Abstract

Microporosity in carbonate reservoirs is globally pervasive and commonly used to explain high-porosity, low-permeability reservoirs, higher than expected water saturations, low resistivity pay zones and poor sweep efficiency. The potential for micropores to store and produce hydrocarbons has long been recognized, yet limitations on tools to evaluate microporosity has prevented rigorous evaluation. Here we demonstrate a workflow for evaluating microporosity through a combination of laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and pore network modelling. Specific values for microporosity and permeability calculated in our study should not be applied explicitly, as these are simulated values, but they demonstrate the viability of micropore networks to store and flow hydrocarbons. Carbonate reservoir assessment is critical not only in the petroleum industry, but also for applications in hydrothermal and mineral resources, carbon capture and storage, and groundwater supply. This approach can be applied to understand the potential for any reservoir to hold and transmit fluids.

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