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Coring and Core Analysis

5.3.3 Routine Core Analyses

Core Analysis
• Obtaining and analyzing core is crucial to the
proper understanding of any complex
reservoir system.
• To properly understand low permeability
reservoirs, modern core analyses methods
are required.
• Of primary importance is to measure rock
properties under restored state conditions.
Coring should cover entire interval
• In general, core should be cut above, within
and below the producing portion of the gas
• Core should be cut to obtain samples of all
important lithologies to include clean
sandstones, clean shales, limestones,
siltstones, mudstones and shaly sands.
• Cores should be handled properly in the field
and preserved using heat shrinking wrap or
other methods before being shipped to the
core laboratory
Routine Core Analyses
• Routine core analyses should be run on every
foot of core and should include the following:
ƒ Porosity
ƒ Grain density
ƒ Unstressed permeability to air
ƒ Stressed permeability to air
ƒ Cation exchange capacity
ƒ Saturation analysis
Routine Core Analyses
• Routine core analyses should be run on every
foot of core.
• The core should be analyzed to determine the
different rock types and flow units that were
sampled by the core
• 5-10 core plugs should be cut in every rock
type and/or flow unit to be sent off to do
special core analyses
Special Core Analyses
• Special core analyses should be run on 4 to 5 core
plugs for each lithology, to include:
ƒ Permeability vs NOB
ƒ Permeability vs water saturation
ƒ Resistivity index
ƒ Formation factor vs NOB
ƒ Capillary pressure
ƒ Porosity vs NOB
ƒ Acoustic velocity
ƒ Mechanical and elastic properties
• Porosity measurements of TGR should be
paid enough attention and under proper
• 1.5 inch diameter core and measurements on
10%-20% of cores are recommended
• Result should be compared with other core
properties, like grain density, permeability.
• The effect of net overburden pressure (NOB)
must be reproduced in the laboratory to
obtain the most accurate information from
the cores.
Unstressed permeability
• Drying procedure in laboratory can influence
accuracy of measured permeability
• If the core is not put under expected in situ
overburden stress, the laboratory
measurments will be too large
• Properties of the matrix and the fractures can
be simultaneously measured in a naturally
fractured, low permeability core using pulse
Stressed permeability
• Permeability has relation with pore size,
throat of pore distributions, geometric shape
of pore, tortuosity and so on.
• The effect of overburden on the permeability
is significant.
• As a reservoir is produced, there is an
increase in net effective stress. Some rock
types may lose 10% of original permeability
while others may lose 90%
Core Analysis
• The effect of net overburden pressure (NOB)
and, sometimes reservoir temperature, must
be reproduced in the laboratory to obtain the
most accurate information from the cores.

• The data in the following graph show values

of porosity measured at NOB vs values
measured at ambient conditions for a Travis
Peak data set. In all cases the values at NOB
will be less.
Core Porosity at NOB Pressure to Porosity at Ambient
Conditions, Four Wells
Core porosity at nob pressure



n = 348
r = 0.992
Ë = 0.0038

0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25
Core porosity at ambient conditions
The Effects of Overburden Stress
• In the following graph the values of permeability
measured at NOB are substantially less than values
measured at ambient conditions, for the same Travis
Peak data set.
• The degrees of “stress sensitivity” will be a function
of the lithology and the pore throat size distributions.
• Rocks with “slot pores” will be more stress sensitive
than rocks with more round pore throats. Slot pores
are created by quartz overgrowths during diagenesis.
Gas Permeability at NOB vs Gas Permeability at Ambient Pressure for
Howell #5 and SFE #2, Invalid Permeability Data Excluded


K∞ at nob pressure



n = 291

0.00001 0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100
K∞ at nominal ambient pressure
Correlation of Porosity and Permeability
from Travis Peak
• The next figure illustrates the correlation for
this Travis Peak data set of kNOB vs. φNOB.

• Even though there is a reasonable correlation,

the correlation can be improved by further
subdividing the data by flow units.
Permeability Measured at NOB Pressure to Porosity at NOB Pressure,
Fluvial/Deltaic Channel Sands Only, Invalid Data Excluded


K∞ at nob pressure



0.001 n = 331
r = 0.865
0.0001 Ë = 0.766

0.01 0.1 1
Core porosity at nob pressure
Grain density
• The cores should be cleaned, extracted and
• Remove all hydrocarbons, saline, salt crystals,
drilling and coring fluid solids
Grain Density
Compound Formula (g/cm3)
Quartz SiO2 2.65
Calcite CaCO3 2.71
Some typical valued of grain
Dolomite CaMg(CO3)2 2.84
Sylvite KCl 1.98
Halite NaCl 2.16
Gypsum CaSO4 2H2O 2.32
Anhydrite CaSO4 2.96
Pyrite FeS2 5.01
Barite BaSO4 4.48
Siderite FeCO3 3.96
Empirical equation for relation of
permeability with net stress

{ }
k = k 0 exp a k [exp( −σ / σ * ) − 1] /(1 + Cσ )

Q = Volumetric flow rate, cm3/s

ak = constant number
k = slip-corrected (Klinkenberg)
permeability at net stress, σ, md
k0 = slip-corrected permeability at zero
net stress, md
σ = net isostatic stress on sample , psi
σ* = decay constant, arbitrarily set to
3,000 psi [20.7MPa] for two point fit,
psi [kPa]

Permeability vs net stress

Cation exchange capacity
• Capacity of clays for ions exchange of cations
between the clay surfaces and surrounding
• Cation exchange capacity is the function of
type and amount of clay
Saturation analysis
• Two most common method of measuring
• Distillation/extraction (Dean-Stark method)
ƒ Precise quantitative water saturations
• Retort (Summation of fluids method)
ƒ Acceptable if the saturations are used to locate
Dean-Stark apparatus
Core Analysis must by correlated
• Core analysis must conform to open hole log
• Core analysis must be consistent with the
production and field data
• The results of both the routine and special
core analyses should be correlated with all
well-test, log and seismic data.
.2 0
1 0 .4 0 0 150 2 200 1 0 1 0 10 .001 .2 0


Presentation of the Log FELD 9200

Results Over the CALC


Completed Interval in FE-CR


SFE No. 3 Displayed SP

With Core Analysis



9350 CORE SW


• Obtaining and analyzing core samples are crucial step
to understanding layered, complex, reservoir.

• Cores should be handled properly in the field and lab

• Once the important values are known for each rock

layer, one can compute estimates of gas-in-place for
each rock layer using the values of φ, h, Sw.

• The permeability distribution, kh, can be estimated

from logs and calibrated with pressure buildup tests.