Using advanced imaging capabilities and a proprietary workflow for fluid sensitivity studies, we can see how mineralogy maps from QEMSCAN (top) correspond to SEM images of the same area (bottom). Mottled blue region (circled) represents carbonate rock fragments, which can release fine clay material that block flow pathways when dissolved by completion fluids.
To aid field development planning, SCAL measurements become a critical input in helping to determine the number of wells, laterals and intervals required to optimally produce the field. Traditional laboratory SCAL measurements require perfect plugs, often use an averaging method that might not be fully representative of the reservoir, and typically takes 12-18 months to get meaningful data. With digital rock modeling, dynamic properties can be derived on non-standard rock samples and in less time (typically 6-9 months) so you have access to critical data faster and can later refine the reservoir model upon completion of traditional lab testing.
In addition, before studying the effect of fluid composition on productive formations has traditionally been done by core analysis methods such as roller over, capillary suction, and regain permeability tests. Often, formation damage testing provides measurements to give some understanding of why production has declined; however, the results are limited in their capacity to inform you as to what actually caused the damage. Learning why the damage occurred and how the rock will react helps operators select drilling and completions fluids that minimize damage at an optimized cost:benefit ratio and may provide additional benefits such as reducing production problems caused by produced fluids, for example: scale deposition in tubing and casing.
Lastly, we know that wettability significantly affects resistivity, capillary pressure, relative permeability and residual saturation, however it is not well understood through experimental data alone. Understanding formation wettability is vital to accurate characterization of oil reserves and optimization of recovery. By combining digital analysis with traditional measurements, you gain valuable insight about reservoir productivity, and digital rock enables the ability to conduct 'what if' sensitivity studies to further understand displacement processes and residual oil saturation.