Mapping three-dimensional oil distribution with π-EPI MRI measurements at low magnetic field

Ming Li, Laura Romero-Zerón, Florin Marica, Bryce MacMillan, Bruce Balcom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a robust tool to image oil saturation distribution in rock cores during oil displacement processes. However, a lengthy measurement time for 3D measurements at low magnetic field can hinder monitoring the displacement. 1D and 2D MRI measurements are instead often undertaken to monitor the oil displacement since they are faster. However, 1D and 2D images may not completely reflect the oil distribution in heterogeneous rock cores. In this work, a high-speed 3D MRI technique, π Echo Planar Imaging (π-EPI), was employed at 0.2 T to monitor oil displacement. Centric scan interleaved sampling with view sharing in k-t space was employed to improve the temporal resolution of the π-EPI measurements. A D2O brine was employed to distinguish the hydrocarbon and water phases. A relatively homogenous glass bead pack and a heterogeneous Spynie core plug were employed to show different oil displacement behaviors. High quality 3D images were acquired with π-EPI MRI measurements. Fluid quantification with π-EPI compared favorably with FID, CPMG, 1D-DHK-SPRITE, 3D Fast Spin Echo (FSE) and 3D Conical SPRITE measurements. π-EPI greatly reduced the gradient duty cycle and improved sensitivity, compared to FSE and Conical SPRITE measurements, enabling dynamic monitoring of oil displacement processes. For core plug samples with sufficiently long lived T2, T2∗, π-EPI is an ideal method for rapid 3D saturation imaging. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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