Three-dimensional characterization of micro-fractures in shale reservoir rocks

Chao Qi, Xiaoqi Wang, Wei Wang, Jie Liu, Jincai Tuo, Keyu Liu - School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong, China; Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina, Beijing, China; Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Mineral Resources & Geological Processes, Guangdong, China; Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources / Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources Research, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Gansu, China; School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum (East China), Shandong, China

Fractures are crucial for unconventional hydrocarbon exploitation, but it is difficult to accurately observe the 3D spatial distribution characteristics of fractures. Microtomography (micro-CT) technology makes it possible to observe the 3D structures of fractures at micro-scale. In this study, micron-CT scanning is conducted on multiple mud-shale samples of source rocks in the Permian Lucaogou Formation, Junggar Basin. The Avizo software is applied to process and segment the micron-CT images, so as to obtain the 3D fracture structure model inside rock core. Therefore, the independently-developed CTSTA program is adopted to quantitatively describe the micro-fractures inside rock core, including fracture dimension, extension direction and extension scale.

How PerGeos is used

The first step is to use the Avizo software package Fire version to read 2008 grayscale images of the sample. (…) To identify cracks from the greyscale images is a prerequisite of the analysis of cracks. A suitable threshold value should be carefully selected by using the threshold tool in Avizo and then the binary label-data are exported for each sample. (…) We focus on the analysis of cracks in this study, thus it is necessary to remove the isolated small pores by using the functionality of ‘removing islands’ in Avizo. (…)