ABSTRACT

Unlike many other clastic rocks, relating velocity and permeability to porosity for micrite-bearing carbonate rocks has been largely unsuccessful. Recent studies have shown that additional parameters, most notably the distribution and/or proportion of micrite, can be used to parameterize the velocity and permeability behavior. However, there is currently no scale-consistent, 3D methodology for differentiating macroporosity and microporosity from the total porosity measured on bench-top laboratory equipment. Previous studies estimated microporosity and micrite content by combining total porosity measurements conducted on whole 50 mm cores with measurements of phase volumes on 1 mm digital rocks (i.e., scale-inconsistent). As a step forward from those, we imaged dual-porosity carbonate rocks using X-ray microcomputed tomography and then leveraged a recently developed, optimization-based technique, called data-constrained modeling, to map the macroporosity and microporosity distribution of our samples. We evaluate the volumetric proportions of macropores, micropores, and coarse-grained calcite as a function of micrite content — with their respective uncertainties — all measured on the same digital rock and with the same method. Finally, we determine how measurements of the volumetric phase proportions could be extended using standard effective medium models to predict reservoir physical properties. The sensitivity of these models to the proportion of micrite and microporosity within the micrite is evidence that the nonuniqueness among permeability, velocity, and porosity that is commonly observed of micrite-bearing carbonate rocks can be explained by a variation of micrite content and microporosity at a similar porosity.

You do not currently have access to this article.