Capillary trapping quantification in sandstones using NMR relaxometry

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    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Capillary trapping of a non-wetting phase arising from two-phase immiscible flow in sedimentary rocks is critical to many geoscience scenarios, including oil and gas recovery, aquifer recharge and, with increasing interest, carbon sequestration. Here we demonstrate the successful use of low field 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance [NMR] to quantify capillary trapping; specifically we use transverse relaxation time [T2] time measurements to measure both residual water [wetting phase] content and the surface-to-volume ratio distribution (which is proportional to pore size] of the void space occupied by this residual water. Critically we systematically confirm this relationship between T2 and pore size by quantifying inter-pore magnetic field gradients due to magnetic susceptibility contrast, and demonstrate that our measurements at all water saturations are unaffected. Diffusion in such field gradients can potentially severely distort the T2-pore size relationship, rendering it unusable. Measurements are performed for nitrogen injection into a range of water-saturated sandstone plugs at reservoir conditions. Consistent with a water-wet system, water was preferentially displaced from larger pores while relatively little change was observed in the water occupying smaller pore spaces. The impact of cyclic wetting/non-wetting fluid injection was explored and indicated that such a regime increased non-wetting trapping efficiency by the sequential occupation of the most available larger pores by nitrogen. Finally the replacement of nitrogen by CO2 was considered; this revealed that dissolution of paramagnetic minerals from the sandstone caused by its exposure to carbonic acid reduced the in situ bulk fluid T2 relaxation time on a timescale comparable to our core flooding experiments. The implications of this for the T2-pore size relationship are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7917-7932
    Number of pages16
    JournalWater Resources Research
    Volume53
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

    Fingerprint

    nuclear magnetic resonance
    trapping
    sandstone
    water
    wetting
    nitrogen
    fluid injection
    pore space
    magnetic susceptibility
    carbon sequestration
    void
    occupation
    sedimentary rock
    recharge
    flooding
    replacement
    dissolution
    aquifer
    saturation
    magnetic field

    Cite this

    @article{55ecd92b0c194cedaa035766641d222c,
    title = "Capillary trapping quantification in sandstones using NMR relaxometry",
    abstract = "Capillary trapping of a non-wetting phase arising from two-phase immiscible flow in sedimentary rocks is critical to many geoscience scenarios, including oil and gas recovery, aquifer recharge and, with increasing interest, carbon sequestration. Here we demonstrate the successful use of low field 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance [NMR] to quantify capillary trapping; specifically we use transverse relaxation time [T2] time measurements to measure both residual water [wetting phase] content and the surface-to-volume ratio distribution (which is proportional to pore size] of the void space occupied by this residual water. Critically we systematically confirm this relationship between T2 and pore size by quantifying inter-pore magnetic field gradients due to magnetic susceptibility contrast, and demonstrate that our measurements at all water saturations are unaffected. Diffusion in such field gradients can potentially severely distort the T2-pore size relationship, rendering it unusable. Measurements are performed for nitrogen injection into a range of water-saturated sandstone plugs at reservoir conditions. Consistent with a water-wet system, water was preferentially displaced from larger pores while relatively little change was observed in the water occupying smaller pore spaces. The impact of cyclic wetting/non-wetting fluid injection was explored and indicated that such a regime increased non-wetting trapping efficiency by the sequential occupation of the most available larger pores by nitrogen. Finally the replacement of nitrogen by CO2 was considered; this revealed that dissolution of paramagnetic minerals from the sandstone caused by its exposure to carbonic acid reduced the in situ bulk fluid T2 relaxation time on a timescale comparable to our core flooding experiments. The implications of this for the T2-pore size relationship are discussed.",
    keywords = "capillary trapping, carbon sequestration, NMR relaxation",
    author = "Connolly, {Paul R.J.} and Vogt, {Sarah J.} and Stefan Iglauer and May, {Eric F.} and Johns, {Michael L.}",
    year = "2017",
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    language = "English",
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    Capillary trapping quantification in sandstones using NMR relaxometry. / Connolly, Paul R.J.; Vogt, Sarah J.; Iglauer, Stefan; May, Eric F.; Johns, Michael L.

    In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 53, No. 9, 01.09.2017, p. 7917-7932.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Capillary trapping quantification in sandstones using NMR relaxometry

    AU - Connolly, Paul R.J.

    AU - Vogt, Sarah J.

    AU - Iglauer, Stefan

    AU - May, Eric F.

    AU - Johns, Michael L.

    PY - 2017/9/1

    Y1 - 2017/9/1

    N2 - Capillary trapping of a non-wetting phase arising from two-phase immiscible flow in sedimentary rocks is critical to many geoscience scenarios, including oil and gas recovery, aquifer recharge and, with increasing interest, carbon sequestration. Here we demonstrate the successful use of low field 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance [NMR] to quantify capillary trapping; specifically we use transverse relaxation time [T2] time measurements to measure both residual water [wetting phase] content and the surface-to-volume ratio distribution (which is proportional to pore size] of the void space occupied by this residual water. Critically we systematically confirm this relationship between T2 and pore size by quantifying inter-pore magnetic field gradients due to magnetic susceptibility contrast, and demonstrate that our measurements at all water saturations are unaffected. Diffusion in such field gradients can potentially severely distort the T2-pore size relationship, rendering it unusable. Measurements are performed for nitrogen injection into a range of water-saturated sandstone plugs at reservoir conditions. Consistent with a water-wet system, water was preferentially displaced from larger pores while relatively little change was observed in the water occupying smaller pore spaces. The impact of cyclic wetting/non-wetting fluid injection was explored and indicated that such a regime increased non-wetting trapping efficiency by the sequential occupation of the most available larger pores by nitrogen. Finally the replacement of nitrogen by CO2 was considered; this revealed that dissolution of paramagnetic minerals from the sandstone caused by its exposure to carbonic acid reduced the in situ bulk fluid T2 relaxation time on a timescale comparable to our core flooding experiments. The implications of this for the T2-pore size relationship are discussed.

    AB - Capillary trapping of a non-wetting phase arising from two-phase immiscible flow in sedimentary rocks is critical to many geoscience scenarios, including oil and gas recovery, aquifer recharge and, with increasing interest, carbon sequestration. Here we demonstrate the successful use of low field 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance [NMR] to quantify capillary trapping; specifically we use transverse relaxation time [T2] time measurements to measure both residual water [wetting phase] content and the surface-to-volume ratio distribution (which is proportional to pore size] of the void space occupied by this residual water. Critically we systematically confirm this relationship between T2 and pore size by quantifying inter-pore magnetic field gradients due to magnetic susceptibility contrast, and demonstrate that our measurements at all water saturations are unaffected. Diffusion in such field gradients can potentially severely distort the T2-pore size relationship, rendering it unusable. Measurements are performed for nitrogen injection into a range of water-saturated sandstone plugs at reservoir conditions. Consistent with a water-wet system, water was preferentially displaced from larger pores while relatively little change was observed in the water occupying smaller pore spaces. The impact of cyclic wetting/non-wetting fluid injection was explored and indicated that such a regime increased non-wetting trapping efficiency by the sequential occupation of the most available larger pores by nitrogen. Finally the replacement of nitrogen by CO2 was considered; this revealed that dissolution of paramagnetic minerals from the sandstone caused by its exposure to carbonic acid reduced the in situ bulk fluid T2 relaxation time on a timescale comparable to our core flooding experiments. The implications of this for the T2-pore size relationship are discussed.

    KW - capillary trapping

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    KW - NMR relaxation

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    U2 - 10.1002/2017WR020829

    DO - 10.1002/2017WR020829

    M3 - Article

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    JF - Water Resources Research

    SN - 0043-1397

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