The Interpretation of Permeability Measurements
- P.M. Dranchuk (University of Alberta) | S. Sadiq (Chemical and Geological Laboratories Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Petroleum Society of Canada
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1965
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 130 - 133
- 1965.Petroleum Society of Canada
- 5.6 Formation Evaluation & Management
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- 372 since 2007
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In 1941, Klinkenberg observed that although laboratory flow tests showedporous media to have greater permeabilities to gases than to liquids, this wasnot due to fluid solid interaction in the usual sense.
The present study shows that currently accepted test and interpretationpractices yield permeability values which are less than or equal to the truevalue. A modification is suggested which allows Klinkenberg's method to yieldunique results.
The rediscovery of Darcy's law during the early 1930's opened new vistas tothe petroleum industry. It made possible the prediction of the behaviour of oilwells, oil fields and more complicated systems. In order that this law beapplied the permeabilities of the porous media to be studied had to be known.It therefore became accepted practice to obtain samples of a porous medium,determine the permeabilities of these samples and, from these results, estimatethe permeability of the entire medium.
Initially, the determination of the permeability of a sample of a porousmedium consisted of conducting a laboratory flow test on the sample andapplying Darcy's law to the resulting data. The test itself consisted offlowing the fluid of interest through the sample at various rates and recordingthe flow rates and appropriate pressures. As the fluids of interest wereoriginally reservoir crude oils, such tests were difficult, if not impossible,to perform. It was reasoned that because permeability was a unique property ofthe porous medium, any laboratory fluid could serve as the flowing fluid fortest purposes. This was found to be true provided that the fluid did notinteract with the solid matrix. Unfortunately, it was observed that the mostreadily available liquids often did react with naturally occurring porousmedia. Furthermore, the use of liquids as test fluids necessitated therecleaning of samples subsequent to testing. As a result, it became acceptedpractice to use inert gases, such as helium or nitrogen, as test fluids.
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