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Pressure sensitivity of low permeability sandstones

January 1, 1987

Detailed core analysis has been carried out on 32 tight sandstones with permeabilities ranging over four orders of magnitude (0.0002 to 4.8 mD at 5000 psi confining pressure). Relationships between gas permeability and net confining pressure were measured for cycles of loading and unloading. For some samples, permeabilities were measured both along and across bedding planes. Large variations in stress sensitivity of permeability were observed from one sample to another. The ratio of permeability at a nominal confining pressure of 500 psi to that at 5000 psi was used to define a stress sensitivity ratio. For a given sample, confining pressure vs permeability followed a linear log-log relationship, the slope of which provided an index of pressure sensitivity. This index, as obtained for first unloading data, was used in testing relationships between stress sensitivity and other measured rock properties. Pressure sensitivity tended to increase with increase in carbonate content and depth, and with decrease in porosity, permeability and sodium feldspar. However, scatter in these relationships increased as permeability decreased. Tests for correlations between pressure sensitivity and various linear combinations of variables are reported. Details of pore structure related to diagenetic changes appears to be of much greater significance to pressure sensitivity than mineral composition.

Publication Year 1987
Title Pressure sensitivity of low permeability sandstones
DOI 10.1016/0920-4105(87)90015-5
Authors N.H. Kilmer, N.R. Morrow, Janet K. Pitman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Index ID 70014120
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center