Thermal core profiling as a novel and accurate method for efficient characterization of oil reservoirs

E. Popov, Y. Popov, E. Chekhonin, S. Safonov, E. Savelev, I. Gurbatova, S. Ursegov, A. Shakirov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The paper describes a new approach for obtaining detailed experimental data on the thermal properties of hydrocarbon reservoirs using continuous non-contact non-destructive high-resolution thermal conductivity and volumetric heat capacity profiling throughout the borehole core samples. The approach can offer representative experimental data on multi-scale heterogeneity of reservoirs and their anisotropy. Combination of the new approach with traditional well-logging methods offers more detailed data on variations of porosity and density of rock, its mineral composition, elastic wave velocity, and physical properties of the rock matrix. The work illustrates a case study of the new method application: continuous non-destructive non-contact high-resolution profiling of thermal properties was carried out for approximately 3000 core samples from two boreholes drilled through Carboniferous-Permian strata of the Usinskoye heavy oil field. The profiling provided detailed data on the thermal conductivity zoning, volumetric heat capacity, the coefficient of thermal anisotropy and heterogeneity factor of the rock. The knowledge of these properties is essential for hydrodynamic simulation of the heat and mass transfer processes in the reservoir when conducting thermal enhanced oil recovery. The experimental results revealed considerable variations in the set of thermal properties along boreholes on micro and macro scales. This suggests new opportunities for in-depth analysis of reservoir heterogeneity when studying the geological structure of the oil field. The work shows that application of thermal core profiling can provide details (unreachable for standard well logging techniques) of porosity variations and establish new correlations between thermal conductivity, on the one hand, and density and elastic wave velocity, on the other. That promises to improve the quality of geo-mechanical and geothermal investigations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107384
    JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • Carbonate reservoir
    • Heterogeneity
    • Mineral matrix
    • Porosity
    • Rock thermal properties
    • Thermal core profiling


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