It is extremely desirable in the interpretation of resistivity measurements made on porous media containing saline water and hydrocarbons to have at hand a better knowledge of the geometry of the conducting salt water. One geometric characteristic is the tortuosity of the aqueous phase. A method was devised several years ago for the measurement of the tortuosity of completely brine-saturated sands by the measurement of transit time of ions migrating through the aqueous phase under a potential gradient. This method has been improved and extended to the investigation of the tortuosity of sands containing both brine and oil. Results obtained to date on a group of sandstone samples containing water and oil indicate that there is a relation between the tortuosity of the aqueous phase, the brine content of the sand, the resistivity of the brine, and the resistivity of the gross sample. These results were used to relate the saturation exponent, n, which is customarily used in the interpretation of the electric log, to the tortuosity and apparent cross-sectional area of the electrolyte through which electric current flows.

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