Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 53–64 | Cite as

Very high-pressure mercury porosimetry as a tool in reservoir characterization

  • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Joachim E. Amthor
Petrophysics of Carbonate Reservoirs


Three methodological considerations critical to the use of mercury porosimetry for reservoir characterization are the analytical pressure ranges which should be covered, sampling density, and the effects of variation in sample weight. Of these, the analytical pressure range is most likely to be inappropriately scaled. Mercury porosimetry analyses should be carried out to very high pressures for two reasons: first, although mercury-air capillary pressure corresponding to subsurface conditions at a given depth varies greatly depending on fluid densities, viscosities, and interfacial tensions, and on rock wettability, hydrostatic gradients yield capillary pressures equivalent to 10,000 PSIA (Hg-air) at 4,600 feet (1.4 km) or less. To evaluate the range of conditions likely to be encountered at subsurface depths where hydrocarbon production is economically feasible, mercury porosimetry should attain pressures of at least 10,000 PSIA. Second, substantial amounts of mercury intrusion occur at capillary pressures greater than 10,000 PSIA (Hg-air): up to 41% in the studied samples.

Sampling density required for reservoir characterization depends upon reservoir heterogeneity; it may not be sufficient to sample only the best and worst zones unless a reservoir is quite homogeneous. No biasing effects of sample weight variation were found, but caution is urged when a variety of lithologies are sampled.


Contact Angle Capillary Pressure Reservoir Rock Mercury Porosimetry Reservoir Characterization 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joachim E. Amthor
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Northeastern Science FoundationRensselaer Center of Applied Geology affiliated with Brooklyn College of the City University of New YorkTroy
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Brooklyn CollegeCUNYBrooklyn
  3. 3.Brooklyn CollegeCity University of New York Graduate SchoolTroy

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