The Power of Characterizing Pore-Fluid Distribution for Microscopic CO2 Injection Studies in Tight Sandstones

Hamad Alkharraa*, Karl-Heinz Wolf, Abdulrahman AlQuraishi, Mohamed Mahmoud, Mohammed AlDuhailan, Pacelli Zitha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The microscopic structure of low-permeability tight reservoirs is complicated due to diagenetic processes that impact the pore-fluid distribution and hydraulic properties of tight rocks. As part of an ongoing study of carbon dioxide-enhanced oil and gas recovery (CO2-EOR/EGR) and CO2 sequestration, this research article adopts an integrated approach to investigate the contribution of the micropore system in pore-fluid distribution in tight sandstones. A new dimensionless number, termed the microscopic confinement index (MCI), was established to select the right candidate for microscopic CO2 injection in tight formations. Storativity and containment indices were essential for MCI estimation. A set of experiments, including routine core analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), was performed on three tight sandstone rock samples, namely Bandera, Kentucky, and Scioto. Results indicate that the presence of fibrous illite acting as pore bridging in Bandera and Kentucky sandstone samples reduced the micropore-throat proportion (MTMR), leading to a significant drop in the micropore system confinement in Kentucky and Bandera sandstone samples of 1.03 and 0.56, respectively. Pore-filling kaolinite booklets reduced the micropore storativity index (MSI) to 0.48 in Kentucky and 0.38 in Bandera. On the other hand, the absence of fibrous illite and kaolinite booklets in Scioto sandstone led to the highest micropore system capability of 1.44 MTMR and 0.5 MSI to store and confine fluids. Therefore, Scioto sandstone is the best candidate for CO2 injection and storage among the tested samples of 0.72 MCI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number895
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • microscopic gas confinement
  • micropore system’s storativity
  • pore-fluid distribution
  • clay minerals
  • CO2 injection and storage
  • low-permeability micropore system


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