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Martin Quest and Kory Holmes - Evolution of Permeability Measurements and Petrophysical Modeling in Unconventional Reservoirs

Super Basins 2019 Sugar Land, Texas

Super Basins 2019 Sugar Land, Texas

Summary

Evolution of Permeability Measurements and Petrophysical Modeling in Unconventional Reservoirs. A talk given by Martin Quest and Kory Holmes at 2019 Global Super Basins Leadership Conference in Sugar Land, Texas.
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Conventional permeability measurements on core samples have evolved to include accurate measurements in nanodarcy or lower permeability samples. In conventional quality reservoirs, measurement techniques transitioned from steady-state to unsteady state methods, however in unconventional reservoirs the majority of permeability measurements are conducted using disaggregated samples, unsteady-state techniques, closely following SPE 26633 Luffel et al, 1993 recommended methods. The methods have now expanded to include measurements on full plug samples at an appropriate reservoir net confining stress.

Permian Basin core calibrated petrophysical models have long incorporated permeability data from core measurements. These core measurements are used to upscale correlations to the wireline data by various techniques. Originally, the measured core data were used to adjust inputs into conventional log- based permeability calculations (Wyllie-Rose, Timur et al, 1986). Simple functions have been developed to relate permeability measurements to various core attributes (porosity, clay content, etc.) or log measurements. Core level data are then upscaled to construct log models. The evolution of the core- derived model for the Permian Basin has taken the correlation from a single variable, or piecewise function, to multiple variables. Using a multi-variate analysis approach allows interpolation of data to fill the gaps in measured data, especially in heterogeneous formations. Modeling based on this approach aid in development of more robust models leading to more accurate engineering calculations.

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