Custom Instrument for Drill Core Analysis - 9/18/2009
Energy exploration, hydrogeological surveys, and geosequestration operations all involve extracting and analyzing drilling cores to provide information about the underlying strata. An important objective of the sampling is to determine the percent porosity of the formation. The porosity of the rock is an important factor in forecasting volumetric yield of the strata, assessing the potential of the formation as a storage medium, or understanding the infiltration and movement of groundwater. Over the years, geological scientists have used a variety of methods to determine drill core porosity. A fast, low-cost, non-destructive, non-hazardous method seems most preferable.
Knowing the envelope and skeletal volumes of a core sample allows the total pore volume and percent porosity of the sample to be determined. Since a core typically is a right circular cylinder, simple physical measurements of its diameter and length allow the envelope volume to be calculated. A gas displacement pycnometer is a low-cost, non-destructive, non-hazardous technique for measuring the skeletal volume. However, until now, this technique was very tedious because the maximum volume sample chamber capacity of existing models required the geological scientist to break a core into many smaller pieces that were each analyzed. An average of the many analyses was used to arrive at a reliable value for the skeletal volume.
Micromeritics’ Custom Engineered Products group has recently designed a gas displacement pycnometer to address the specific need of a customer that wanted to measure the pore volume of drilling cores without having to break off small pieces that fit into a standard sample chamber. The popular AccuPyc II 1340 was custom engineered with a large sample chamber (a volume of approximately 2000 cm3) to accommodate a 95 mm (3.74 inch) diameter core of up to 278 mm (10.9 inches) in length, thus improving sampling statistics by eliminating the need to run multiple analyses. Although the chamber dimensions are ideal for this customer's cores, a sample chamber can be custom made to accept essentially any one of the various core sizes used throughout the world for reservoir evaluation.
Micromeritics manufactures instruments that provide analytical solutions for quantifying physical characteristics of materials with the additional expertise in extracting information from those measurements. Providing specialized solutions is not an unusual practice for the company. In fact, hundreds of customized modifications have been performed and delivered. If your research work requires an analytical device, technique, or configuration that is not commercially available, contact Micromeritics’ Director of Product Pioneering, Graham Killip, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Micromeritics Custom Engineered Products web page.