1887
Volume 70, Issue 4
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Understanding the electrical properties of reservoir rocks has important applications in oil and gas exploration. Small‐scale fractures that are widely existing in reservoir rocks are usually aligned along a certain preferential direction due to reasons such as tectonic movement, making the electrical conductivity of the rocks anisotropic. Since all rocks are experiencing geological pressure, it is theoretically and practically important to study the influence of pressure on the fractures and its control on the anisotropic conductivity of reservoir rocks. We first prepared artificial porous sandstone samples with and without penny‐shaped fractures and experimentally measured the anisotropic conductivity of the samples under differential pressure (the difference between confining pressure and pore fluid pressure). Then, we inverted from the experimental data for the fracture porosity and fracture aspect ratio at each differential pressure. The variation of the fracture parameters caused by the differential pressure and their influence on the anisotropic electrical conductivity of the rocks were further analysed theoretically. The results show that as the differential pressure increases, the measured anisotropic conductivity of the artificial samples with and without fractures all decreases exponentially. We also show that both the inverted fracture porosity and fracture aspect ratio decrease exponentially with the increase of differential pressure, and the fracture porosity and fracture aspect ratio are linearly correlated as an implicit function of differential pressure. The modelling results show that the differential pressure‐induced decrease in the fracture porosity reduces the electrical conductivity in all directions, and the conductivity reduction in the rock parallel to the direction of the fractures is most significant. Comparing with the influence of the fracture porosity resulting from the applied differential pressure, the pressure‐caused variation in the fracture aspect ratio was shown to play a secondary role on affecting the pressure‐dependent anisotropic electrical properties.

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2022-04-14
2022-05-29
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Fracture; Resistivity; Rock physics
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