Effect of pore geometry on Gassmann fluid substitution

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Abstract

Although there is no assumption of pore geometry in derivation of Gassmann's equation, the pore geometry is in close relation with hygroscopic water content and pore fluid communication between the micropores and the macropores. The hygroscopic water content in common reservoir rocks is small, and its effect on elastic properties is ignored in the Gassmann theory. However, the volume of hygroscopic water can be significant in shaly rocks or rocks made of fine particles; therefore, its effect on the elastic properties may be important. If the pore fluids in microspores cannot reach pressure equilibrium with the macropore system, assumption of the Gassmann theory is violated. Therefore, due to pore structure complexity, there may be a significant part of the pore fluids that do not satisfy the assumption of the Gassmann theory. We recommend that this part of pore fluids be accounted for within the solid rock frame and effective porosity be used in Gassmann's equation for fluid substitution. Integrated study of ultrasonic laboratory measurement data, petrographic data, mercury injection capillary pressure data, and nuclear magnetic resonance T2 data confirms rationality of using effective porosity for Gassmann fluid substitution. The effective porosity for Gassmann's equation should be frequency dependent. Knowing the pore geometry, if an empirical correlation between frequency and the threshold pore-throat radius or nuclear magnetic resonance T2 could be set up, Gassmann's equation can be applicable to data measured at different frequencies. Without information of the pore geometry, the irreducible water saturation can be used to estimate the effective porosity.

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