Developments in synchrotron X-Ray microtomography with applications to flow in porous media

M. E. Coles, R. D. Hazlett, E. L. Muegge, K. W. Jones, B. Andrews, B. Dowd, P. Siddons, A. Peskin, P. Spanne, W. E. Soil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

30 Citations (Scopus)


High resolution computed microtomography (CMT) using synchrotron X-ray sources provides the ability to obtain three-dimensional images of specimens with a spatial resolution on the order of micrometers. Microimaging capabilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory's National Synchrotron Light Source have been enhanced to provide larger and higher resolution 3-D renderings of pore networks in reservoir rocks at a fraction of the time required in previous first generation scanning methods. Such data are used to model single and multiphase flow properties in digital images of real porous media. Pore networks are analyzed for tortuosity and connectivity measures, which have been elusive parameters in transport property models. We present examples of porosimetry simulation via network modeling to produce initial water saturation and residual oil distributions in a water-wet pore system. Furthermore, pore networks can provide the boundary condition framework for more rigorous simulations of displacement, such as in the lattice Boltzmann simulated waterflood example provided. Direct comparison between simulation and experiment is also possible. CMT images of a 6 mm subsection of a one inch diameter reservoir core sample were obtained prior and subsequent to flooding to residual oil. The fluid distributions from CMT, lattice Boltzmann waterflood simulation, and percolation-based network modeling were found to be highly correlated. Advances in 3-D visualization, implemented in Brookhaven National Laboratory's 3-D theater, will allow even greater digestion and interpretation of phenomena dependent upon pore interconnectivity and multipore interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781555634230
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
Event1996 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition - Denver, United States
Duration: Oct 6 1996Oct 9 1996

Publication series

NameSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition


Conference1996 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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