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Special Core Analysis

Challenges, Pitfalls and Solutions

Colin McPhee
SPE London May 26 2015

The geomodel juggernaut!

=
Modelling is finished, but the forecasts do not match observations,
imagine the reaction to a request to go back & check core data inputs.
Often happens & each time the teams protestations are loud.
Very hard to stop the geomodel juggernaut, usually built on a tight
budget that is almost spent & to a deadline that is getting closer
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Cultural resistance to change I know my place


Cultural issues can prevent the
models from being improved.
Reluctance to change model
inputs as may have to admit
mistakes were made to peers.
Misplaced respect for elders.
Fear of managements response
when told of model rebuild

Core data for static and dynamic models


Core tests provide fundamental input to static (in place) and
dynamic (recovery factor) reservoir models

STOIIP GRV
fw

N
1
1 Sw
G
B0

N, , Sw from RCA & SCAL

k ro w
.
k rw o

kro and krw from SCAL

Core data experiments are.

The ground truth!


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The elephant in the room


SCAL data have uncertainties that
few end users want to discuss or
contemplate (or even want to
know about)
Misinterpretation and poor
practice impact on static and
dynamic modelling

The Ground may be shakier than you think


Based on review of > 50,000
SCAL experiments
70% of SCAL unfit for purpose
core damage
variable data quality
inadequate program planning and
inappropriate design
poor reporting standards
method-sensitivity
vendors reluctant to share
experience and expertise

Core damage
During coring
Oil-based mud usually alters
wettability
Difficult to remove sometimes
Mud invasion and shear failure in
weak rock

During core recovery


POOH too fast results in tensile
fracturing if pore pressure cannot
dissipate

During wellsite/lab handling


Liners flexing/bending
Freezing
Poor stabilisation
Poor preservation

Formation evaluation examples of SCAL


Porosity
Permeability
Capillary Pressure

Porosity

Permeability

Drainage and imbibition

Relative Permeability

Porosity
Core porosity - Total or Effective?
Humidity dry for effective porosity?

T > HOD > E


Absolute or Total Porosity t

Matrix

Effective Porosity e
VClay

Grains

Clay
Layers

Clay surfaces &


Interlayers

Small
Pores

Bound Water

Capillary
Water

Structural Water

Large Pores

Isolated Pores

Volume
available for
storage

Irreducible or
Immobile Water

Usually assumed negligible


in Clastics

Often assumed negligible


in Carbonates
Often significant in Clastics

May be significant in
Carbonates
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Porosity (RCA)
Vg & VbHg

Two different methods


Vb Vg
Vb
Vp

Vg Vp

Vp & Vg

Two different results!


Vp+Vg

Vg+VbHg

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Porosity compaction at stress


Sensitive to insignificant artefacts
Two labs two different results!
Annulus volume between sleeve & plug
stress/amb

Check pre- and post-test results

Net confining stress (psi)

Porosity Change
1.00

0.80

0.60

Porosity Change
(p.u.)
Porosity Change Post-Test (p.u.)

0.40

+ 0.25 p.u.
0.20

0.00

-0.20

- 0.25 p.u.

-0.40

-0.60

-0.80

-1.00
0.0

5.0

10.0

15.0

20.0

Pre-Test Porosity (%)

Pre-test porosity (%)

25.0

30.0

35.0

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Permeability
What is the permeability in your static 3D model?

10000

Kl (mD)

1000

100

10

y = 0.851x1.020
R2 = 1.000

1
1

10

100

1000

10000

Kg (mD)

Kg @ Swir @ Stress (mD)

Kair after harsh drying (mD)

Air permeability?
Klinkenberg? measured or from a correlation?
Brine?
Ambient or stressed?
What stress?
How measured steady or unsteady-state?
How were plugs prepared?
Does it matter?

Gas vs. Klinkenberg (measured) permeability (20- 30


bar NCP)

Kair after HOD (mD)

Kair at 400 psi (mD)

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Capillary pressure (drainage)

Height above FWL (ft)

Principal application in saturation-height modelling


Pc (Height) versus Sw by rock type, rock quality and height

J Function

Water Saturation (-)

Carbonate J function by R35 bin

Normalised Sw

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Capillary pressure (drainage)


Mercury injection capillary pressure
NOT a capillary pressure test (just looks like one)
No Swir: Sw goes to zero at high injection pressure
Lower Sw at high Pc

Core damage at high injection pressures?

Air-Brine Lab Capillary Pressure (psi)

200
175
150
125
100
75
50

25
0
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

Sw (frac)

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Capillary pressure (drainage)


Centrifuge
Pc maximum at inlet face of plug

Pci ~ 1.6 x107 w h re2 ri2 RPM 2


Calculation of inlet face saturation

Si d d ( Pc ).S .Pci S Pci .

dS
d ( Pci )

Sample No. 136S


Depth (m): 2825.760

Porosity (%): 21.2


Gas Perm (mD):
52.4

130
120

Hassler Brunner
Average
Dean-Stark Sw

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Inlet face Pc (psi)

Capillary Pressure (psi)

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

Water Saturation

10

20

30

40

50

60

Brine Saturation(%)

70

80

90

100

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Capillary pressure (drainage)


Centrifuge vs MICP vs porous plate (PP)
MICP
no wetting phase no Swir Sw always lower at higher Pc

Centrifuge
No entry pressure (compared to MICP & PP) - Abrupt transition to Swir

MICP

Scaled Lab Pc (psi)

PP Pc

Centrifuge

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Water Saturation

Capillary pressure (drainage)


Porous plate
Good but slow
Potential loss of capillary contact
Potentially slow drainage

1.00
Pc=2.900 psi
Pc=5.075 psi
Pc=20.01 psi

0.80

Pc=36.250 psi
Pc=72.500 psi

Water saturation, Sw

Pc=101.500 psi

Water Saturation

Air-Water Capillary Pressure (psi)

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00
0

50

100days
Time,

150

200

Time (days)

Water Saturation

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Imbibition Pc (water-oil)
4

errors later corrected

Plugs found to be fractured

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

0.8

1.0

Capillary Pressure
(psi)
Pc (psi)

-20

-40

Senergy Average
(Forbes-1 Press.)
Senergy Average
(Forbes-2 Press.)
Senergy Endface
(Forbes-1 Pc)
Senergy Endface
(Forbes-2 Pc)
Rep. Lab Average
(Forbes-2 Pc)
Rep. Lab Endface
(Forbes-2)
Rep. Lab DS Sw

-60

-80

-100

-120

Water Saturation
Sw (frac.)
10
0
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

-20

-40

Pc (psi)

Capillary Pressure (psi)

Example results oil-brine


imbibition Pc
Lab average Sw does not
agree with Dean-Stark
If average Sw wrong then end
face Sw and Pc-Sw wrong
Did lab not think Sro = 40%50% strange?
3 iterations (and about 3
months) before labs
calculated Pc-Sw curves
matched our calculations
Lab upper-management were
initially unaware of the issues

-60

-80

-100

Senergy Average
(Forbes-1 Press.)
Senergy Average
(Forbes-2 Press.)
Senergy Endface
(Forbes-1 Pc)
Senergy Endface
(Forbes-2 Pc)
Rep. Lab Average
(Forbes-2 Pc)
Rep. Lab Endface
(Forbes-2)
Rep. Lab DS Sw

-120

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Water Saturation
Sw (frac.)

Relative permeability

Most relative permeability data are rubbish the


rest are wrong! Jules Reed, LR Senergy, 2013
1
0.9

>200 samples 6 usable

0.8

Residual Oil Saturation (v/v)

Clean
State
Fresh
State

0.7

Restored
State

0.6

C = 0.6

0.5
0.4

C = 1.5

0.3
C = 2.5

0.2
0.1

C = 10

0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

Initial Oil Saturation (v/v)

0.8

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Why are they rubbish?


Plugs unrepresentative or plugged incorrectly
Swir too high and/or non-uniform
Wettability contaminated or unrepresentative

WW

SWW

MW

SOW

OW

1
0.9

Relative Permeability

0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

Saturation

0.8

201

Why are they wrong?


Coreflood testing invalidates analytical theory

Water Saturation (-)

Water Saturation

Flow is linear and uni-directional


Capillary effects are negligible

Ncres x100
Ncres x10
Ncres

Sample Length
Length along core (slice)

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Capillary end effects


Ncres x100
Ncres x10
Ncres

Sample Length

Nc_res x100

Nc_res x10

Nc_res

Capllary Pressure

Differential Pressure

-1
-2
-3
-4

-5
-6

Water Saturation

-7
-8
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Water Saturation

Saturation is controlled by capillary number (Nc)


Ncres x100
Ncres x10
Ncres

Sample Length

Nc = k DP
s Dx

What are the solutions?


Carefully review legacy data
Identify uncertainties and impact on:

Drilling &
Completions

In place calculations
Recovery factor

What is the value of information?


Is it worth doing the experiments at all?

Petrophysics &
Geology

Reservoir
Engineering

Focal point

Laboratory

Or is it because we have a table to fill in in Eclipse

New core data


learn from legacy data review
integrated program design
focal point
improved test and reporting documentation
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What are the solutions?


Lab audit
Assess resources, equipment,
experience and expertise of
management and technicians
Check plugs
Test data set interpretation

Design programme with


stakeholders and lab
Do not cut and paste from
previous jobs
Do not pick from a menu
Draw up flowchart
Look where value added at little
incremental cost
Iterate, iterate, iterate
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What are the solutions?


Relative permeability
Ensure wettability is representative
Test design
In situ saturation monitoring
Coreflood simulation

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0
%

Sw(NaI)

100
%

Water Saturation

Reveals what is going on in the core plug

X-ray adsorption

Relative permeability - ISSM

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Length along core (slice)

Relative permeability - coreflood simulation


Recommended practice for ALL relative permeability tests
Several non-unique solutions are possible so need to sense check

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Test specifications/data reporting


Detailed test and reporting specifications
define test procedures and methods

Define what, when and how reported


experimental data essential
use to verify and check lab calculations
allows alternative interpretation
most labs retain experimental data only for short time

Tedious and time consuming but


essential in data audit trail
invaluable in unitisation
can save money as you may not have to repeat tests

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Test specification example centrifuge Pc

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Plugbook
Core Plug History Chart

Plug data
Base properties
porosity and permeability

History
when/how cut, cleaned & dried

SCAL test history


Plug CT scans
Heterogeneity
Damage?

Plug photographs
pre-and post-test

Can be easily customised

Plug Parameters

Digital Images: Side and End Face


Sample No.:
Depth (m) :
Length (cm) :
Diameter (cm) :

116
3906.20
5.02
3.88

Plug Base Data


Ambient
Air Permeability (md) :
Porosity (%) :
Grain Density (g/cc) :

0.340
10.6
2.648

Overburden 3035 psi


Air Permeability (md) :
Porosity (%) :

0.182
10.1

Pre-test photographs & CT images:


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Study Flow Chart


Sample preparation

Drilled with Brine : 23-May-07


Hot solvent cleaned & oven dried @ 95C

In 14-Jul; out 21-Jul


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CT scan & pre-test plug photography


Permeability, porosity and grain density
Pressure saturate & Archimede's porosity
Formation factor & resistivity index @ NOBP
Dean-Stark

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Hot solvent cleaned; oven dried @ 95C; and Kphi
Pressure saturate & Archimede's porosity
Centrifuge air-brine capillary pressure
Dean-Stark
Hg injection and CEC on offcuts

Post-test photographs:
Post-test photography

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Report

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Summary
Lab test pitfalls have a huge
impact on core analysis modelling
data input
But....
uncertainties are recognisable
and manageable
best practice, real-time QC, and
robust workflows ensure that core
data are fit for purpose prior to
petrophysical analysis.
a forensic data quality
assessment can minimise data
redundancy and reduce
uncertainty in reservoir models

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get - Warren Buffet
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Questions?

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