Core analysis measurements at the University of Oklahoma using Oxford Instruments GeoSpec systems

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Source: Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments, supplier of Magnetic Resonance solutions for core analysis laboratories in the oil and gas industries, reports on the work of Professor Carl Sondergeld and his students from the Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

The Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma is regarded as a leading petroleum industry research institution. It has developed a strong tradition in teaching, research and service which are regarded as inseparable components of the academic goal.

Carl Sondergeld (Professor and Curtis Mewbourne Chair) has used Oxford Instruments NMR spectrometers in his laboratories for a number of years. He has recently added two new GeoSpec systems bringing the number of instruments in the labs to nine. Describing their use, Professor Sondergeld says “they are accurate and robust and have been integrated into our Petroleum Engineering curriculum within a Reservoir Rock Properties laboratory course.  One of the laboratory experiments our students perform is the measurement of porosity, bound and free water on core samples using NMR. They also evaluate the NMR based permeability predictions with actual measurements. In addition, these instruments are used by both undergraduate and graduate students to do research on the petrophysical properties of reservoir rock and, more recently, unconventional shale reservoirs. Our growing enrolment required more instruments.”

Continuing, he described how they evaluated their options for new instrumentation. “We evaluated a number of vendors and settled on the GeoSpec instruments for three reasons: 1) compatibility with existing instruments, 2) reliability and robustness and 3) shorter tau capabilities. Furthermore, the Green Imaging Technologies software unified the instrument interfaces and made the experiments easier for inexperienced students. The shorter tau capabilities were something we needed for our shale research.  Last year, we had over 180 students using these machines and, in 2013, we will have over 275. Our students use conventional analysis techniques to measure petrophysical properties but part of our challenge is to introduce them to new and beneficial technologies such as NMR so that when they go out into the industry then can request and use the technology. From a research perspective, we have been successfully using NMR on shales to evaluate pore size distributions, where fluids go and wettability. NMR is shedding new light on shales and is being recognized as a tool for shale wettability and porosity measurements. Additionally, the short tau capabilities will allow us to explore and quantify the porosity contributions from nanometer-size pores. We look forward to accessing new NMR technologies and software through a continuing cooperative agreement with Green Imaging Technologies and Oxford Instruments.

Support is also critical to such a comprehensive program. Professor Sondergeld says “It has been incredibly refreshing to deal with Dr. Derrick Green and Mark Mackenzie from Green Imaging Technologies. Derrick's knowledge, openness and cooperation have been unequalled in any dealing I have had with instrument companies. We are working with Derrick to debug and augment some existing and needed software capabilities. We see tremendous benefit in continuing and increasing our interactions with Green Imaging and in particular with Dr. Green and I hope they feel the same.”

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