Permeability and acoustic velocity controlling factors determined from x-ray tomography images of carbonate rocks

Nathaly Lopes Archilha, Roseane M. Missagia, Cathy Hollis, Marco A R De Ceia, Samuel A. McDonald, Irineu A. Lima Neto, David S. Eastwood, Peter Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Carbonate reservoir rocks exhibit a great variability in texture that directly impacts petrophysical parameters. Many exhibit bi- and multimodal pore networks, with pores ranging from less than 1 mm to several millimeters in diameter. Furthermore, many pore systems are too large to be captured by routine core analysis, and well logs average total porosity over different volumes. Consequently, prediction of carbonate properties from seismic data and log interpretation is still a challenge. In particular, amplitude versus offset classification systems developed for clastic rocks, which are dominated by connected, intergranular, unimodal pore networks, are not applicable to carbonate rocks. Pore geometrical parameters derived from digital image analysis (DIA) of thin sections were recently used to improve the coefficient of determination of velocity and permeability versus porosity. Although this substantially improved the coefficient of determination, no spatial information of the pore space was considered, because DIA parameters were obtained from two-dimensional analyses. Here, we propose a methodology to link local and global pore-space parameters, obtained from three-dimensional (3-D) images, to experimental physical properties of carbonate rocks to improve P-wave velocity and permeability predictions. Results show that applying a combination of porosity, microporosity, and 3-D geometrical parameters to P-wave velocity significantly improves the adjusted coefficient of determination from 0.490 to 0.962. A substantial improvement is also observed in permeability prediction (from 0.668 to 0.948). Both results can be interpreted to reflect a pore geometrical control and pore size control on P-wave velocity and permeability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1289-1309
    Number of pages21
    JournalA A P G Bulletin
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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