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SPE 118026

Towards A Characteristic Equation for Permeability


A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University

Copyright 2008, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, 11–15 October 2008.

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Abstract
The characterization of reservoir permeability (k) remains the elusive challenge in reservoir engineering. This work
considers prior developments in an evolutionary sense, and, as with prior work, our goal is the development of a
"characteristic permeability relation" (CPR). To this end, we have developed 5 CPR formulations — 3 of which could be
considered modifications of "historical" models and 2 of which are "weighted" power law-exponential models.
In this work, we consider permeability to be only a function of two variables; k = f(φ,z) — porosity (φ) and z. Where, for this
work, z is either the water saturation (Sw) or the Archie Formation Factor (F). Our rationale in considering k = f(φ,z) is two-
fold — first, such a formulation is a fundamental extension of the k = f(φ) correlation work by Archie (and countless others);
and second, our validation datasets are limited to literature cases and cases obtained from industry sources — none of which
would be considered suitable for extension beyond porosity plus another variable.
We demonstrate and validate our concept of a characteristic permeability relation (CPR) using various datasets obtained from
the literature and from industry sources. In this work we show that each proposed relation has a unique character and
performance — depending on primarily on the data, rather than the functional form of the permeability relation. Using the
characteristic permeability relations developed in this work — the proposed permeability relations can be extended to other
and other data types. It may also be possible to develop so-called "hydraulic flow unit" methods which can be used to
segregate petrophysical data into depositional flow sequences.

Objectives
The objectives of this work are:
● To propose and develop a family of "characteristic permeability relations" — specifically, functional forms based on the original
observations of Archie (power law and exponential behavior of numerous permeability-porosity data sets).
● To validate these "characteristic permeability relations" using data from literature and industry sources for consolidated rocks, as
well as data for other materials.
● To provide a general methodology for applying the "characteristic permeability relations" in practice, including methods to
distinguish poor data from correlation efforts.

Statement of the Problem


There have been exhaustive attempts to correlate permeability with porosity and other variables — this is one of the most
intractable problems in the petroleum industry. Our goal is not to provide a "universal" relation or concept, but rather, to
provide "characteristic relations" that can accurately represent a correlation of permeability with other variables. A typical
"characteristic relation" will use either the power law or exponential models proposed by Archie [1950].
k Archie- PLM = a φ b ("Power Law Model")............................................................................................................. (1)
k Archie- EM = α exp[ βφ ] ("Exponential Model")............................................................................................................ (2)
Our motivation for this work is derived from our observation that many correlations of permeability, porosity, and other
variables can yield inconsistent and/or inaccurate results — especially for low permeability rock samples. As we are
pursuing opportunities in very low permeability (k<0.01 md) and ultralow permeability (k<0.001) reservoirs, the potential for
using such correlations to establish/verify reservoir quality becomes significant. We also believe that for ultra-low per-
meability samples, it will be increasingly difficult to physically measure permeability on a routine basis — making the
correlation of permeability a priority (based on a few key measurements of permeability).
2 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

Unfortunately (and obviously) there is no single relation written primarily in terms of porosity that can be valid as a
permeability estimator across different types of rocks and/or different scales. As part of our literature review, we found
similar attempts — the most recent of which is a series of articles by Pape et al [1999, 2000] which focus on a fractal-based
derivation of permeability from porosity. The Pape et al result is presented as an additive power law relation — typically of
the form: k = aφ + bφ2+ cφ10. We do not believe that the Pape et al model will find significant utility in the petroleum
industry, apart from unconsolidated materials and rocks of very uniform grain structures. We do not wish to diminish the
work of Pape et al, rather we just do not see the same behavior in our rock sample data (i.e., extremely well-defined data
trends where permeability is essentially only a function of porosity).
Another modified power law model written for permeability as a univariate function of porosity is known as the "Bryant-
Finney" model (Finney [1970], Bryant et al [1993a, 1993b], and Bryant et al [1993c]. The "Bryant-Finney" model is given
as.
k = a(φ − c)b ........................................................................................................................................................................ (3)
We have labeled models such as Eq. 3 to be "modified power-law" formulations, since these models employ a "correction"
term in the original power-law formula. As a side note, we also established the "Bryant-Finney" model independently when
working on our own modified power-law relations, and we do not consider the c-term to be constant. Regardless of origin,
the Bryant-Finney model is one of our characteristic permeability relations. The negative (-) sign in front of the c-term is a
minor issue (negative numbers must be avoided in the argument of the power-law formulation). The performance of this
model as a correlator is generally average, but we have found several cases where this model performs very well —
essentially better than any other model.
Applying the Bryant-Finney model with the power-law straight line at the leftmost portion of the data, seems to be somewhat
limiting as the negative c-term has a profound impact when the (φ-c) quantity approaches zero (and then negative numbers).
We find that when Eq. 3 is recast using (φ+c), and then the straight-line power-law trend is placed at the rightmost portion of
the data, we instead achieve a "J" type of shape in the data function, which seems to mimic the behavior of the Pape et al
fractal model. This formulation (in terms of (φ+c)) is given by:
k = a(φ + c)b ........................................................................................................................................................................ (4)
However — historically, engineers and geoscientists have by far preferred an exponential type relationship to correlate
permeability as a function of porosity — as given below:
k = α exp[ βφ ] ....................................................................................................................................................................... (5)
Eq. 5 has been used almost exclusively in the correlation of permeability, based primarily on the rationalization that
"permeability is a logarithmically-scaled variable." We are concerned that Eq. 5 is uniquely an empirical result — as
opposed to the generalized power-law scaling of permeability and porosity (Eq. 1), which has had considerable validation by
theory and by experimental study — primarily with unconsolidated sediments/materials and very uniform pore distributions.
We cite references by Beard and Weyl [1973], Berg [1970], and Morrow et al [1969] to support our contention of a power-
law formulation for the permeability of unconsolidated sediments, and we note (without references) that this characteristic
behavior has also been observed in fluidized beds, powders, ceramics, cements, and sintered metals. The power-law scaling
of permeability is widely accepted (under specific conditions), but the exponential scaling has, to our knowledge, never been
proven theoretically.
There are suggestions that the exponential scaling of permeability has to do with the tendency for permeability to be
logarithmically distributed, and perhaps this is sufficient as qualitative "validation." We believe that the exponential
correlation of permeability and porosity is most likely an empirical representation of a more complex process — one where
the power-law model is not directly applicable due to "non-ideal" conditions (e.g., shaliness, poor grain sorting, diagenesis,
etc.). However; we do employ the exponential model in two of our CPR models.
Based on the discussion given above, we presently know (or accept) the following points:
1. Power Law Model for Permeability: Unconsolidated Sediments/Materials
Eq. 1 provides the base relation for a power law scaling of permeability using porosity (i.e., k=aφb). This formulation
is validated in a form that includes the square of grain size by Beard and Weyl [1973] and Morrow et al [1969] for
unconsolidated sediments and for (theoretical) packings of perfect spheres (Berg [1970]).
k Berg = a φ b d 2p ("Berg Equation" (general form)) ....................................................................... (6)
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 3

Further, variations of the simple power-law formulation have been presented in the literature which include saturation
as a correlation variable (Timur [1968] (referencing his own relation) and Ahmed et al [1989] (referencing the
Coates-Denoo permeability relation)) — these relations are:
kTimur = a φ b S w
c
("Timur Model")..................................................................................................... (7)
2
⎡ (1 − S w ) ⎤
kCoates = ⎢100φ 2 ⎥ ("Coates-Denoo Model") ........................................................................................ (8)
⎣ Sw ⎦
2. Modified Power Law Model for Permeability: Proposed for Consolidated Sediments
Eqs. 3 and 4 are proposed intuitively as "modifications" of the power law model for permeability (i.e., Eq. 1) —
where these formulations are intended to compensate for non-ideal behavior due to the influence of variables other
than porosity. Eqs. 3 and 4 are repeated for clarity in this discussion: (In this work, z = Sw or F — as presribed by the
given data)
k = a(φ − c)b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] (Bryant-Finney Model (straight-line on left of data)).......................... (3)

k = a (φ + c)b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] (Modified Bryant-Finney Model (straight-line on right of data)) ....... (4)
As we do not believe that the Pape et al model (i.e., k = aφ + bφ2+ cφ10) is viable in practice, we mention this model as
only as a possible (analytical) solution for relating permeability to porosity in near-ideal situations.
3. Modified Exponential Model for Permeability: Proposed for Consolidated Sediments
Eq. 11 is the "basis" formulation for the exponential model, where Eq. 5 is repeated for clarity.
k = α exp[ βφ ] ("Exponential Model")................................................................................................................... (5)
Our contention is that the slope term (β) is constant, but the intercept term varies from an original value to a
maximum value. For convenience, we write this modified exponential form as:
k = c(φ , F , S wih ,Vsh , etc.) exp[ βφ ] ........................................................................................................................... (9)
A "cmin to cmax" formulation could be developed using the "error function" (erf[x]), and would be written as:
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmin + (cmax − cmin ) erf [c1φ c2 z c3 ] ........................................................................................ (10)
However, the erf[x] term would be potentially difficult to resolve as the c-function may not be particularly similar to
erf[x]. We have found that the following "exponential" form for the c-function is well-behaved and generally
provides accurate estimates:
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] ............................................................................................................. (11)
In addition to the (somewhat) theoretical relations proposed by Eqs. 3-11, we also employ a "hybrid" relationship between
the Archie power law and exponential models (Eqs. 1 and 2, respectively). We have labeled this the Weighted Power Law-
Exponential Models, which are defined as:
k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]
(linear logarithmic weights model)....... (12)
x = exp[− ln( x0 ) + x1 ln(φ ) + x2 ln( z ) + x3 ln(φ ) ln( z )]

k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]


⎡− ln( x ) + x ln(φ ) + x ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) 2 ⎤ (quadratic logarithmic weights model). (13)
0 1 2 3 4
x = exp ⎢ ⎥
⎢+ x ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) 2 ⎥
⎣ 5 6 7 8 ⎦

Characteristic Behavior
Our next effort considers the "characteristic behavior" of the so-called characteristic permeability relations (CPRs). Our goal
is to establish the characteristic or dominant behavior of each relation — but not the behavior of the individual "c or x-
functions," these function will be illustrated in the "Validation" section.
4 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

We utilize field examples to illustrate the behavior of the characteristic permeability relations (CPRs) (i.e., Eqs. 3, 4, and 11-
13) — and we attempt to "connect" each relation to an aspect of theory or accepted empirical behavior. Our "historical"
characteristic permeability relations were formulated using the work others as follows:
● Archie [1950] Logarithm of permeability as a function of porosity (exponential model) and permeability as a
function of the Archie Formation Factor, which leads directly to a power law relationship of
permeability with porosity (i.e., Eq. 1). According to the data presented by Archie, the power law
relationship of permeability with porosity is primarily valid for unconsolidated/weakly consolidated
rocks.
● Morrow et al [1969] Correlation of permeability with porosity and grain size for unconsolidated sediments using
statistical representations of the grain size distribution.
● Berg [1970] Correlation of permeability with porosity and grain size using theoretical (systematic) packings of
perfect spheres.
● Beard and Weyl [1973] Correlation of permeability with porosity and grain size for unconsolidated sediments using sieved
sand samples to represent the influence of both grain size and sorting.
● Pape et al [1999] Correlation of permeability with porosity using a "multiple power law" model based on fractal
theory.
These contributions lead us to the definition of characteristic power-law permeability-porosity relations based on
modifications of the Archie "Clean Sand" model (Eq. 1). In particular, relations CPR-A (Eq. 3) and CPR-B (Eq. 4) are direct
modifications the Archie "Clean Sand" model. As a coincidence, Bryant [1993a, 1993b, 1993c] and Finney [1970] also
proposed the CPR-A formulation (Eq. 3), so we will also refer to the CPR-A model as the "Bryant-Finney" model. We note
that Eq. 1 and Eq. 3 are both "clean sand" models, implying that the Archie (clean sand) power-law trend will lie to the left of
the data body (see Fig. 1). Also the "cmax" trend is constructed by substitution of a constant value of "cmax" into Eq. 3 until
trend lies along the rightmost portion of the data (see Fig. 1).
Generally speaking, we strongly recommend against using statistical methods for locating the base trends for all CPR models
— these trends should be constructed (carefully) by the analyst. Regression can and should be used to estimate the model
parameters (e.g., the ci and xi coefficients), but never to locate the base trends (i.e., the power-law or exponential trends).
Our rationale behind the CPR-A/Bryant-Finney model is that the Archie "clean sand" trend represents the highest
permeability value for a given value of porosity, hence the position of this line to the left of the data body. By induction, any
point not lying on the "clean sand" trend must be affected by some factor(s) which mitigate permeability — for example:
shaliness, poor sorting, diagenesis, etc.
In contrast, we define CPR-B (Eq. 4) as the Archie "dirty sand" power-law model and CPR-C (Eq. 11) as the Archie "dirty
sand" exponential model. CPR-B implies that the "dirty sand" trend on a log-log plot of permeability versus porosity will lie
along the far rightmost trend of data (see Fig. 2). Similarly, CPR-C implies that the "dirty sand" trend on a plot of logarithm
of permeability versus porosity will also lie along the far rightmost trend of data (see Fig. 3). Archie [1950] showed some of
the first correlations of log(k) versus φ, and although Archie provided an average trend through the data, we can infer that
(perhaps) the exponential trend (k=α exp[βφ]) could represent the lowest (i.e., far rightmost) correlation of permeability and
porosity on the semilog plot. The "dirty sand" trend illustrated in Fig. 3 is plausible in all of the cases we consider.
Our final approach, the Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model is a simple weighting of the historical power-law and
exponential trends, the generic form of this "weighted" model is given as:
k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] ..................................................................................................................... (14)
Our approach has been to define the power-law relation (aφb) as the Archie "clean sand" trend (the same as using CPR-A (Eq.
3) on the leftmost portion of the data on a log(k) versus log(φ) plot); and to define the exponential relation (αexp[βφ]) as the
Archie "dirty sand" trend (the same as in CPR-C (Eq. 11) on the rightmost portion of the data on a log(k) versus φ plot).
Once the trends are defined, and the parameters (a,b,α,β) are known, we then solve Eq. 14 for the weights (x-values). This
process gives us a basis for establishing the weights (somewhat) directly from the data. Obviously, the weights (x-values)
then must be correlated with independent variables (e.g., φ, Sw, F, Vsh, etc.). Solving Eq. 14 for the weights (i.e., the x-
values), we have:
(k − α exp[ βφ ])
x= ................................................................................................................................................... (15)
(aφ b − α exp[ βφ ])
Our procedure is to estimate the x-function using data, and then to attempt a correlation of x = f(φ, Sw, F, Vsh, etc.). As such,
our best effort to correlate the x-values has led to the following logarithmic polynomial forms:
1. CPR-DxL: (Linear logarithmic weights model)
x = exp[− ln( x0 ) + x1 ln(φ ) + x2 ln( z ) + x3 ln(φ ) ln( z )] ............................................................................................... (16)
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 5

2. CPR-DxL: (Quadratic logarithmic weights model)


⎡− ln( x ) + x ln(φ ) + x ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) 2 ⎤
0 1 2 3 4
x = exp ⎢ ⎥ .............................................................. (17)
⎢+ x ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) 2 ⎥
⎣ 5 6 7 8 ⎦
As noted earlier, the z-variable in this work represents Sw or F, as prescribed by available data. The z-variable could also be
Vsh, well log responses, etc. As comment, there are certainly other forms that could be used to represent the x-variable, but
for the purposes of this work, we are quite satisfied with the performance of the logarithmic polynomial forms (Eqs. 16 and
17) as correlating functions.
Our rationale in creating the Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model was to "capture" the most significant features of the
power-law (Archie "clean sand") and the exponential (Archie "dirty sand") models. We recognize that such a "hybrid" model
may not have a strong theoretical basis, but our intention is to provide this model as a mechanism to correlate permeability.
A graphical presentation of the Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model is illustrated in Fig. 4. We note that the power-law
and exponential relations form an "envelope" around the permeability-porosity data (the log-log format is shown in Fig. 4a
and the semilog format is shown in Fig. 4b). The construction of the envelope is by design as we wish to capture all of the
data (or at least, all of the relevant data). The weighting function (x) is then used to correlate the "interior" behavior of the
data envelope. Because of the Cartesian scaling of the porosity axis in Fig. 4b, this figure provides perhaps the best
resolution of the power-law and exponential "boundaries" of the data envelope, as well as the selected values of the x-
function, which illustrate the interior correlation.

Validation
In this section we present an example validation — in particular, the "Lower Wilcox" Well, located in South Texas (USA),
where this is a tight gas reservoir system comprised of shaly (clastic) sediments (Ellis [1989]). The characteristic plots for
this case were shown in Figs. 1-4, where "characteristic" implies that we attempted to validate the "power-law" and/or
"exponential" nature of the data relative to the characteristic permeability relations (CPRs) A-D.
As in every validation case, we apply CPRs A-D (and the Archie "Clean Sand" Model) to the field data, in this case the field
data were obtained from the "Lower Wilcox" Well. CPRs A-D are given by: (Not that z = F for this case (i.e., the "Lower
Wilcox" Well)
Archie "Clean Sand" Model: [log(k) vs. log(φ)]
k = aφ b ...................................................................................................................................................................... (1)
CPR-A — Modified Archie "Clean Sand" Model: [log(k) vs. log(φ)]
k = a (φ − c)b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] ................................................................................................................ (3)
CPR-B — Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: [log(k) vs. log(φ)]
k = a (φ + c )b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] ................................................................................................................ (4)
CPR-C — Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: [log(k) vs. φ]
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] ............................................................................................................. (11)
CPR-DxL — Linear Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model: [log(k) vs. log(φ) and log(k) vs. φ]
k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] x = exp[− ln( x0 ) + x1 ln(φ ) + x2 ln( z ) + x3 ln(φ ) ln( z )] ..................... (12)
CPR-DxQ — Quadratic Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model: [log(k) vs. log(φ) and log(k) vs. φ]
k = xaφ b + (1 − x )α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]
⎡− ln( x ) + x ln(φ ) + x ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) 2 ⎤ ........................................................ (13)
0 1 2 3 4
x = exp ⎢ ⎥
⎢+ x ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) + x ln(φ ) ln( z ) 2 + x ln(φ ) 2 ln( z ) 2 ⎥
⎣ 5 6 7 8 ⎦
For completeness, we also use a modification of the "Timur" model (Timur [1968]) — where this model is optimized to a
particular dataset using non-linear regression methods. For this case (i.e., where we have F, but not Sw), the "Modified Timur
Model" is defined as:
kTimur = a φ b F c ("Modified Timur Model") .......................................................................................................... (18)
6 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

In this work we also utilize the so-called "Alternating Conditional Expectations" (or ACE) algorithm (Xue et al [1997]) —
this is a non-parametric regression method referred to in this work as the "GRACE" solution.
In Fig. 5 we observe very good behavior of the CPR-A model for this case — we clearly note the power-law straight-line
trend in Fig. 5a (log-log format), as well as the clarity and uniqueness of the fit in Fig. 5b (semilog format). In Fig. 6 we
provide the "error" plots for this case, where measured and computed data are compared systematically. Of particular value
is Fig. 6b (GRACE comparison), a very good correlation.
We now consider the case of CPR-B — the Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model (power-law base). In this case the c-
function is added to the power law-relation, and the rightmost data become the basis for the power-law straight-line, and the
leftmost data are used to define cmax. The results for this case are presented in Figs. 7 and 8. In Fig. 7a (log-log format) we
note a very good "envelope" is formed by the CPR-B model, essentially all of the data on the right and left flanks are well-
matched (i.e., the "dirty sand" power-law relation and its correction function, respectively). Similarly, in Fig. 7b (semilog
format), we an excellent distribution of the power-law model across the body of the data. We can also note the "constant c-
function" lines which provide orientation as to the influence of the c-function, as well as the constant "F-function" lines
which indicate the behavior of the Formation Factor relative to this correlation and data set. The error analysis for this case is
shown in Fig. 8 and all of the component plots suggest that the CPR-B model has given excellent performance with the only
significant errors/deviations in the lower permeability values.
The CPR-C model — the Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model (exponential base) is shown in Figs. 9 and 10 and, as with the
CPR-B model, we note very good performance of the base function — in this case an exponential relation. In particular, Fig.
9b illustrates the excellent conformance of the CPR-C model for this case (again recalling that this model has an exponential
relationship with porosity as its basis). In Fig. 10 we review the error analyses plots for this case, and we note good
performance (visually) in terms of the correlation of the results using model CPR-C. We do note that in this case, the overall
(statistical) error is somewhat high, but we have to remember that we are proposing "characteristic models" in this work, and
as such, this case appears (again, based on visual inspections) to have good clustering of the correlated results. Also, the c-
function in this case (see Fig. 10c) is not a correction term, but rather the instantaneous intercept for the exponential basis.
Again, we are approaching this work from the perspective that the primary value is the characteristic model, not the statistical
"best fit" correlation. We believe that the CPR-C model has performed well for this case, and the plots in Fig. 10 confirm the
value of this model as a characteristic relation.
We next applied the Weighted Power-Law-Exponential Models — Model CPR-DxL (linear weights) and Model CPR-DxQ
(quadratic weights). The base results using Models CPR-DxL and CPR-DxQ are presented in Fig. 11 — where the power-
law and exponential basis functions are simply fitted to the appropriate portion of the data. The power-law equation
represents the "Archie clean sand" trend and is fitted to the leftmost data as shown in Fig. 11a. In contrast, the exponential
equation is thought to represent the "Archie dirty sand" trend and the exponential is fitted to the far rightmost portion of the
data (see Fig. 11b).
In Figs. 12 and 13 we present the error analysis which includes the weighting functions (Eqs. 12 or 13) as appropriate. In
Fig. 12a we note a fairly good correlation of permeability, and in Fig. 12b we note that the results obtained using Model
CPR-DxL does "drift" slightly from the GRACE solution, indicating some inconsistency. The computed weight function (x)
shown for the CPR-DxL model in Fig. 12c does have more scatter than expected, but the trend is centered on the perfect
correlation line. The results obtained using Model CPR-DxQ are presented in Fig. 13, and we note substantially improved
behavior over that of Model CPR-DxL.
In Fig. 14 we present the results of the "Modified Timur Model" which is essentially just a generalized power function
relation in terms of k, φ, and F. Somewhat surprisingly, as shown in Figs. 14a and 14b, the "Modified Timur Model"
provides the best correlation of the data for this case.
In Fig. 15 we present the results predicted by the GRACE algorithm, which is a non-parametric regression approach (see Xue
et al [1997] for details). In theory, the GRACE algorithm should provide the most unbiased correlation of the data — i.e., the
GRACE algorithm is designed not "fit the errors" as other regression approaches may. It is our contention that the GRACE
algorithm is the statistical standard — and any algorithm/approach/model which achieves better regression statistics than the
GRACE algorithm is actually "fitting the errors" in the data. The only case which has significantly better regression statistics
than the GRACE algorithm is the "Modified Timur Model" — hence, we must label this case as "over-fitted" in a statistical
sense.
Our final graphic, Fig. 16, illustrates all of the models on a single plot of calculated versus measured permeability. We also
present a table of all statistical results in Table 1.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 7

Table 1 — Statistical Results for all Models (Lower Wilcox Case, n=62).
Sum of Absolute
Squared Standard Relative
Residuals Variance Deviation Error
Model [log(k)2] [log(k)2] [log(k)] [percent]
CPR-A 48.89 2.08 1.44 86.39
CPR-B 48.78 2.11 1.45 90.10
CPR-C 57.32 2.20 1.48 99.03
CPR-DxL 51.74 2.36 1.54 102.77
CPR-DxQ 49.10 2.15 1.46 93.05
Modified Timur 47.83 2.11 1.45 84.41
GRACE Algorithm 50.47 2.17 1.47 88.14

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Work


Summary: We have successfully developed, demonstrated, and validated our concept of a characteristic permeability relation
(CPR) for several different models where k = f(φ, Sw or F). Our goal was not to achieve a "universal" CPR, but to identify the
strengths of each of our proposed relations. Perhaps the most important contribution of this work is the systematic evaluation
of each CPR — in particular, the illustration of the dominant (or characteristic) behavior of each CPR.
Conclusions: We present the following conclusions for our characteristic permeability relations (CPRs) (i.e., permeability
models):
● Archie "Clean Sand" Model:
k = aφ b ......................................................................................................................................................................... (1)
■ Base Plot: log(k) versus log(φ).
■ This is the basis relation for all "power-law" CPRs.
■ This CPR is uniquely suited to highly-sorted unconsolidated sediments.
● CPR-A — Modified Archie "Clean Sand" Model: (Bryant-Finney Model)
k = a (φ − c)b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] .................................................................................................................... (3)
■ Base Plot: log(k) versus log(φ).
■ This CPR represents negative deviation from the Archie "Clean Sand" power-law model — i.e., the
permeability profile is less than the Archie "Clean Sand" CPR.
■ The straight-line power law trend (c=0) must be placed just to the left of the data.
■ This CPR has the potential for negative values in the power-law argument — therefore, cmax must be chosen
carefully.
● CPR-B — Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: (Power-Law Basis)
k = a (φ + c )b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] .................................................................................................................... (4)
■ Base Plot: log(k) versus log(φ).
■ This CPR represents positive deviation from a straight-line power law trend (i.e., c=0), placed just beyond the
far rightmost portion of the data trend.
■ The straight-line power-law trend (c=0) must be placed just to the right of the data.
■ For our data sets, this CPR was the most "universal" in terms of the proposed "simple" power-law or ex-
ponential relations (CPR-DxL and CPR-DxQ were often quite comparable to this relation).
● CPR-C — Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: (Exponential Basis)
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] ................................................................................................................. (11)
■ Base Plot: log(k) versus φ.
■ This CPR is initiated with a straight-line placed on the rightmost data trend, and only the intercept (c)
changes (as prescribed by Eq. 11).
■ For our data sets, this CPR also performed very well in general.
8 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

● CPR-DxL — Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model: (Linear logarithmic weights model)


k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] x = exp[− ln( x0 ) + x1 ln(φ ) + x2 ln( z ) + x3 ln(φ ) ln( z )] ......................... (12)
■ Base Plots: log(k) versus log(φ) and log(k) versus φ.
■ This CPR performed well for most cases, the x-function model prescribed in Eq. 12 was, in a few cases,
insufficient to model the character of the x-function defined by data.
● CPR-DxQ — Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model: (Quadratic logarithmic weights model)
k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] x = exp[− ln( x0 ) + x1 ln(φ ) + x2 ln( z ) + x3 ln(φ ) ln( z )] ......................... (13)
■ Base Plots: log(k) versus log(φ) and log(k) versus φ.
■ This CPR performed well for all cases, often providing the best correlation. We have some concern that the
flexible character of the x-function model prescribed in Eq. 13 may be "overfitting" the data (i.e., fitting the
errors in the data). This should not be a significant issue, but the analyst should be aware of the possibility of
this condition.
In addition to the conclusions given above — we note the following generic conclusions:
● The proposed "characteristic permeability relations" each have a unique "signature" — and (clearly) some CPRs
provide better correlation of data than others — this is a data-dependent issue. For the sake of argument, we suggest
that there is no single best or worst CPR.
● The systematic application of the CPRs as proposed and demonstrated in this work should provide the ability to
correlate a given set of permeability data with other variables (e.g., porosity, water saturation, Archie Formation
Factor, shale fraction, individual well log responses, etc.).
As recommendations, this work should be continued as follows:
● Application/validation of the CPRs to samples from specific carbonate reservoirs.
● Application/validation of the CPRs to samples from low to ultra-low permeability reservoirs.
● Extension of the CPRs to the identification and analysis of "hydraulic flow units."
● Integration of the CPRs with relations for capillary pressure and relative permeability.
● Utilization of the CPRs for reservoir scaling (heterogeneity).

Nomenclature
a = Constant coefficient in the characteristic permeability relation
b = Constant coefficient in the characteristic permeability relation
c = Function in the characteristic permeability relation
dp = Average grain diameter, m (or appropriate consistent units)
F = Archie Formation Factor (dimensionless)
k = Formation Permeability, md (or any consistent units)
Sw = Water Saturation (fraction)
Vsh = Shale Volume (fraction)
x = Weighting Function
z = Variable (Water saturation or Archie Formation Factor)
α = Constant coefficient in the characteristic permeability relation (CPR-C, CPR-DxL, CPR-DxQ)
β = Constant coefficient in the characteristic permeability relation (CPR-C, CPR-DxL, CPR-DxQ)
φ = Porosity, fraction
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 9

References
Ahmed, U., Crary, S.F., and Coates, G.R. 1989. Permeability Estimation: The Various Sources and Their Interrelationship.
Paper SPE 19604 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-11 October.
Archie, G.E. 1942. Electrical Resistivity Log as an Aid in Determining Some Reservoir Characteristics. Trans., AIME 146:
54-62.
Archie, G.E. 1950. Introduction to Petrophysics of Reservoir Rocks. Bull. AAPG 34: 943-961.
Beard, D.C., and Weyl, P.K. 1973. Influence of Texture on Porosity and Permeability of Unconsolidated Sand. Bull., AAPG
57: 349-69.
Berg, R.R. Method for Determining Permeability from Reservoir Rock Properties. 1970. Trans., GCAGS 20: 303-317.
Bryant, S., Cade, C., and Mellor, D. 1993a. Permeability Prediction from Geologic Models. Bull., AAPG 77: 1338-1350.
Bryant, S., Cade, C., and Mellor, D. 1993b. Physically Representative Network Models of Transport in Porous Media. AIChE
39: 387-396.
Bryant, S.C., King, P.R., and Mellor, D.W. 1993c. Network Model Evaluation of Permeability and Spatial Correlation in a
Real Random Sphere Packing. Transport in Porous Media 11: 53-70.
Coates, G.R., and Denoo, S. 1981. The Producibility Answer Product. Schlumberger Technical Review 29 (2): 55-63.
Ellis, K.W. 1987. Extended Correlations of Porosity, Permeability, and Formation Resistivity Factor. MS thesis, Texas A&M
U., College Station, Texas.
Finney, J. 1970. Random Packings and the Structure of Simple Liquids: I. The Geometry of Random Close Packing.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A-Mathematical & Physical Sciences 319: 479–493.
Hazlett, W.G. 1989. Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in Porous Media. PhD dissertation, Texas A&M U., College
Station, Texas.
Jennings, J.W., and Lucia, J. 2001. Predicting Permeability from Well Logs in Carbonates with a Link to Geology for
Interwell Permeability Mapping. Paper SPE 71336 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New
Orleans, Louisiana, September 30-October 3.
Morrow, N.M, Huppler, J.D., and Simmons III, A.B. 1969. Porosity and Permeability of Unconsolidated, Upper Miocene
Sands from Grain-Size Analysis. J. Sed. Pet. 39 (1): 312-321.
Pape, H., Clauser, C., Iffland, J. 1999. Permeability Prediction Based on Fractal Pore-Space Geometry. Geophysics 64: 1447–
1460.
Pape, H., Clauser, C., Iffland, J. 2000. Variation of Permeability with Porosity in Sandstone Diagenesis Interpreted with a
Fractal Pore Space Model. Pure Applied Geophysics 157: 603–619.
Siddiqui, A.A. 2008. Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability. MS thesis, Texas A&M U., College Station, Texas.
Timur, A. An Investigation of Permeability, Porosity, and Residual Water Saturation Relationships. 1968. Trans., SPWLA
Symposium Paper I.
Travis Peak Formation Core Report — Well Howell No. 5, S.A. Holditch, (1986).
Travis Peak Formation Core Report — Well Cargill No. 15, Mobil Exploration & Production Company, (1989).
Xue, G., Datta-Gupta, A., Valko, P., and Blasingame, T.A. 1997. Optimal Transformations for Multiple Regression:
Application to Permeability Estimation from Well Logs. SPEFE 12 (2): 85-93.
10 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

Model CPR-A: Modified Archie "Clean Sand" Model:


(Bryant-Finney Model)

k = a (φ − c ) b
c = c max exp[ − c1φ c 2 F c 3 ]
a = 1 × 10 8 c1 = 0 . 03
b = 8 ( forced) c 2 = − 5 . 71
c max = 0 . 09 c 3 = − 2 . 06
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus log(φ).
2. Locate the Archie "Clean Sand" trend — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to establish the a and b
parameters.
3. Establish the cmax trend by substitution of cmax values,
the cmax trend should be just beyond the rightmost
body of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the c1, c2, and c3
parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to estimate the a and
b parameters.
2. As cmax is subtracted in this model, care must be taken
to avoid negative values in the solution.
3. For many cases, the b-parameter is on the order of 8
(suggested from the work of Morrow et al [1969] and
Beard and Weyl [1974]).

Fig. 1 — Model CPR-A: k = a (φ − c)b ( c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 F c3 ]) — Log-log correlation of permeability (k) and porosity
(φ). Archie "clean sand" trend is constructed to the left of the body of data.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 11

Model CPR-B: Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model


(Power-Law Basis)

k = a(φ + c)b
c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ]
a = 4 × 105 c1 = 0.09
b = 8 (forced) c2 = 3.49
cmax = 0.15 c3 = 2.38
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus log(φ).
2. Locate the Archie "Dirty Sand" trend — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to establish the a and b
parameters.
3. Establish the cmax trend by substitution of cmax values,
the cmax trend should be just beyond the leftmost body
of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the c1, c2, and c3
parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to estimate the a and
b parameters.
2. As cmax is added in this model, you can note the
unique "J"-shape of the cmax trend towards the left.
3. For many cases, the b-parameter is on the order of 8
(suggested from the work of Morrow et al [1969] and
Beard and Weyl [1974]). While the b-parameter
appears to be much higher than 8 for this case, we
have forced b=8 for consistency and for illustrative
purposes. A best "hand fit" of the b-parameter should
always work well.

Fig. 2 — Model CPR-B: k = a (φ + c)b ( c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ]) — Log-log correlation of permeability (k) and porosity (φ).
Archie "dirty sand" trend is constructed to the right of the body of data.
12 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

Model CPR-C: Modified Archie "Dirty Sand" Model


(Exponential Basis)
k = c exp[ βφ ]
c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ]
β = 100 c1 = 148.51
cmax = 5 × 10 −5 c2 = 3.14
c3 = 0.655
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus φ.
2. Locate the Archie "Dirty Sand" trend — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to esta-blish the β-parameter (i.e.,
the slope).
3. Establish the cmax (straight-line) trend by substitution
of cmax values, the cmax trend should be just beyond the
leftmost body of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the c1, c2, and c3
parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to esti-mate the β-
parameter.
2. As cmax simply represents a "shift" of the straight-line
(exponential) trend to the left-most portion of the data.
3. An alternate formulation of this problem could be
written as:
k = c exp[ βφ ]
c = cmin + (cmax − cmin ) erf [c1φ c2 z c3 ]
Although we do not believe that such a form will be
necessary in practice, it does have certain attractive
features (e.g., cmin < c <cmax is explicitly stated).

Fig. 3 — Model CPR-C: k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] — Semilog correlation plot of permeability (k) and
porosity (φ). Archie "dirty sand" trend is constructed to the right of the body of data.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 13

b. "Dirty Sand" Plot — Archie "Dirty Sand" trend is given by


a. "Clean Sand" Plot — Archie "Clean Sand" trend is given the straight-line trend at the far right of the data
by the straight-line trend at the far left of the data (power (exponential model).
law model).

Fig. 4 — Model CPR-D: k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] — Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model used to
correlate permeability (k) and porosity (φ). Archie "clean sand" trend is constructed to the left of the body of data
(power law model). Archie "dirty sand" trend is constructed to the right of the body of data (exponential model).
14 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

a. "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log Format) — Archie "Clean b. "Dirty Sand" Plot (Semilog Format) — Archie "Clean
Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far left Sand" trend is given by the curved trend at the far left of
of the data (power law model). the data (power law model). Note the near-parallel
behavior of the constant c-function trends on this plot
(Model CPR-A).

Fig. 5 — Model CPR-A: k = a (φ − c)b ( c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 F c3 ]) — Lower Wilcox S.TX (USA) Case — Log-log and
semilog correlations of permeability (k) and porosity (φ). Archie "clean sand" trend is constructed to the left of the
body of data.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 15

a. Calculated Versus Measured Permeability — Model CPR-A: b. Model CPR-A Calculated Permeability Versus GRACE
Good clustering of data about the perfect correlation line (45- Calculated Permeability: Very good correla-tion of computed
degree line). values.

c. Calculated Versus Measured c-function values — Model CPR-A: Mostly good


clustering of data about the perfect correlation line (45-degree line) — good
correlation.
Fig. 6 — Model CPR-A — Error Analysis: Comparison of computed and measured values shows generally good to very good
correlation. Suggests that Model CPR-A is a good basis model for this particular case.
16 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

a. "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand" b. "Dirty Sand" Plot (Semilog Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand"
trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far right of the trend is given by the curved trend at the far right of the data
data (power law model). (power law model). Note the near-parallel behavior of the
constant c-function trends on this plot (Model CPR-B).

Fig. 7 — Model CPR-B: k = a (φ + c)b c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] — Lower Wilcox S.TX (USA) Case — Log-log and semilog
correlations of permeability (k) and porosity (φ). Archie "dirty sand" trend (power law basis model) is constructed to
the right of the body of data.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 17

a. Calculated Versus Measured Permeability — Model CPR-B: b. Model CPR-B Calculated Permeability Versus GRACE
Good clustering of data about the perfect correlation line (45- Calculated Permeability: Excellent correla-tion of computed
degree line). values.

c. Calculated Versus Measured c-function values — Model CPR-B: Mostly good


clustering of data about the perfect correlation line (45-degree line) — a few
outlying points.
Fig. 8 — Model CPR-B — Error Analysis: Comparison of computed and measured values shows generally very good to
excellent correlation (somewhat better than model CPR-A). Suggests that Model CPR-B is a very good basis model
for this particular case.
18 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

a. "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand" b. "Dirty Sand" Plot (Semilog Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand"
trend is given by the curved trend at the far right of the data trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far right of the
(exponential model). data (exponential model). Excellent correlation using model
CPR-C, note parallel nature of the exponential straight-line
correlation.

Fig. 9 — Model CPR-C: k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 z c3 ] — Lower Wilcox S.TX (USA) Case — Log-log and semilog
correlations of permeability (k) and porosity (φ). Archie "dirty sand" trend (exponential basis model) is constructed to
the right of the body of data.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 19

a. Calculated Versus Measured Permeability — Model CPR-C: b. Model CPR-C Calculated Permeability Versus GRACE
Also has good clustering of data about the perfect correlation Calculated Permeability: Excellent to out-standing correlation
line (45-degree line). of computed values.

c. Calculated Versus Measured c-function values — Model CPR-C: c-function in


this case is the intercept on the semilog plot — not a "correction" term (this
model does not have a correction term). Excellent clustering and correlation
with the perfect correlation line (45-degree line).
Fig. 10 — Model CPR-C — Error Analysis: Exceptional performance for model CPR-C, very strong correlation across all
plots/views — simplicity of the model may account for the excellent correlation of this model with this particular data
set.
20 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

a. "Clean Sand" Plot — Archie "Clean Sand" trend is given by the b. "Dirty Sand" Plot — Archie "Dirty Sand" trend is given by the
straight-line trend at the far left of the data (power law model). straight-line trend at the far right of the data (exponential
Very good correlation of the power law model (left side of model). Excellent correlation of the exponential model (right
data). side of data).

Fig. 11 — Model CPR-D: k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1] — Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model used to
correlate permeability (k) and porosity (φ). Archie "clean sand" trend is constructed to the left of the body of data
(power law model). Archie "dirty sand" trend is constructed to the right of the body of data (exponential model).
Although an empirical weighting scheme, this relation yields exceptional correlation of permeability and porosity —
the Formation Factor and porosity are used to correlate the interior points — i.e., the points lying inside the
"envelope" created by the power law and exponential models.
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 21

a. Calculated Versus Measured Permeability — Model CPR-DxL: b. Model CPR-DxL Calculated Permeability Versus GRACE
Good data clustering about the perfect correlation line (45- Calculated Permeability: Good correlation of computed values,
degree line) (minor outliers). weaker at lowest values of perme-ability.

c. Calculated Versus Measured x-function values — Model CPR-DxL: The x-


function in this case is the "weights function" that "balances" the power law
and exponential basis models. Fair to good clustering and correlation with the
perfect correlation line (45-degree line).
Fig. 12 — Model CPR-DxL — Error Analysis: This model (CPR-DxL) has the more simple weighting formula, and as such the
interior correlation may be less accurate than the more complex weighting formula (CPR-DxL). Statistically, the CPR-
DxL model is the weakest of those applied for this case, but the results are still quite acceptable.
22 A.A. Siddiqui, D. Ilk, and T.A. Blasingame SPE 118026

a. Calculated Versus Measured Permeability — Model b. Model CPR-DxQ Calculated Permeability Versus
CPR-DxQ: Very good clustering of data about the GRACE Calculated Permeability: Excellent correla-
perfect correlation line (45-degree line). tion of computed values, as with model CPR-DxL the
worst performance is at the lowest values of per-
meability.

c. Calculated Versus Measured x-function values — Model CPR-DxQ: The x-


function in this case is the "weights func-tion" that "balances" the power law
and exponential basis models. Good clustering and correlation with the perfect
correlation line (45-degree line) — somewhat better than the CPR-DxL model.
Fig. 13 — Model CPR-DxQ — Error Analysis: This model (CPR-DxQ) has the more complex weighting formula and statistically,
the CPR-DxQ model is one of the strongest of the models applied for this case — the results are comparable to the
best performers (i.e., the Modified Timur Model, Model CPR-B, and Model CPR-A).
SPE 118026 Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability 23

Fig. 14a — Calculated Versus Measured Perme- Fig. 14b — "Modified Timur Model" Calculated
ability — "Modified Timur Model:" Good Permeability Versus GRACE Calcu-
data clustering about the per-fect lated Permeability: Outstanding cor-
correlation line (45-degree line). relation of computed values.

Fig. 15 — Calculated Versus Measured Perme- Fig. 16 — Calculated Versus Measured Perme-
ability — GRACE Model: Very tight ability — All Models — excellent
clustering of data about the perfect correlations for all models, Model CPR-
correlation line (45-degree line). C appears to have the broadest spread
(statistical best case scenario) of errors .
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability

A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University


D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 1/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Presentation Outline

(Presentation Outline) ●
●Rationale For This Work
●Archie-Type Permeability Models
●Concept Models for Permeability
[Characteristic Permeability Relations (CPRs)]
●Guidelines for the Application of the CPRs
●Validation of the CPRs
●Closure:
■ Conclusions
■ Recommendations

Slide — 2/40
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Rationale For This Work

A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University


D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 3/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Rationale For This Work:
●Our rationale in considering k = f(φ,z) is two-fold:

(Rationale) ●○○
■Such a formulation is a fundamental extension of
the k = f(φ) correlation work by Archie (and others).
■Many correlations of k, φ, and other variables can
yield inconsistent results (for low permeability
rocks).

Slide — 4/40
a. Calculated versus Measured Permeability — Model b. Calculated versus Measured Permeability —
CPR-DxQ (Paluxy, TX). Model CPR-A (Devonian Limestone, TX).
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Rationale For This Work:
●We believe that for ultra-low permeability samples

(Rationale) ●●○
(k<<0.001 md), permeability will NOT be measured on a
routine basis — making the correlation of permeability
(based on a few measurements) a priority.

a. Calculated versus Measured Permeability — Model b. Calculated versus Measured Permeability —

Slide — 5/40
CPR-B (Argentina well). Model CPR-DxQ (East Tx well).

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Rationale For This Work:
●Our goal is NOT to provide a "universal" relation or

(Rationale) ●●●
concept, but rather, to provide "characteristic
relations" that can accurately represent a correlation
of permeability with other variables.

a. Calculated versus Measured Permeability — All b. Calculated versus Measured Permeability — All

Slide — 6/40
Models (Cargill Well, TX). Models (East Tx well).

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Archie-Type Permeability Models

A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University


D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 7/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Archie-Type k-Models: k = c exp[ βφ ]

(Archie-Type k-models) ●○○○○


Archie "Map" of Inter-relations of
k = c exp[ βφ ]
[From: Archie, G.E.: "Introduction to Petrophysics of Reservoir

Petrophysical Properties (1950!)


Rocks," Bull., AAPG (1950) 34, 943-961.]

a. Systematic "mapping" of the inter-relation of petro- b. Crossplot of permeability to porosity (average


physical properties. Note that Archie observed that trends) — used to imply that porosity and per-
permeability was "connected" to saturation, poro- meability have some type of functional relation-
sity, and electrical properties — but the relationship ship. Obviously, this remains a topic of consi-

Slide — 8/40
was vague, as it remains today. derable discussion.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Archie-Type k-Models: k = aφ b

(Archie-Type k-models) ●●○○○


[From: Archie, G.E.: "Introduction to Petrophysics of Reservoir
Rocks," Bull., AAPG (1950) 34, 943-961.]
a. Crossplot of formation (resistivity) factor versus
porosity (straight line = power law form).

Porosity Model: Permeability Model:


Ro a1 Ro a2
F= = F= =
Rw φ b1 Rw k b2
Equating the models and solving for k:
1/b2
⎡ a2 b1 ⎤
k =⎢ φ ⎥ = aφ b
⎣ a1 ⎦
This exercise suggests that permeability and porosity b. Crossplot of formation (resistivity) factor versus
are related by a power law relation — we believe that

Slide — 9/40
permeability (straight line = power law form).
this is only true for uniform pore systems.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Archie-Type k-Models: Berg Model

(Archie-Type k-models) ●●●○○


k/d 2p = aφ b

[From: Berg, R.R.: "Method for Determining Permeability from Reservoir Rock
Properties," GCAGS Trans. (1970) Vol. 20, 303-317.]
a. (Berg) Systematic arrangements of uniform
spheres, modified from Graton and Fraser.

Slide — 10/40
b. (Berg) Diameters of largest rectilinear pores c. Log-log plot of k/d2 versus φ — original Berg
through unit cells (packings of uniform spheres). trend (slope ≈ 5.1) ignores rhombohedral point.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Archie-Type k-Models: Beard-Weyl/Morrow et al

(Archie-Type k-models) ●●●●○


Beard and Weyl Data:
k/d 2p = aφ b

Permeability of Unconsoli-dated, Upper Miocene Sands From Grain-Size


[From: Beard, D.C. and Weyl, P.K.: "Influence of Texture on Porosity and Per-
meability of Unconsolidated Sand," Bull., AAPG (1973) 57, 349-369.
Morrow, N.M, Huppler, J.D., and Simmons III, A.B: "Porosity and

Analysis," J. Sed. Pet. (1969) Vol. 39, No. 1, 312-321.]


Morrow Data: (selected)

Slide — 11/40
a. Data from Beard and Weyl, and Morrow et al. b. Log-log plot of k/d2 versus φ — revised Berg
These are unconsolidated sand samples. trend (slope ≈ 8) includes rhombohedral point.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Archie-Type k-Models: Pape Extension

(Archie-Type k-models) ●●●●●


k = a1φ + a2φ 2 + a3φ 10
Structuresin Sedimentary and Igneous Rocks and Their Investigation
[From: Pape, H., Riepe, L., Schopper, J.R.: "Theory of Self-similar Network

[From: Pape, H., Clauser, C., Iffland, J.: "Permeability Prediction Based on
with Microscopical and Physical Methods," Journal of Microscopy

Fractal Pore-Space Geometry," Geophysics (1999) Vol. 64,


(September-October 1999), 1447–1460.]
(1987), 148, Pt.2, 121-147.]

a. Schematic drawing of a sedimentary rock according b. Pape concept model — based on a fractal pore
to the pigeon-hole model [rsite = radius of sites (i.e., distribution. Some concern regarding the additive
the major interstices or pores); reff = effective radius structure of the model.

Slide — 12/40
of hydraulic capillaries]. The presumed hydraulic
path is also shown relative to the pore structure.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Concept Models for Permeability

A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University


D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 13/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Concept Models: Archie "Clean Sand" Model
k = aφ b

(Concept Models) ●○○○○○○


Archie "Clean Sand" Model: 1
a1 a2 ⎡ a2 ⎤ b2
F= F= or k = ⎢ ⎥ or k = aφ b
[From: Wong, P.-z., Koplik, J., and Tomanic, J.P.: "Conductivity and

b2
φ b1 k ⎣F⎦
Permeability of Rocks," Phys. Rev. B 30, 6606 (1984).]

"Average
Trend"

a. Formation factor versus porosity correlation (log-log b. Permeability versus formation factor correlation
plot) — fused glass beads. Note average trend cor- (log-log plot) — fused glass beads. Very strong
roborates Archie of a power-law trend for relating power-law correlation of permeability as a function

Slide — 14/40
formation factor as a function of porosity. of formation factor — note dependence on the size
of fused glass bead (analog for grain size).

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Concept Models: Archie "Dirty Sand" Model

(Concept Models) ●●○○○○○


Archie "Dirty Sand" Model k = c exp[ βφ ]

[From: Avila, J.C.: A Petrophysics and Reservoir Performance-Based Reservoir


Characterization of Womack Hill (Upper Smackover) Field (Alabama),
Montana and Wyoming," AAPG Bulletin, v. 90, No. 11 (November 2006),
[From: Katz, D.A., Eberli, G.P., Swart, P.K., and Smith Jr., L.B.: "Katz Tectonic-
hydrothermal brecciation associated with calcite precipitation and
permeability destruction in Mississippian carbonate reservoirs,

M.S. Thesis, Texas A&M University (August 2002).]


1803–1841.]

a. Logarithm of permeability versus porosity and crossplot b. Example analysis using the log(k) versus φ

Slide — 15/40
with scanning electron photomicrographs, Madison transform, note that both φ and log(k) yield
Formation (Wyoming and Montana). normal distributions.

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Concept Models: k-Swi Behavior
= αˆ exp[ − βˆS wi ]

(Concept Models) ●●●○○○○


k-Swi Model (Bruce and Welge): k

[From: Guthrie, R.K., and Greenberger, M.K.: "The Use of Multiple Correlation
Analyses for Interpreting Petroleum-Engineering Data," Drilling and
[From: Calhoun, J.C.: Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering,

Production Practice, API (1955), 130-137.]


University of Oklahoma Press (1960).]

b. Generalized (linear) relations for permeability,


water saturation, and porosity. Using the most

Slide — 16/40
a. Bruce and Welge correlation modified by Calhoun simple expression, and ignoring porosity, yields
(average trend constructed as exponential decay). the Bruce and Welge model.
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-A: Modified "Clean Sand" Model

(Concept Models) ●●●●○○○


(Original) Archie "Clean Sand" Model:
b
k = aφ
(Modified) Archie "Clean Sand" Model: (c=0 trend is on LEFT)

k = a (φ − c) b [c = f (φ , z )]
Correction Term: [Note: z=Sw or F (ALL cases in this work)]

c2 c3
c = cmax exp[ −c1φ z ] (0 ≤ c ≤ cmax )
● Comment: CPR-A — Modified "Clean Sand" Model
■ This result is also known as the "Bryant-Finney" model.
■ Care must be taken that (φ-c) > 0 (i.e., c must be safe-guarded).

Slide — 17/40
■ Correction term is based on intuition and cases used in this work.
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-B: Modified "Dirty Sand" Model (Power-Law)

(Concept Models) ●●●●●○○


(Original) Archie "Dirty Sand" Model:

k = c exp[ βφ ] [c = constant]
(Modified) Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: (c=0 trend is on RIGHT)

k = a (φ + c) b [c = f (φ , z )]
Correction Term: [Note: z=Sw or F (ALL cases in this work)]

c2 c3
c = cmax exp[ −c1φ z ] (0 ≤ c ≤ cmax )
● Comment: CPR-B — Modified "Dirty Sand" Model (Power-Law)
■ c-function causes this model to have a J-shape on left.
■ This is probably the most "flexible" of the basic models (A, B, and C).

Slide — 18/40
■ Correction term is based on intuition and cases used in this work.
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-C: Modified "Dirty Sand" Model (Exponential)

(Concept Models) ●●●●●●○


(Original) Archie "Dirty Sand" Model:

k = c exp[ βφ ] [c = constant]
(Modified) Archie "Dirty Sand" Model: (c=cmax trend is on LEFT)

k = c exp[ βφ ] [c = f (φ , z )]
Correction Term: [Note: z=Sw or F (ALL cases in this work)]

c2 c3
c = cmax exp[−c1φ z ] (0 ≤ c ≤ cmax )
● Comment: CPR-C — Modified "Dirty Sand" Model (Exponential)
■ This is the most intuitive of the models presented.
■ Correction term is based on intuition and cases used in this work —

Slide — 19/40
however; the c-function is technically on the range cmin < c < cmax.
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-D: Weighted Power-Law-Exponential Model

(Concept Models) ●●●●●●●


Weighted Power-Law-Exponential Model: (Completely Empirical!)
k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]
Linear Weighting: (DxL)
x = exp[− ln(c0 ) + c1 ln(φ ) + c2 ln( z ) + c3 ln(φ ) ln( z )]
Quadratic Weighting: (DxQ)
⎡− ln(c0 ) + c1 ln(φ ) + c2 ln( z ) + c3 ln(φ ) ln( z )⎤
⎢ 2 2 2 ⎥
x = exp ⎢+ c4 ln(φ ) + c5 ln( z ) + c6 ln(φ ) ln( z ) ⎥
⎢ 2 2 2 ⎥
⎢⎣+ c7 ln(φ ) ln( z ) + c8 ln(φ ) ln( z ) ⎥⎦
● Comment: CPR-D — Weighted Power-Law-Exponential Model
■ This is a "hybrid" formulation that incorporates both Archie models.
■ Very consistent formulation (due to having more parameters?).

Slide — 20/40
■ This formulation is likely to be popular, but physical meaning of x's?
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Guidelines for the Application of the
Characteristic Permeability Relations
A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University
D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 21/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-A: Modified "Clean Sand" Model

(Guidelines for the CPR Models) ●○○○


c2 c3
k = a (φ − c) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ z ]
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus log(φ).
2. Locate the Archie "Clean Sand" trend
(left-hand data trend) — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to establish the a
and b parameters.
3. Establish the cmax trend by substitution
of cmax values — the cmax trend should be
just beyond the rightmost body of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the
c1, c2, and c3 parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to
estimate the a and b parameters.
2. As cmax is subtracted in this model, care
must be taken to avoid negative values
in the solution.
3. For many cases, the b-parameter is on
the order of 8 [suggested from the work
Model CPR-A: "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log of Morrow et al (1969), Berg (1973), Beard
Format) — Archie "Clean Sand" trend is given and Weyl (1973)].

Slide — 22/40
by the straight-line trend at the far left of the
data (power law model).
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-B: "Dirty Sand" Model (Power-Law Basis)

(Guidelines for the CPR Models) ●●○○


c2 c3
k = a (φ + c) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ z ]
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus log(φ).
2. Locate the Archie "Dirty Sand" trend
(right-hand data trend) — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to establish the a
and b parameters.
3. Establish the cmax trend by substitution
of cmax values — the cmax trend should be
just beyond the leftmost body of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the
c1, c2, and c3 parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to
estimate the a and b parameters.
2. As cmax is added in this model, you can
note the unique "J"-shape of the cmax
trend towards the left.
3. A b-parameter of 8 is suggested as a
starting point. A "hand fit" of the b-
Model CPR-B: "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log parameter should always work well for
Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand" trend is given this model.

Slide — 23/40
by the straight-line trend at the far right of the
data (power law model).
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-C: "Dirty Sand" Model (Exponential Basis)

(Guidelines for the CPR Models) ●●●○


c2 c3
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[ −c1φ z ]
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus φ.
2. Locate the Archie "Dirty Sand" trend
(right-hand data trend) — use graphical
(i.e., hand analysis) to establish the β-
parameter (i.e., the slope).
3. Establish the cmax (straight-line) trend by
substitution of cmax values — the cmax
trend should be just beyond the leftmost
body of data.
4. Use regression methods to estimate the
c1, c2, and c3 parameters.
Comments:
1. Do NOT use regression methods to
estimate the β-parameter.
2. cmax simply represents a "shift" of the
straight-line (exponential) trend to the
left-most portion of the data.
3. An alternate formulation for this case is:
Model CPR-C: "Clean Sand" Plot (Log-Log k = c exp[ βφ ]

Slide — 24/40
Format) — Archie "Dirty Sand" trend is given
by the curved trend at the far right of the data c = cmin + (cmax − cmin ) erf [c1φ c2 z c3 ]
(exponential model).
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
CPR-D: Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model

(Guidelines for the CPR Models) ●●●●


k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]
Steps:
1. Plot log(k) versus φ.
2. Locate the Archie "Clean Sand" (left-hand
power law data trend) and "Dirty Sand"
trend (right-hand exponential data trend)
— use graphical (i.e., hand analysis) to
establish the a, b, α, β-parameters.
3. Use the following equation to establish
the weights directly from the data:
( k − α exp[ βφ ])
x=
( aφ b − α exp[ βφ ])
4. Use regression methods to estimate the
xi parameters.
Comments:
1. Other forms can be used to represent the
x-variable — objective is to "capture" the
most significant features of the power law
(Archie "clean sand") and the exponential
Model CPR-D: "Dirty Sand" Plot — Archie (Archie "dirty sand") models.

Slide — 25/40
"Dirty Sand" trend is given by the straight-line 2. The power law and exponential relations
trend at the far right of the data (exponential
model). Excellent correlations. form an "envelope" around the k-φ data.
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Validation of the
Characteristic Permeability Relations
A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University
D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 26/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-A

(Validation CPR-A) ●○
k = a (φ − c ) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-A: "Clean Sand" Plot (log-log format) — Archie "Clean b. Model CPR-A: "Dirty Sand" Plot (semilog format). Archie "Clean

Slide — 27/40
Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far left of the Sand" trend is given by the curved trend at the far left of the data
data (power law model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103] (power law model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-A

(Validation CPR-A) ●●
k = a (φ − c ) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-A: "Calculated versus measured permeability. [Case: b. Model CPR-A: Calculated c-function values versus measured c-

Slide — 28/40
Hazlett Well 103] function values. [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-B

(Validation CPR-B) ●○
k = a (φ + c ) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-B: "Clean Sand" Plot (log-log format) — Archie "Dirty b. Model CPR-B: "Dirty Sand" Plot (semilog format) — Archie "Dirty

Slide — 29/40
Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far right of the Sand" trend is given by the curved trend at the far right of the data
data (power law model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103] (power law model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-B

(Validation CPR-B) ●●
k = a (φ + c ) b c = cmax exp[ −c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-B: "Calculated versus measured permeability. [Case: b. Model CPR-B: Calculated c-function values versus measured c-

Slide — 30/40
Hazlett Well 103] function values. [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-C

(Validation CPR-C) ●○
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-C: "Clean Sand" Plot (log-log format) — Archie b. Model CPR-C: "Dirty Sand" Plot (semilog format) — Archie

Slide — 31/40
"Dirty Sand" trend is given by the curved trend at the far right of "Dirty Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far
the data (exponential model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103] right of the data (exponential model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-C

(Validation CPR-C) ●●
k = c exp[ βφ ] c = cmax exp[−c1φ c2 F c3 ]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-C: "Calculated versus measured permeability. [Case: b. Model CPR-C: Calculated c-function values versus measured c-

Slide — 32/40
Hazlett Well 103] function values. [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-D

(Validation CPR-D) ●○○


k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-D: Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model used to b. Model CPR-D: Weighted Power Law-Exponential Model used to

Slide — 33/40
correlate permeability (k) and porosity (φ). "Clean Sand" Plot — Archie correlate permeability (k) and porosity (φ). "Dirty Sand" Plot —
"Clean Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the far left of Archie "Dirty Sand" trend is given by the straight-line trend at the
the data (power law model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103] far right of the data (exponential model). [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-D

(Validation CPR-D) ●●○


k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in
x = exp[− ln(c0 ) + c1 ln(φ )
+ c2 ln( F ) + c3 ln(φ ) ln( F )]

Station, TX (1989).]
a. Model CPR-DxL: "Calculated versus measured permeability. [Case: b. Model CPR-DxL: Calculated c-function values versus measured

Slide — 34/40
Hazlett Well 103] c-function values. [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — CPR-D

(Validation CPR-D) ●●●


k = xaφ b + (1 − x)α exp[ βφ ] [0 ≤ x ≤ 1]

Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College


[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in
⎡− ln(c0 ) + c1 ln(φ ) + c2 ln( F ) ⎤
⎢ 2 ⎥
⎢+ c3 ln(φ ) ln( F ) + c4 ln(φ ) ⎥
x = exp ⎢ ⎥
2 2
⎢+ c5 ln( F ) + c6 ln(φ ) ln( F ) ⎥
⎢ 2 2 2⎥
⎢⎣+ c7 ln(φ ) ln( F ) + c8 ln(φ ) ln( F ) ⎥⎦

Station, TX (1989).]

Slide — 35/40
a. Model CPR-DxQ: "Calculated versus measured permeability. [Case: b. Model CPR-DxQ: Calculated c-function values versus measured
Hazlett Well 103] c-function values. [Case: Hazlett Well 103]

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Validation: Hazlett Well 103 — All Models

(Validation — All Models) ●


Porous Media. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M U., College
[Data Source: Hazlett, W.G.: Correlation of Reservoir Rock Properties in

Station, TX (1989).]
a. k-calculated (CPR-A) vs. k-measured (core b. k-calculated (CPR-B) vs. k-measured c. k-calculated (CPR-C) vs. k-measured
data) ― Hazlett Well 103. This model is very (core data) ― Hazlett Well 103. (core data) ― Hazlett Well 103. This
close to GRACE. model is very close to GRACE.

Slide — 36/40
d. k-calculated (CPR-DxL) vs. k-measured e. k-calculated (CPR-DxQ) vs. k-measured f. k-calculated (GRACE) vs. k-measured
(core data) ― Hazlett Well 103. (core data) ― Hazlett Well 103. This is the (core data) ― Hazlett Well 103.
best model (statistically).

2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
Conclusions, and
Recommendations
A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University
D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 37/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Conclusions:

(Conclusions) ●
● We have successfully developed, demonstrated, and
validated our concept of a "characteristic permeability
relation" for several different models.
● Each of the "characteristic permeability relations" has a
UNIQUE SIGNATURE.
● Performance of the CPRs depends on the case — there
is no single best or worst CPR.
● Correlation of permeability data with other variables
(e.g., φ, Sw, F, Vsh, etc.) can be performed with the
systematic application of the CPRs proposed in this
work.

Slide — 38/40
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
Recommendations for Future Work:

(Recommendations and Future Work) ●


● Application/validation of the CPRs to samples from
specific carbonate reservoirs.
● Application/validation of the CPRs to samples from
low to ultra-low permeability reservoirs.
● Extension of the CPRs to the identification and
analysis of "hydraulic flow units."
● Integration of the CPRs with relations for capillary
pressure and relative permeability.
● Utilization of the CPRs for reservoir scaling
(heterogeneity).

Slide — 39/40
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)
SPE 118026
Towards a Characteristic Equation
for Permeability
End of Presentation

A.A. Siddiqui, Texas A&M University


D. Ilk, Texas A&M University
T.A. Blasingame, Texas A&M University
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3116

Slide — 40/40
+1.979.845.2292 — t-blasingame@tamu.edu
2008 SPE Eastern Regional/AAPG Eastern Section Joint Meeting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) — 11-15 October
SPE 118026 — Towards a Characteristic Equation for Permeability
D. Ilk — Texas A&M University (13 October 2008)