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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 95, No. 6 (June 2011), P. 925-940.

Copyright copy2011. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Continuum-based rock model of a reservoir dolostone with four orders of magnitude in pore sizes

Sven Roth,1 Bibhu Biswal,2 Ghazaleh Afshar,3 Rudolf J. Held,4 Pal-Eric Oren,5 Lars Inge Berge,6 Rudolf Hilfer7

1Numerical Rocks AS, 7041 Trondheim, Norway; [email protected]
2Institut fur Computerphysik, Universitat Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany; present address: S.V. College, University of Delhi, New Delhi 110 021, India
3Institut fur Computerphysik, Universitat Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany; [email protected]
4Statoil ASA, 7005 Trondheim, Norway; [email protected]
5Numerical Rocks AS, 7041 Trondheim, Norway; [email protected]
6Statoil ASA, 7005 Trondheim, Norway; [email protected]
7Institut fur Computerphysik, Universitat Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany; [email protected]


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 (lt1 mum 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 mum 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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