The study and quantification of oil and gas reservoirs is of critical importance for petroleum engineering and energy extraction. Of particular importance is characterizing the petrophysical properties of the hydrocarbon laden source rocks. Techniques are used to measure the porosity and capillary pressure of the geological samples—these include mercury intrusion capillary pressure (MICP), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and nuclear magnetic resonance. (NMR).1 These techniques are used in concert to characterize the pore structure of the hydrocarbon reservoirs. In order to justify the capital expense and risk of a hydrocarbon extraction operation, extensive testing must be performed to determine economic viability and to assure high rates of hydrocarbon extraction. The high compression strength of Master Bond EP30QF makes it a good candidate for epoxy sealing of core samples undergoing high pressure MICP testing. Research highlighted in this case study examines MICP testing of normal and parallel composites composed of high and low permeability sandstone rocks.2 Modelling fluid dynamics of geological reservoirs is complex due to the heterogeneities found due to rock stratification. When moving between layers or within fissures, fluid movements will differ greatly than when transported within a relatively homogenous rock layer. Different rock strata possess different permeabilities and pore structures. A material such as Master Bond EP30QF then provides researchers with a useful tool for conducting their high-pressure, petrogeological testing.
Key Parameters and Requirements
Mercury Intrusion Capillary Pressure (MICP) testing requires mercury to be introduced to the rock samples at high pressures.2 The measured capillary pressure is the difference in pressure between two immiscible fluids that form an interface within a porous material.1 Mercury invades the pores, displacing air, when the injection pressure is higher than the capillary threshold pressure—this provides quantification of the capillary pressure and the pore radius. Sealing the rock samples is critical to assure that the intended flow path is measured. Commercially available polymer shrink sleeves can be used to seal core samples prior to testing—however, these materials have limited pressure capabilities with one commercially available material failing at pressures above 10,000 psi.2 To enable high pressure testing and the ability to characterize smaller pore sizes, high compressive strength epoxies can be used to seal the samples allowing for higher test pressures. Researchers Peng et al utilized Master Bond EP30QF successfully in their experiments up to a pressure of 40,000 psi.3 Master Bond EP30QF is a quartz-filled, relatively fast setting, two-part epoxy, which provides a high degree of dimensional stability. The low viscosity and excellent flow properties of EP30QF make it suitable for potting and encapsulation processes. The product provides a high performance bond to both inorganic materials and plastics.
Read more about this case study where research conducted by Alrubaie at University of Texas at Austin utilized a combination of Master Bond EP30QF epoxy and a commercially available shrink sleeve for their application.
1Jiao, L., Andersen, P.Ø., Zhou, J., Cai, J. Applications of mercury intrusion capillary pressure for pore structures: A review. Capillarity, 2020, 3(4): 62-74
2Alrubaie, N. M. 2018. Dynamic petrophysical properties of laminated rock: an experimental investigation. Master of Science in Engineering. University of Texas at Austin. Austin, TX.
3Peng, S., Zhang, T., Loucks, R. G., Shultz, J. Application of mercury injection capillary pressure to mudrocks: Conformance and compression corrections. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2017, 88, 30-40