NMR Fluid Substitution–A New Method of Reconstructing T2 Distributions Under Primary Drainage and Imbibition Conditions

Baoyan Li, Baker Hughes, Hasan Kesserwan, Gudong Jin, S. Mark Ma, Baker Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based petrophysics models, such as pore structure characterization and permeability prediction, were developed using T2 distributions measured at fully water-saturated conditions (i.e., Sw = 1). The downhole implementation of those models across the hydrocarbon zones is disputable due to partial saturation (Sw < 1) conditions; hence, a correction to such effects on T2 distributions is required. This paper provides a critical review of the fluid substitution methods currently available in the industry and presents an improved method for enhanced formation evaluation. In the new method presented, an effective irreducible water saturation model is used to account for the pore structure and capillary pressure effects, which were barely considered by the currently available NMR fluid substitution methods. For water-wet reservoir rocks, the typical NMR T2 distribution at the partial saturation condition displays a clear separation between the wetting and nonwetting phases. The water phase can be classified as irreducible and movable fluid volumes. Then, using a T2 mapping relationship and a total porosity constraint, the T2 distribution of movable water at Sw < 1 is shifted and amplified to determine the T2 distribution of movable water at Sw = 1. To validate the new method, NMR measurements were conducted on sandstone samples at Sw = 1 as well as Sw < 1. The reconstructed T2 distribution at Sw = 1 was compared with the measured T2 distribution at Sw = 1. Results showed that the reconstructed T2 distribution matched very well with the T2 distribution measured at Sw = 1, confirming the robustness of the new technique. Parameters used in the reconstruction methodology are observed to be a good indicator of pore connectivity. During desaturation, the water T2 in large pores shifts to a shorter T2 because of the enhanced surface relaxation as the water volume decreases while the surface area remains constant. Therefore, the amplitude at the short T2 increases. The increased amplitude was remapped to large pores in reconstructing T2 spectra of full saturation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-378
Number of pages17
JournalPetrophysics – The SPWLA Journal of Formation Evaluation and Reservoir Description
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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