Digital Rock Physics: Flow properties from nano-scale to whole core scale analysis

  • Amina Islam

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Digital Rock Physics (DRP) is a field that has seen significant growth in the past few decades, with the improvement of imaging equipment and computational power. Digitized 3D images of core plugs retrieved from oil and gas reservoirs undergo a workflow that consists of image segmentation – or the separation of the images into pore space and one or more solid phases – and numerical simulations to determine rock properties such as permeability, electrical conductivity and elastic properties. Due to the limitations in imaging equipment and computational capabilities, it's still impossible to determine numerically computed permeability across an entire core plug at a suitable resolution in an optimized way. Another thing that compounds the problem is the heterogeneity of core plug samples retrieved from carbonate reservoirs, characteristic of Abu Dhabi oil and gas reservoirs. In this work, we develop a protocol that includes the stepwise extraction of sub-plugs of multiple sizes from a 38 mm (1.5 inch) diameter core plug sample to allow for imaging at different scales (from nano-scale to macro-scale). We then perform numerical simulations at the pore-scale, and integrate the results into a macroscale model to determine the upscaled effective permeability for comparison with lab measurements of 0.5 inch and 1.5 inch diameter core samples. This workflow was validated using a standard carbonate sample and then applied to a more complex, heterogeneous sample from an Abu Dhabi reservoir.
Date of AwardMay 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohamed Sassi (Supervisor)


  • Digital Rock Physics
  • Oil and Gas Reservoirs
  • Numerical Simulation
  • Sub-plug Extractions
  • Core Plug Samples
  • Abu Dhabi Resevoirs.

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