Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of rock core samples under reservoir conditions provides information on fluid behavior not readily obtainable by other imaging techniques. Such imaging requires a core holder that can simulate the high pressure and relatively high temperature of petroleum reservoirs, while not interfering with the MRI process. This chapter describes the design, fabrication and testing of a metallic MRI-compatible pressure vessel, suited for use as a core holder for cylindrical rock samples that emulates petroleum reservoir conditions. Nitronic 60 stainless steel alloy was found to provide an optimal combination of high yield strength and thermal conductivity, while being MRI-compatible. Pressure and thermal stress analysis indicate that a vessel made of this alloy can accommodate pressures up to 11.4 MPa, assuming an operating temperature of 50 °C. A core holder was fabricated in house, and used to acquire images of Berea sandstone samples flooded with brine and oil at a confining pressure of 2.1 MPa. These images spatially and temporally resolve fluid imbibition and drainage processes.
|Title of host publication||Mobile NMR and MRI: Developments and Applications|
|Publisher||Royal Socicety of Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Oct 2015|
Ouellette, M., Li, M., Liao, G., Hussein, E., Romero-Zeron, L., & Balcom, B. (2015). Rock Core Analysis: Metallic Core Holders for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Under Reservoir Conditions. In Mobile NMR and MRI: Developments and Applications (pp. 290-309). Royal Socicety of Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1039/9781782628095-00290