Experimental evaluation of reservoir quality in Mesozoic formations of the Perth Basin (Western Australia) by using a laboratory low field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Antoine Dillinger, L. Esteban

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    Accurate porosity and permeability evaluation of rock formations is critical to estimate the quality and resource potential of a reservoir. In addition to directly measure the porosity and pore size distribution, low field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is able to measure the effective porosity and estimate the in-situ formation permeability, though its robustness is arguable and requires calibrations on cores with specific lithologies. The Mesozoic formations of the central Perth Basin (Western Australia) host hot sedimentary aquifers and recently became key targets for geothermal heat extraction. A collection of cores was retrieved from three wells intersecting these units. The characterisation of their flow properties complements the current evaluation of the Perth Basin by adding new data on effective porosity, pore size distribution, pore geometry and calibration of predictive models for the permeability according to a comprehensive facies classification scheme. This study highlights the consistency of the NMR approach when compared to conventional helium injection method. Most favourable lithologies for well production correspond to very coarse to fine sandstones of fluvial channel fill with porosities >15% and permeabilities >>1mD. Similarly, these facies exhibit (i) the highest effective porosities, (ii) the highest pore space to pore throat ratio, and (iii) the lowest contribution of clay bound water. These aspects confirm the importance of clay occurrence in the assessment of the flow efficiency of a formation. The Yarragadee Formation presents the best reservoir quality regarding its porosity and permeability, even though high discrepancies occur locally owing to the great variability of lithofacies encountered. The scattered values observed for the Lesueur Sandstone are likely to be due to the basin architecture and fault system which generate different mechanical compaction and secondary cementation. Given an adequate facies analysis, the NMR method represents a powerful tool to estimate the flow efficiency of a reservoir. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-469
    JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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