Simulation and Validation of Porosity and Permeability of Synthetic and Real Rock Models Using 3D-Printing and Digital Rock Physics

  • Ezdeen Raed Ahmad Ibrahim

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Digital Rock Physics (DRP) models have great potential in predicting petrophysical properties of reservoir rocks. However, applying DRP on carbonates is still challenging and controversial, due to the presence of complex pore structures at several length scales. One of the main objectives of this study is to validate the Lattice- Boltzmann Method (LBM) as an absolute-permeability estimation scheme for carbonates, which is one the most successful DRP models for sandstones. Another objective is to test the feasibility of the 3D-printing and flush-cleaning procedures. For that, we propose a workflow integrating Digital Rock Physics, 3D-printing, and machine learning to tackle this challenge. Subsets of a few millimeters were extracted from sandstone and carbonate core plugs at resolutions of a few micrometers, on which simulations were run using the Lattice-Boltzmann Method. The subsets were then 3Dprinted enlarged to a size that allows for experimental studies, and hence the validation of simulated results. Some preliminary samples having helical pore networks were also generated. The results of the preliminary helical tube samples show excellent agreement between digital and experimental porosity values, as well as between analytic, simulated (LBM), and experimental absolute permeability values. The results of subsets extracted from sandstone and carbonate samples (such as a Grosmont carbonate and a Berea sandstone), though less satisfactory, also show very good agreement between digital and experimental porosity values, with discrepancies when it comes to simulated and experimental absolute permeability values that grow with increasing permeability. Samples of a wide range of porosity and permeability were experimented with; however, this workflow is best suited for samples that neither exceed the experimental limitations (of 10,000 mD), nor are not too tight. The best results were achieved with samples having porosities in the range of 5 – 10 %.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • DRP
  • 3D-Printing
  • Carbonates
  • Tomography
  • Simulation.

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