,” paper SCA-9529 presented at the 1995 SCA Intl. Symposium, San Francisco, 12–14 September. 15. Causin, E. and Bona, N.: “In-Situ Wettability Determination: Field Data Analysis,” paper SPE 28825 presented at the 1994 European Petroleum Conference, London, 25–27 October. 16. Purcell, W.R.: “Capillary Pressures—Their Measurement Using Mercury and Calculation of Permeability Therefrom,” Trans., AIME, (1949) 186, 39. 17. Yuan, H.H. and Swanson, B.F .: “Resolving Pore-Space Characteristics by Rate-Controlled Porosimetry,” SPEFE (March 1989) 17; Trans., AIME, 287. 18. Bouchard, A: “Technology News,” SCANews, SCA (September 1994) 8, No. 2, 1. 19. Honapour, M.M., Huang, D.D., and Dogru, A.H.: “Simultaneous Measurements of Relative Permeability, Capillary Pressure, and Electrical Resistivity With Microwave System for Saturation Monitoring,” paper SPE 30540 presented at the 1995 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 22–25 October. 20. Archie, G.E.: “The Electrical Resistivity Log as an Aid in Determining Some Reservoir Characteristics,” Trans., AIME (1942) 146, 54. 21. Givens, W.W.: “A Conductive Rock Matrix Model (CRMM) for the Analysis of Low-Contrast Resistivity Formations,” Log Analyst (March–April 1987) 28, No. 2, 138. 22. Mahmood, S.M., Maerefat, N.L., and Chang, M-M.: “Laboratory Measurements of Electrical Resistivity at Reservoir Conditions,” SPEFE (September 1991) 291.

Fig. 6—Axial slice and CT number distribution.

ples. With the application of a pulsed-magnetic-field gradient, 2D and 3D images can be reconstructed that can distinguish fine bedding in sandstones, fluid-filled fractures, and effective secondary porosity. Core imaging provides a direct method for determining the spatial variation of petrophysical properties. The data from the images can be used directly for geostatistical and multiphase-flow upscaling studies. Reporting. SCA surveys on electrical properties, capillary pressures, and relative permeability have shown the importance of a reporting standard. This need has also been addressed in the revised American Petroleum Inst. (API) RP 40.36 Incorporation of core data in digital format is now common. Core photographs, X-ray CT scans, and routine- and special-core-analysis numerical results and plots are now combined on compact disks for viewing and reproduction.

FR = formation resistivity factor S = shear strength, m/Lt2, MPa Swi = initial water saturation, fraction t1 = spin-lattice relaxation time, t, milliseconds t2 = spin-spin relaxation time, t, milliseconds φ = porosity φ cb = capillary-bound porosity determined by NMR φ ff = free-fluid porosity determined by NMR φNMR = porosity determined by NMR φt = total porosity σ = normal stress, m/Lt2, MPa τ = shear stress, m/Lt2, MPa

We thank the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco for permission to publish this paper. We also thank the management of the Saudi Aramco Laboratory R&D Center for their support.
• APRIL 1998

23. Anderson, W.G.: “Wettability Literature Survey Part III : The Effects of Wettability on the Electrical Properties of Porous Media,” JPT (December 1986) 1371. 24. Sandor, R.K.J. et al.: ”Shaly Sand Analysis with Thermal Membrane Potentials,” paper SCA-9520 presented at the 1995 SCA Intl. Symposium, San Francisco, 12–14 September. 25. Sprunt, E.S. et al.: “Compilation of Electrical Resistivity Measurements Performed by Twenty-five Laboratories,” Log Analyst (January– February 1988) 29, No. 5, 138. 26. Worthington, A.E. et al.: ”SCA Guidelines for Sample Preparation and Porosity Measurement of Electrical Resistivity Samples—Part I,” Log Analyst (January–February 1990) 31, No. 1, 20. 27. Lerner, D.B. et.al.: “SCA Guidelines for Sample Preparation and Porosity Measurement of Electrical Resistivity Samples—Part II,” Log Analyst (March–April 1990) 31, No. 2, 57. .F . et al.: “SCA Guidelines for Sample Preparation and 28. Worthington, P Porosity Measurement of Electrical Resistivity Samples—Part III,” Log Analyst (March–April 1990) 31, No. 2, 64. 29. Maerefat, N.L. et al.: “SCA Guidelines for Sample Preparation and ,” Log Porosity Measurement of Electrical Resistivity Samples—Part IV Analyst (March–April 1990) 31, No. 2, 68. 30. Skopec, R.A.: “In-Situ Stress Evaluation in Core Analysis,” paper SCA9103 presented at the 1991 SCA Technical Conference, Houston, 21–22 August. 31. Smart, B.G.D. and Crawford, B.R.: ”An Innovative New Cell for Testing Rock Core Under True Triaxial Stress States,” paper SCA 9320 presented at the 1993 SCA Technical Conference, Houston, 9–11 August. 32. Vinegar, H.J.: “X-Ray CT and NMR Imaging of Rocks,” JPT (March 1986) 257; Trans., AIME, 281. 33. Chen, S.C. et al.: “Quantitative NMR Imaging of Multiphase Flow in Porous Media,” Magnetic Resonance Imaging (1992) 10, No. 5, 815.

34. Coles, M.E. et al.: “Computed Microtomography of Reservoir Core Samples,” paper SCA-9401 presented at the 1994 SCA Intl. Symposium, Stavanger, 12–14 September. 35. Jackson. P . et al.:”Electrical resistivity core imaging: towards a 3-dimensional solution,” paper JJ presented at the 1994 Soc. of Professional Well Log Analysts Annual Logging Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 19–22 June. 36. RP 40, Recommended Practice for Core-Analysis Procedure, first edition, APE, Dallas (1960). SI METRIC CONVERSION FACTOR psi x 6.894 757 E–01=MPa

Servet Unalmiser is a senior scientist and technology coordinator with Saudi Aramco Laboratory R&D Research Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Before joining Saudi Aramco in 1980, he worked at the Mineral and Research Inst. and at Turkish Funk Unalmiser Petroleum Corp. in Turkey. Unalmiser holds BS and MS degrees in petroleum engineering from Middle East Technical U. in Anakara, Turkey. He is a member of and API committee revising RP 40. He has served as a member of the Editorial Review Committee since 1993. James J. Funk is a senior scientist with Saudi Aramco Laboratory R&D Research Center in Dhahran. His current research interests include NMR, CT, and rock-mechanics applications to reservoir engineering. Previously, he was an advanced research engineer in Texaco’s Exploration and Technology Dept. in Houston. Funk holds a BA degree in chemistry from the U. of Houston and an ME degree in chemical engineering from the U. of Florida. He served as a member of the API committee revising RP 40.


APRIL 1998 •