ANALYSIS BETTERBORE CT scans of rock core samples improve a Scottish company’s oil and gas fl ow predictions

rilling for oil or gas is an expensive business, whether off shore or on land, so it is essential for exploration and production (E&P) companies to minimise the risk that their planned drilling operations will fail or not meet target yield. Aberdeen-based Premier, Corex, part of the Premier Oilfi eld Group and a provider of core analytical services to the oil and gas industry, is a supplier of data for risk mitigation to operators worldwide. T e fi rm has been providing these


services for more than 30 years but it is only within the past decade that it has augmented its rock core investigations by sending samples for analysis approximately every week to Nikon Metrology’s centre of excellence for microfocus computed tomography (micro-CT) in Tring, Hertfordshire. T e systems and the X-ray


sources that power them are manufactured on site in three factory units, with further areas devoted to service and support. T e company also provides subcontract CT scanning services using its own equipment, which doubles as a demonstration facility.

SOLIDS MIGRATION ANALYSIS BEATS POROSITY TESTING Ian Patey, manager Formation Damage and Stimulation Group at Premier, Corex explains that, “Operational fl uids are used to assist the drilling and completion of boreholes by providing hydrostatic pressure and preventing formation fl uids from entering the well bore, as well as to cool and clean the drill bit and evacuate drill cuttings. We advise on the best operational fl uids (e.g. drilling fl uids) to use for a particular job to avoid formation damage.

“T e fl uids inevitably interact with

the wellbore, changing the structure and porosity of the rock, which can in turn restrict or increase the fl ow of gas or oil from the reservoir. In the former case, hydrocarbon recovery is compromised.” Patey adds: “One of our jobs, therefore, is to take representative core samples from various depths, particularly at critical intervals in the strata, to identify any alteration in the rock. We look in particular at the addition or removal of solids that could indicate accumulation or strippage from the framework and hence negative or positive changes to fl owrate.” One member of staff in the Aberdeen

laboratory closely involved with this work is formation damage geologist and project coordinator, Leigh Wright. He comments, “Being able to simulate wellbore operations

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