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Magnetic-resonance imaging and simplified Kozeny-Carman-model analysis of glass-bead packs as a frame of reference to study permeability of reservoir rocks

Wang, Dayong, Han, Dongyan, Li, Wenqiang, Zheng, Zhanpeng, Song, Yongchen
Hydrogeology journal 2017 v.25 no.5 pp. 1465-1476
image analysis, magnetic resonance imaging, models, permeability, porosity, quartz, sandstone, surface area
Permeability variation in reservoir rocks results from the combined effects of various factors, and makes porosity–permeability (ϕ–k) relationships more complex, or, in some cases, non-existent. In this work, the ϕ–k relationship of macroscopically homogeneous glass-bead packs is deduced based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurement and Kozeny-Carman (K-C) model analysis; these are used as a frame of reference to study permeability of reservoir rocks. The results indicate: (1) most of the commonly used simplified K-C models (e.g. the simplified traditional (omitting specific surface area), high-order, threshold, and fractal models) are suitable for estimating permeability of glass-bead packs. The simplified traditional model does not present obvious dependence on rock samples. Whether for the glass-bead packs or clean natural sandstones, the sample coefficients almost remain invariant. Comparably, the high-order, the fractal, and the threshold models are strongly sample-specific and cannot be extrapolated from the glass-bead packs to natural sandstones; (2) the ϕ–k relationships of quartz sands and silty sandstones resemble those of the glass-bead packs, but they significantly deviate from the K-C models at low porosities due to small pore entry radius; (3) a small amount of intergranular cements (<10%v) does not affect the general variation trend of permeability with porosity but can potentially increase predictive errors of the K-C models, whereas in the case of more cements, the ϕ–k relationships of sandstones become uncertain and cannot be described by any of these K-C models.