Abstract

A continuum-based pore-scale representation of a dolomite reservoir rock is presented, containing several orders of magnitude in pore sizes within a single rock model. The macroscale rock fabric from a low-resolution x-ray microtomogram was combined with microscale information gathered from high-resolution two-dimensional electron microscope images. The low-resolution x-ray microtomogram was segmented into six separate rock phases in terms of mineralogy, matrix appearances, and open- versus crystal-filled molds. These large-scale rock phases were decorated (modeled) with geometric objects, such as different dolomite crystal types and anhydrite, according to the high-resolution information gathered from the electron microscope images. This procedure resulted in an approximate three-dimensional representation of the diagenetically transformed rock sample with respect to dolomite crystal sizes, porosity, appearance, and volume of different matrix phases and pore/matrix/cement ratio.

The resulting rock model contains a pore-size distribution ranging from moldic macropores (several hundred micrometers in diameter) down to mudstone micropores (<1 μm in diameter). This allows us to study the effect and contribution of different pore classes to the petrophysical properties of the rock. Higher resolution x-ray tomographs of the same rock were used as control volumes for the pore-size distribution of the model. The pore-size analysis and percolation tests performed in three dimensions at various discretization resolutions indicate pore-throat radii of 1.5 to 6 μm for the largest interconnected pore network. This also highlights the challenge to determine appropriate resolutions for x-ray imaging when the exact rock microstructure is not known.

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