E3S Web Conf.
Volume 89, 2019The 2018 International Symposium of the Society of Core Analysts (SCA 2018)
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||29 March 2019|
The role of ferrous clays in the interpretation of wettability – a case study
Lloyd’s Register Energy Consultancy, Rock Properties Group , Aberdeen, UK
* corresponding author: Maria.Velazco@lr.org
Clean sandstone, with minimal clay content, is expected to be strongly water wet once the rock has been through an effective cleaning process. Even samples containing significant clay minerals are usually expected to be water wet after appropriate cleaning. However, tests carried out on core samples from Fields in three different global locations show mixed indices, even for clean state samples where no aging with crude oil has taken place. A few hypotheses for this behaviour considered herein are: whether the cleaning method was adequate, whether wettability was altered by an external factor, or if wettability was due to mineral composition. This paper presents the results obtained from wettability studies on fresh, clean and restored state core plug samples from three different Fields. Wettability indices were obtained by using the combined Amott-USBM method. Petrography was performed on sample end-trims to investigate the possible presence of halite or barite in the clean state samples, thought to be from drilling fluid infiltration, which should have been removed by the methanol cleaning cycle. This showed no organic material or salt (halite), negating wetting change from inefficient cleaning. From a reactive clays  model perspective, these rock samples are considered clean-sand (i.e. illite/ smectites- as total clay content), determined by XRD analysis, are lower than 10%. SEM and XRD results showed the presence of grain-coating chlorite in one sample set and glauconite grains in the others. Only once the unusual wettability indices were obtained was the grain-coating chlorite identified as chamosite by SEM/EDX, which is an iron-rich form of chlorite. The presence of chamosite or glauconite appears to influence the wetting tendency. In summary, USBM vs Amott wettability indices of the analysed samples are consistent between both methods, showing a mixed to oil-wet tendency for all samples where chamosite was identified, regardless of the initial test condition. Samples with glauconite appeared to be more mixed wet after wettability restoration. The results suggest that iron rich clay/mineral content is the main contributor to the oil wet tendency of the evaluated rocks.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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