High resolution X-ray micro-tomography datasets for in-situ effective contact angle analysis in carbonate rocks


Publications

  1. High resolution X-ray micro-tomography datasets for in-situ effective contact angle analysis in carbonate rocks>
    . Imaging of oil layers, curvature and contact angle in a mixed-wet and a water-wet carbonate rock. Water Resources Research. .
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    Abstract — We have investigated the effect of wettability of carbonate rocks on the morphologies of remaining oil after sequential oil and brine injection in a capillary-dominated flow regime at elevated pressure. The wettability of Ketton limestone was altered in situ using an oil phase doped with fatty acid which produced mixed-wet conditions (the contact angle where oil contacted the solid surface, measured directly from the images, θ=180°, while brine-filled regions remained water-wet), whereas the untreated rock (without doped oil) was weakly water-wet (θ=47 ± 9°). Using X-ray micro-tomography, we show that the brine displaces oil in larger pores during brine injection in the mixed-wet system, leaving oil layers in the pore corners or sandwiched between two brine interfaces. These oil layers, with an average thickness of 47 ± 17 µm, may provide a conductive flow path for slow oil drainage. In contrast, the oil fragments into isolated oil clusters/ganglia during brine injection under water-wet conditions. Although the remaining oil saturation in a water-wet system is about a factor of two larger than that obtained in the mixed-wet rock, the measured brine-oil interfacial area of the disconnected ganglia is a factor of three smaller than that of oil layers.

  2. High resolution X-ray micro-tomography datasets for in-situ effective contact angle analysis in carbonate rocks>
    . Automatic method for estimation of in situ effective contact angle from X-ray micro tomography images of two-phase flow in porous media. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. .
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    Abstract — Multiphase flow in porous media is strongly influenced by the wettability of the system, which affects the arrangement of the interfaces of different phases residing in the pores. We present a method for estimating the effective contact angle, which quantifies the wettability and controls the local capillary pressure within the complex pore space of natural rock samples, based on the physical constraint of constant curvature of the interface between two fluids. This algorithm is able to extract a large number of measurements from a single rock core, resulting in a characteristic distribution of effective in situ contact angle for the system, that is modelled as a truncated Gaussian probability density distribution. The method is first validated on synthetic images, where the exact angle is known analytically; then the results obtained from measurements within the pore space of rock samples imaged at a resolution of a few microns are compared to direct manual assessment. Finally the method is applied to X-ray micro computed tomography (micro-CT) scans of two Ketton cores after waterflooding, that display water-wet and mixed-wet behaviour. The resulting distribution of in situ contact angles is characterized in terms of a mixture of truncated Gaussian densities.