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Core analysis has become a long way from the days when reservoir productivity was determined by blowing through a piece of cable tool produced core. Our tools and methods for drilling and core analysis have changed but our interest is not. The reservoir rock properties that determine hydrocarbon production, the variation in this properties and how these properties effect 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 reservoir related properties.
DEFINITION AND THEORY
The objective in drilling an oil or gas well is to locate a hydrocarbon-bearing structure which will produce oil and gas in quantities sufficient to repay the cost of drilling and completing the well and also provide a nominal profit to the driller and owner. During the drilling, therefore, more precise information may be necessary concerning the lithologic and fluid-bearing characteristics of the
CORING is the term applied to the technique whereby relatively large samples (by comparison with the normal size of the drilling cuttings) of reservoir material are removed from their native state and brought to the surface for physical examination. . including geological studies . which is a measure of the fluid-carrying capacity of the formation. Cores are also obtained for a variety of other reasons. Normally the most important information desired from the coring operation concerns: 1) Porosity. including the relative percentages of oil and gas. 2) Permeability. One of the most reliable sources of information on the lithologic and fluid-bearing characteristics of a reservoir is an actual sample of the reservoir rock . which indicates whether the formation fluids will be able to flow at rates fast enough to permit economical production of the hydrocarbon fluids 3) Water saturation 4) Hydrocarbon saturations. studies of fracture patterns in fractured formations .formation before a decision can be made to complete the well and spend any additional thousands of dollars for completion equipment and services.with the fluid contained in it. studies of formations in order to obtain better well completion and also some climate related studies.
At the present time there are basically three types of rotary coring equipment: 1) Conventional coring 2) Wire-line retrievable coring 3) Diamond coring Conventional Coring Conventional coring is a continued development of the original rotary coring methods.Rotary coring Rotary coring was probably first introduced by the French Engineer Leschat in 1863. for retaining the core after it has been cut . which is located on the extreme lowerend of the drill stem. however it did not come in to general use in the oil industry until the early 1920’s. which is located immediately above the core bit. Special equipment required in conventional coring includes a core bit. . Rotary coring equipment has continued to keep abreast of technological developments in the drilling industry. and a core barrel. provision must be made for cutting the formation in the desired shape and retaining the core. The rotary coring bit is used to cut the core and a core barrel is used to retain the core after it has been cut. In order to obtain a core with rotary drilling tools.
The problem of design a good coring bit is somewhat more complicated. the development of suitable coreretaining equipment is essential. The major item of such equipment is core barrel. Therefore the cutting and bearing surfaces of a core bit are considerably smaller than the same surfaces on a drilling bit. A conventional core barrel consists essentially of 1) an inner barrel 2) an outer barrel 3) a core catcher . because only the outer rim of the formation is cut. Since in coring operations it is highly important that the cutting surfaces of the bit be kept clean and free of cuttings particular attention must be directed to the placing of the nozzles through which the drilling fluid circulates. however.The basic requirements for a good rotary core-cutting head are essentially same as for a good drilling bit. In addition to the normal requirement that a bit should drill a gauge hole as fast as possible with minimum wear on the cutting surfaces. As one of the major objectives in coring is to recover and bring to the surface 100 percent of the cored formation.because both are performing essentially the same function. leaving a maximum amount of the formation intact. the coring bit must also satisfy the additional requirements of (1) cutting an optimum size core in such a manner that (2) the maximum amount of the core can be retained and brought to the surface for examination.
This is accomplished by inserting the proper equipment in the lower part of the drill stem by means of a wire line which can be run inside the drill pipe. Wire-line Coring In order to overcome the previously cited disadvantages of conventional core drilling.all without removing the drilling tools from the hole. This wire-line coring decreased the cost of obtaining cores and thus many more cores may be obtained than would otherwise .as much as five inches or more. The principal disadvantages of the conventional coring technique are that drill pipe must be removed from the hole and the special equipment attached before coring operations can begin. with the result that there is increased core recovery and less flushing of the formation by the drilling fluid. normal drilling operations cannot be resumed without removing the drill pipe from the hole and replacing the coring equipment with the normal drilling equipment. and the core cannot be recovered without removing the entire drill string from the hole. can be obtained in one operation. The advantages of conventional coring are that a large diameter core .4) a vent or pressure-relief valve for venting pressure on the inside of the core barrel to the outside of the drill stem. methods have been developed for obtaining a core. Drilling fluid circulates between the inner and outer barrels but cannot pass through the inner barrel. bringing the core to the surface and proceeding with normal drilling operations .
the circulating fluid passes between the core barrel assembly and the drill collar. After the core has been cut.be possible. The core barrel assembly consists of a cutter head. or overshot. The only special equipment required on the lower end of the drill stem is a core bit. core catcher . the core-barrel assembly is forced down the inside of the drill pipe using drilling mud pressure. permitting removal of the entire assembly. because a program of alternate drilling and coring can be used without removing the drill pipe to change bits. During coring operations. To obtain a core after the core bit is in place. As the average depth of wells continues to increase. When the core barrel assembly reaches the lower end of the drill stem . the locking devices are released.the time and money saved by not having to remove the drill pipe in order to obtain a core is substantial. As much as fifteen feet of core can be obtained in one operation. the core barrel assembly with its core by lowering through the drill pipe on a wire line retrieving tool.core barrel . which is designed to engage the upper end of the core barrel.a locking device holds the barrel in place. locking device and a retrieving head. The use of wire-line coring technique is especially suitable for wildcat drilling operations where coring depths are not known in advance. . vent or inside pressure relief. As the overshot is lowered over the upper end of the assembly.
Coring should begin at light bit weight and low rotary speed. or in zones where the latter cores were not obtained as drilling processed. Normally the applied bit weights and table speeds should be held within the limits calculated. Side-wall cores can be obtained at any time after the formation from which a core is desired has been penetrated. Diamond bits may be used to advantage in coring hard. unless specific experience in the area dictates otherwise. dense formations where the cost of the coring with roller cutter bits is high. the reduction in the number of round trips and the increased penetration rate in many cases make the diamond bit more economical. Although the cost of a diamond core bit may be as much as fifteen to twenty times the cost of a conventional core bit. It can be used in zones where core recovery by conventional or wire-line methods is. these may be increased as soon as cutting action is established. usually on a logging cable and a sample of the formation at the desired depth is obtained. Side-wall Coring Side-wall coring is a supplementary coring tool. use has been made of a diamond-faced coring bit. Circulating volumes for .Diamond Core Drilling In order to increase both core recovery and penetration rate. The side-wall coring device is lowered in to the hole.
With the bit on bottom. if this happens. Also. severe erosion of the water courses and bit matrix may occur. Diamond bits require less fluid volume. . This is essential to hit cleaning and performance. Pump pressure should be closely watched during diamond coring as an indication of whether drilling fluid is passing over the face of the bit. pressure should be higher than when the bit is off-bottom. may mean that the core barrel is plugged by trash in the mud. it should be pulled for inspection.conventional core bits approach those of regular bits of the same size. and may actually be pumped and bounced off bottom by excessive circulating rates. A sudden pump pressure increase not alleviated by raising the bit off bottom.
Conventional core barrel .
Diamond core barrel .
Core Barrel Detail Wireline core barrel .
Supervise core layout to ensure correct orientation and order. Put rubble in sample bag and mark depths. Box core and mark boxes. Set up “rig floor” boxes to receive core. have rags. • • • Mark core with reference lines and depths. • Strap core. using marker pens. uncovered interval understood to be at bottom unless known otherwise. Space rubble between ends of core. Describe the core and shows. . Wipe core clean with clean dry rags. Fit core.Core Handling Process • • • • • Prepare adequate number of boxes.
EXAMPLE OF CORE AND BOX MARKINGS .
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