Pore to Core Scale Characterization of Hydraulic Flow Units Using Petrophysical and Digital Rock Analyses

Viswasanthi Chandra*, Gwenole Tallec, Thomas Finkbeiner, Volker Vahrenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article illustrates an integrated method for characterizing hydraulic flow units in subsurface reservoirs using multiscale images and petrophysical data analysis from well cores. This method is applied to 35 meters of cores drilled from a Late Jurassic Upper Jubayla Formation outcrop in Saudi Arabia, which is analogous to the lower section of the Arab-D reservoir. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) imagery, thin-section petrography, and X-ray computed tomography (CT) images of whole cores and core plugs are used to visualize and characterize these carbonate rocks across multiple length scales. Core plug porosity and permeability data are used for petrophysical characterization and deriving hydraulic flow units (HFU). The multimodal pore types associated with the HFUs and their connectivity using thin section and SEM image analysis, combined with mercury injection porosimetry are used. Whole-core CT textures and heterogeneity logs are correlated with HFU and digital image analysis of core plugs. Whole-core CT data prove to be a highly valuable tool for bridging the scale gap between well data and reservoir models. This methodology can be applied to datasets from a large number of wells, especially when combined with machine learning tools, allowing improved characterization of complex carbonate reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2300899
JournalEnergy Technology
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • digital rock
  • micritic carbonate
  • micro-CT
  • multiscale pore space
  • multiscale reservoir characterization
  • whole-core CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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