Effects of fluid displacement pattern on complex electrical impedance in Berea sandstone over frequency range 104–106 Hz

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To better understand the effect of fluid distribution on the electric response of rocks saturated with oil and brine, we conducted experimental studies on the complex electrical impedance in a Berea sandstone, together with in situ acquisitions of oil distribution images employing a high-resolution medical X-ray computed tomography. We performed two tests of brine displacement by oil under high (10 MPa) and low (5 MPa) pressures, which were accompanied by fingering and stable displacement patterns, respectively. The measured complex impedance data were fitted to the Cole model to obtain the resistance, capacitance, peak frequency of the imaginary impedance, and the exponent α of the rock–fluid system. With increasing oil saturation, the resistance showed an increasing trend, whereas the other three parameters decreased. The fingering displacement exhibited lower resistance and capacitance than the stable displacement. The analysis of the resistance changes using a simple parallel connection model indicates that there are more components of residual brine in parallel connections in the fingering pattern than in the stable displacement pattern at the same saturation. We also interpreted the normalised changes in the capacitance (or apparent dielectric constant) with respect to the oil saturation via an analysis of the shape factor of fluid distribution based on the Maxwell–Wagner–Brugermann–Hanai model. The changes in the shape factor suggest that the pinch-off of the brine in parallel connection by the oil is a dominant mechanism reducing the capacitance. In the stable displacement, most of the connections in the brine phase are immediately pinched off by oil displacement front at a local oil saturation of 65%. Conversely, in the fingering displacement, there is a transition from the bulk or layered brine to the pinched-off at a local oil saturation below 60%. The analyses indicate that the difference in the fluid distribution under different fluid conditions is responsible for the non-Archie behaviour.

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