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Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Multiphase Fluids in Rock Fractures

Active Dates: Current

Participants: Participants: Matt Becker, Chris Burke (Dept Geology); Richard Mazurchuck, Joe Sperynak, Steve Turowski (MR Facility, Roswell Park Cancer Institute)

Support: Petroleum Research Fund

MR scan of two phase flow in fractured rock Understanding multiphase fluid flow in rock fractures is important for enhance petroleum recovery, carbon dioxide sequestration, and remediation of solvent contaminanted aquifers. Immiscible phases typically differ in viscosity, density, and wetability so behave differently as they flow through rock fractures. This researcher is aimed at understand how millimeter scale fluid flow behaviors influence pressure responses at the formation scale.

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technology has been developed to observed blood flow in tissue for medical diagnosis. This fluid imaging capability can be exploited for fluid flow in rocks, provided that the fluids are detectable by the MR imager. Standard MR imaging detects protons but florine is also observable using special equipment. In these experiments we use water (with a CuSO4 contrast agent) with dodecane or FC-75 (a liquid fluorinated carbon) as the non-aqueous phase. We have shown that these fluids can be imaged during flow in rock cores (see figure). Current efforts center on measuring the pressure difference across the fluid interface as the water or non-aqueous phase fluid front advances through the fracture. In particular, we are trying to understand how constrictions in the aperture affect the relative permeability of the fluids.

Movie: XRay Computed Tomography Image of a dolomite core (5 MB .wmv)

Movie: Sequence imaging of dodecane advance and simultaneous measure of pressure resistance (0.8 MB .mwv)