Digital Core Analysis for Qatari Carbonate Reservoir Characterization (QCRC)
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Background: Mirroring equivalent developments within the fields of materials science, life sciences and biomedical research, advances in volumetric micro-imaging techniques, and especially x-ray micro-computed tomography (ÂµCT), have transformed the study of reservoir rock petrophysical properties over the past decade. Such techniques enable the pore system and mineral phases of reservoir rocks to be mapped explicitly down to micrometric or nanometric scales, providing the geometric basis for numerical modelling of fluid flow and reactive transport (i.e. digital rock physics). Moreover, advances in experimental design now permit the study of these processes directly in the beamline, both using lab based x-ray sources and synchrotron tomographic facilities (i.e. ÂµCT experimental imaging). Whilst the great contribution of ÂµCT image analysis, experimental imaging and image based modelling (from here on referred to collectively as digital core analysis: DCA) towards reservoir characterization is widely recognized, what is less well publicized is the central role the State of Qatar and its stakeholders have played within the development of the aforementioned techniques. Notably, the Qatari initiated Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre, hosted at Imperial College London, has been a major player in the development of digital rock physics and ÂµCT experimental imaging of fluid-fluid and rock-fluid interactions within geologic porous media. Moreover, a groundbreaking effort to bring DCA techniques to bear upon the unique challenges inherent to Qatarâ s reservoir systems was made by Maersk Oil Qatar via their Digital Core Laboratory circa 2014, which was prematurely decommissioned in 2017. Project Aim: Despite these contributions, arguably the impact of DCA upon the characterization of Qatarâ s subsurface assets has yet to find its full potential. With this in mind, the proposed research aims to leverage major advances in DCA, to which the State of Qatar has been integral, towards the characterization of carbonate reservoir systems of the offshore Qatar. Coined as Digital Core Analysis for Qatari Carbonate Reservoir Characterization (QCRC), this initiative will leverage recently commissioned regionally significant micro-computed tomographic facilities (Thermo-Fisher Heliscan) at Texas A&M University at Qatar, and considerable in-house expertise in x-ray tomographic analysis established therein. A truly interdisciplinary undertaking, the project will also draw upon the unique expertise at North Oil Company: custodians and operators of the Al Shaheen Field (the largest offshore oilfield within the State of Qatar). The project will gain access to a comprehensive suite of subsurface data from Al Shaheen, including core material, with associated thin sections and petrophysical data...........