ABSTRACT

Porosity,

ɸ

is a measure of the storage capacity of a reservoir. It is defined as a ratio of the

pore volume to the bulk volume and it can be expressed as either in percent or fraction. There
are two types of porosity that can be determined which are total or absolute porosity,

ɸ

and

effective porosity, ɸe . Effective porosity is the ratio of interconnected void spaces to the bulk
volume. Thus, the only pores that will contain fluids are the effective porosity that formed from
wells. The aim of this experiment is to determine the effective porosity of a porous plug by using
liquid brine. Dry core rock sample is heat until fully dried. Then, it is weighed using electronic
balance before immersed in a saturated liquid brine for 30 minutes. After that, the saturated
sample weight is measured. Base on the recorded data the bulk volume and pore volume can
be calculated. This calculation is crucial in determine the effective porosity of the used samples.
Result from this experiment shows that the sample core rock 1 has higher percentage of
porosity when compared to the core sample 2 which are 0.4510 % and 0.1570 % respectively.
This different is due to the arrangement of the grains molecules in both samples together with
occurrence of the interconnected void space of the samples. As for conclusion is best to say
that core 1 is sandstone and core 2 is limestone as sandstone usually had higher porosity when
compared to limestone in the form of sedimentary type rocks.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
(Abu-Khamsin, n.d)measure of storage capacity of a reservoir. It is defined as a ratio of pore
volume (VP) to bulk volume (VB) of a reservoir rock and may be expressed in either a percent or
a fraction (Abu-Khamsin, n.d). This calculation can be expressed in a form of equation such:

ɸ=

pore volume (V P ) bulk volume ( V B ) −grain volume ( V S )
=
bulk volume (V B )
bulk volume(V B )

By using this formulae both total or absolute and effective porosity can be calculated. Total
porosity is the ratio of all the pores spaces in a rock to the bulk volume of the rock. Effective
porosity is the ratio of interconnected void spaces to the bulk volume. Total porosity includes all
existing pores regardless of whether they are connected or not. While, effective porosity only
includes the interconnected pores. Thus, only the effective porosity contains fluid that can be
produced from wells (Chapter 4 : Porosity, n.d). For granular substance like sandstone, the
effective porosity may approach total porosity, yet shale and for other highly cemented or
vugular rocks like limestone, large variation or pattern may occur between effective and total
porosity.
2.0 OBJECTIVE
The objective of the experiment is to determine the effective liquid porosity of porous
plug by using liquid saturating method in core laboratory.
3.0 THEORY
Due to its origin porosity is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary porosity is
referred to porosity in a rock resulting from the sedimentation process. Secondary porosity is
defined as a porosity in a rock which happen after sedimentation process like fracturing and
recrystallization (Mohd Fauzi Hamid, n.d). These changes in the original pore spaces may be
created by ground stresses, water propagation or various types of geological activities after the
original sediments were deposited. The original porosity of the rock often increased due to the
fracturing or formation of solution cavities.

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Porosity is independent of the size of the grains for such a uniform rock grain size. The
theoretical maximum porosity for cubic packed rock of uniform size of spherical grains is 48%.
These maximum porosity of other packing arrangement can be shown as follows (Glover, n.d).

Figure 2.1 : Ordered packing arrengements.
Table 3.1 : Maximum porosity of different packing arrangement
Packing
Cubic
Hexagonal
Orthorhombic
Rhombohedral
Tetragonal
Triclinic

Maximum Porosity (fractional)
0.476
0.395
0.395
0.260
0.302
0.260

3.1 Effect of compaction on porosity
Compaction is defined as a process of volume reduction resulting from an external applied
pressure. For extreme compaction pressure, all materials show some irreversible change in
porosity. Generally grain compressibility in most petroleum reservoirs is considered to be
negligible. For porous rock, the compressibility is depends on the porosity.
Porosity can be estimated through volumetric measurements of core samples or from geological
logs (which measure a characteristic of the rock and infer porosity) or from Petro graphic Image
Analysis (PIA), which is pore level evaluation of a small sample size. This section is directed

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towards the measurement of porosity from rock samples or core because it provides the basic
concepts for understanding (Porosity, n.d).
3.2 Grin size
Porosity is not effected by grains size. Well rounded sediments that are packed into the same
arrangement generally have porosities from 26% to 48% depending on the packing (Mohd Fauzi
Hamid, n.d).

4.0 APPARATUS AND MATERIALS
Apparatus







Oven
Desiccators with dry silica
Electronic balance
100 ml beaker
1000 ml beaker
Glass rods
Damp cloth
Graduated cylinder

Materials
 Core samples
 Sodium chloride (NaCl) powder
 Distilled water
5.0 PROCEDURE
1. Core sample is dried in an oven at 100 0C and then placed in a desiccator with dry silica
gel to cool off.
2. Weight, Wdry, diameter D, and length L, is measured using electronic balance and vernier
caliper respectively.
3. Completed dry sample is placed in a container or beaker on a base of glass rods and
slowly covered with brine until the sample is totally immersed with about 2cm of brine
above it. The sample is saturated with 36 g/l NaCl brine, ρbrine = 1.02 g/cm3.
4. The sample is taken out from the container after 30 minutes and blot quickly with a damp
cloth to remove surface brine.
5. Saturated sample is weighted, Wsat.

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6. Saturated sample is put in a graduated cylinder filled with brine and the increase in
volume on the cylinder is measured. Bulk volume, Vb (cm3), corresponds to the observed
increase in the volume of brine measured on the graduated cylinder.
7. The test is repeated for the other different sample.

6.0 RESULT
Core No

: 1 (sandstone)

Diameter (cm) : 5.45 cm
Length / thickness (cm) : 1.4 cm
Wdry (g)
57.3330

Core No

Wsat (g)
57.4250

Wbrine (g)
0.0920

Vp (cm3)
0.0902

Vb (cm3)
20

ᶲe
0.00451

ᶲe (%)
0.4510

: 2 (limestone)

Diameter (cm) : 2.5 cm
Length / diameter (cm) : 2.5 cm
Wdry (g)
60.2265

Wsat (g)
60.2665

Wbrine (g)
0.0400

Vp (cm3)
0.0392

7.0 SAMPLE CALCULATION
Core 1 (sandstone)
Wbrine

= Wsat -Wdry

Wbrine

= 57.4250(g) – 57.3330(g)
= 0.0920(g)

Vp

= Wbrine / ρbrine
= 0.0920(g) / 1.02 (g/cm3)
= 0.0902(cm3)

Vb

= 20mL (1L/1000mL)(0.001m3/1L)

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Vb (cm3)
25

ᶲe
0.0015

ᶲe (%)
0.1570

= 20cm3

øₑ

= Vp / Vb
= 0.0902(cm3) / 20(cm3)
= 0.00451 X 100% = 0.451%

Core 2 (limestone)
Wbrine

= Wsat -Wdry

Wbrine

= 60.2665 (g) – 60.2265 (g)
= 0.0400 (g)

Vp

= Wbrine / ρbrine
= 0.0400(g) / 1.02(g/cm3)
= 0.0392 (cm3)

Vb

= 25 mL (1L/1000mL)(0.001m3/1L)
= 25cm3

øₑ

= Vp / Vb
= 0.0392 (cm3)/25(cm3)
= 0.001570 X 100%
= 0.1570%

8.0 DISCUSSION
Any porous materials like rocks are made of solid grains and void space that contains
the fluids, water, oil or gas. In this experiment, the observation shows that not all pores of rock
sample are filled with brine. This due to the pores properties which do not totally in
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interconnecting to each other that cause void in some part of the rocks. At certain point, pores
contain water or brine that is saturated with mineral in the rock structure.
In this experiment, porosity of sample is differ to each other where it is recorded higher
in sandstone, 0.451% and low in limestone, 0.1570%. This is due to its different in the
arrangement of grains of both samples. The arrangement in sandstone gives more space and it
is more interconnected while, limestone give a more compacted arrangement of the grain which
resulting less in space and less interconnection. Porosity is one of the most crucial properties of
sedimentary rock that is the rock should be “porous” in order to extract oil and gas. This is due
to the only porous media or rock with porosity have the ability to store hydrocarbon within it.
Thus, porosity is the main properties of a reservoir rock and without it, rocks have no tendency
in storing hydrocarbon which resulting of no occurrence of oil and gas and formation of wells.
The principle to employ Boyle’s Law is that the gas molecules is invade the pore space
and not the solid (Boyle's and Charle's Law, 2013). The different in using brine and helium are
that the molecules of helium gas is smaller compared to brine molecule. It is easier for the
helium gas to penetrate small pore and it is inert does not inert does not absorb on rock surface
as air may do. Brine with larger molecule compared to helium yet it still able to enter the pores
as it is small enough. This liquid saturation method help in yielding effective porosity, however
complete saturation is seldom obtained and therefore porosity is commonly lower than that
determined from Boyle’s Law method.
Liquid saturation method is an accurate method of determining the volume of the rock
sample that filled with brine when saturated in subsurface (Tatomir, 2007). This accuracy
achieve due the characteristic of the reservoir rock subsurface, which already filled with brine.
Thus, the volume of the rock can be determined by using volume displacement method. The
most significance of applying this method is that the determination of porosity convenient while
preparing samples for other tests, and samples can be used for further testing.

9.0 CONCLUSION
Generally, sedimentary rocks have the highest percentage of porosity compared to the
metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks (Salman Bloch, 2002). In this experiment sandstone and
limestone used as sample are both from the types of sedimentary rocks.
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Sandstone is usually more porous than limestone as it arrangement of grains is based
on the grains size while, limestone normally undergo further compaction and dissolution of
minerals. This compaction and dissolution of minerals result in lowering the porosity of the
limestone. Compaction is the process of volume reduction resulting from an externally applied
pressure. All materials show some irreversible change in porosity for the extreme compaction
pressure. This is because of the distortion and crushing of the grain or matrix elements of the
materials and in some recrystallization cases (Yuyuan Zhao, 2004).
In this experiment core 1 has higher percentage of porosity compared to core 2 which
are 0.4510 % and 0.1570 % respectively. The different is calculated to be 0.294 % and thus it
can be say that core 1 is sandstone as it gain higher in porosity while core 2 is limestone as it
porosity is lower.
10.0 RECOMMENDATION
1. The rock samples used in this experiment had been repeatedly heated many time and also
used by other groups. This situation may actually help in giving some error to the actual
result for the carried experiment. The theoretical value will be slightly differ from the actual
result as the structure of stratification of the rock may be damaged due to repeat heating
applied. Thus, it is recommended that in proceeding this experiment, it would be wise to use
a different rock sample for every different experiment.
2. When lifting the core sample from brine solution it is advised to use some helping device like
clipper in order to avoid an error resulting from the polluted solution as non-proper method
used.
3. When, weighed the dry core and saturated core, used the electronic balance so that the
value observe and recorded will be more precise as it consist of long decimal places. Using
the covered electronic balance would also help in getting more accurate reading as it get rid
the effect of the wind to weighing system.
4. The eyes position must be perpendicular to the scale of graduated cylinder so that parallax
or misreading error can be avoided. This will help in reducing error in this experiment.
REFFERENCES

Abu-Khamsin, D. S. (n.d). Basic Properties of Reservoir Rocks. 1-102.
Boyle's and Charle's Law. (2013). Lear extra live, 1-3.
Chapter 4 : Porosity. (n.d). 1-7.
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Glover, D. P. (n.d). Porosity. Petrophysics MSc Course Notes, 1-11.
Mohd Fauzi Hamid, W. R. (n.d). Rock and Fluid Properties. Fundamentals Of
Petroleum Engineering, 1-52.
n.d. (n.d). Chapter 4: Porosity. 1-7.
Porosity. (n.d). Chapter 2, 1-8.
Salman Bloch, R. H. (2002). Origin and predictability. Anomalously high porosity and
permeability in deeply buried sandstone reservoirs, 1-28.
Tatomir, A.-B. (2007). Saturation Determination for Multiphase Systems in Porous
Medium Using Light Transmission Method. 1-74.
Yuyuan Zhao, F. H. (2004). Optimisation of compaction and liquid-state sintering in
sintering and dissolution process for manufacturing Al foams. Materials
Science and Engineering, 117-125.

http://petrowiki.org/Porosity_determination

APPENDICES

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Figure 1 : Core Sample 1

Figure 2 : Core Sample 2

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Figure 3 : Immersed Core
Sample 2 with Brine solution

Figure 3 : Immersed Core
Sample 1 with Brine solution

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