Two techniques to estimate permeability are compared in this paper: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and spectral-induced polarization (SIP). Both methods are based on relaxation processes. NMR records the relaxation of hydrogen nuclei after excitation in an external magnetic field. The phenomenon of induced polarization can be characterized by a relaxation of ions after excitation by an electric field. Hydrogen nuclei are concentrated in the pore water, the current flow is restricted to the pore space for most reservoir rocks, and permeability is related to the pore space geometry. Based on the similarity between fluid movement and current flow in the pore space, different relations have been published linking parameters derived from NMRand SIP data to predict permeability.
NMR, SIP and permeability data have been acquired on 53 sandstone samples of the cretaceous Bahariya Formation (Western Desert, Egypt) including 27 samples showing a lamination that causes anisotropy. We compare the applicability of known and generalized relations for permeability prediction including isotropic and anisotropic samples. Because NMR relaxation ignores directionality of pore space geometry, the known relations provide only a weak accuracy in permeability estimation. The integrating parameters derived from a Debye decomposition of SIP data are partly sensitive to anisotropy. A generalized power-law relation using resistivity, chargeability, and mean relaxation time provide a reliable permeability prediction for isotropic and anisotropic samples.