Rock and Fluids Testing

Lack of or limited data availability is a common constraint in the efforts to characterise reservoir rock, fluids and well performance. Testing of rock and fluid samples is an integral part of the characterization processes that allow accurate determination of formation properties, reservoir modelling and production performance predictions. Our Rock Testing service improves the process, quality and quantity of data gathered. We have also innovated in the preparation of the rock samples and the measurements such that many of the tests can be done, for instance, without transporting or damaging cores.

Produces a particle-size distribution and a sand quality graph (Coefficient of uniformity Cu vs Sorting coefficient Sc) to aid in screen selection and sand control mediation.

PSD - Particle Size Distribution Test

Pressure and/or differential pressures: these measurements are taken continuously during the test and allow us to calculate permeability and identify potential impairment. By collecting and processing the effluent, these tests also allow us to measure the amount of fines passing through the screen which can be used to examine what effects they may have on tubular erosion and sand management at surface.

SRT - Sand Retention Tests

A mobile and non-destructive method of obtaining many data points, on location, from core material, of rock hardness and is an indirect method of estimating the Unconfined Compressive Strength UCS of a rock for use in building geomechanical models that in turn enable prediction and avoidance of drilling and completion problem.

RLIST® - Rock Low Impact Strength Testing

Another mobile and non-destructive method of obtaining many data points, on location, from core material. Using travel time for a mechanical wave, this allows us to calculate the compressional velocity Vp, shear velocity Vs, Young’s Modulus E, Poisson’s Ratio ν, the Shear Modulus G and the UCS for use in building geomechanical models that in turn enable prediction and avoidance of drilling and completion problems.

UPVT - Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Tests

Important measurements can be made by examining sand particles using our high-resolution petrographic microscope, with software to determine parameters to more precisely understand the potential dynamics and effects of produced sand on various sand control methods.

IPSD & MA - Image Particle Size Distribution and Morphological Analysis

Sand samples cleaning service – preparation for tests.

SSC - Sand Sample Cleaning

Our Tests

Testing Matrix

What we can deliver:

  • Accurate and representative rock mechanical measurements (for instance, strength and ultrasonic (Vp, Vs) for calibration of geomechanical models and formation properties)
  • Verification and reliable sizing of filter media for sand control completions
  • Geometrical characterisation of formation’s particles for use in erosion, mineralogy and particle transport modelling
  • Identification of production impairment problems resulting from solids production and equipment damage
Rock Strength
Image Caption Here
Sand Pack Testing
Image Caption Here

How your asset will benefit:

  • Accurate predictions and modelling through validated measurements
  • Practical and mobile rock mechanical testing
  • Verification of equipment performance
  • Morphological formation analysis for optimum completion design and solid’s transport

PSD - Particle Size Distribution Test

Innovative Engineering carries out particle size distribution (PSD) testing in order to help with the design and selection of filter media for sand face completion designs. An additional application estimates the severity of solids invasion into the rock matrix or granular filter media. Samples are received from the client or taken at the core storage facility. They normally require preparation if they contain hydrocarbons or drilling mud as these need to be removed prior to measurements being taken. Interpretation of the results and recommendations in line with the findings are presented in a formal final report. Innovative Engineering offer different types of PSD tests depending on the sand properties and quantities and the need of the customer. We offer Sieve, Laser and Image PSD testing.

Sieve PSD
Sieve PSD – Three set of sands tested

SRT - Sand Retention Tests

When a sand control strategy is needed, Innovative Engineering’s SRT service offers size verification for the filter media to ensure it causes the minimum pressure drop possible minimising any reduction or impairment of a well's productivity/injectivity. The optimum selection of filter media also reduces impairment problems and/or equipment damage from solids production.

We perform sand retention tests on filter media that mimic field conditions in our testing facilities. This allows testing of different filter media with samples of the formation sand to ensure the ideal filter media size is selected. Innovative Engineering offers different types of sand retention tests depending on the type of application. The filter media may be a coupon that replicates screens and slotted liners or a granular material that will replicate the behaviour of gravel and proppants.

We can provide confidence in any proposed material and equipment by providing an independent non-biased view and validation of results provided by a supplier. We perform two types of flow cell tests: these are either a Slurry test or a Sandpack test.   1. Slurry Test

The purpose of the slurry test is to determine if the correct screen has been selected for the formation; one that can effectively induce bridging and retain solids while allowing maximum productivity from the well. It is designed to simulate the gradual collapse of a formation onto the surface of a non-compliant filter media. The filter media could be either a slotted liner, a wire-wrap or a premium screen. Reservoir fluid (water in most cases) is flowed through the cell and a known concentration of sand slurry is injected and mixed with the flowing reservoir fluid. This allows a sand "cake" to gradually build up on the filter media. There are two different types of slurry tests:

a. regular b. pre-packed test

They differ only in the filter media used. A screen is the filter media for the regular test while in the pre pack test, a proppant or gravel pack is used over the screen.

2. SandPack Test

In this test, a pack of the formation sand is placed directly on to the filter media inside the flowcell. This type of test simulates a compliant completion where the filter media is in direct contact with the wellbore (i.e. in a gravel pack). The reservoir fluid used in this method will affect the results because the formation sands exhibit intermediate wettability.

Plugging Mechanisms
Invasion/plugging mechanisms
Screen Testing
Slurry Test – Results for different screens tested with the same sand to compare the variation of pressure behavior thru the time and verify the filter media selection.
Image – Well construction screen
Sand retained on the screen

RLIST® - Rock Low Impact Strength Testing

Unconfined compressive strength is the most widely used parameter for the classification and characterisation of rock material. However, the need for accurate preparation of the test specimen in addition to complex and heavy test equipment normally makes the test expensive, time consuming and impossible to execute in the field. This also means that very few reference points, typically covering many different lithologies with different properties, are provided. Innovative Engineering however provides a quick and inexpensive measure of rock hardness resulting in many data points (10-100x typical laboratory testing) being achieved for estimating the mechanical properties. This is achieved through the use of Rock Low Impact Strength Testing (RLIST®). RLIST® results are used for the estimation of the unconfined compressive strength of the rock materials (UCS) and to evaluate the shear strength of a rock material, by measuring the maximum load attained per unit area.

Additional benefits our client can achieve from our RLIST® include:

- The tests are carried out at the core storage facility location and therefore there is no need for transportation, packaging or mobilisation of the cores reducing significantly the costs, time and risks involved.
- The tests are non-destructive and therefore no core preparation or plugging is required - this preserves the core, a valuable geological material for further and future use.
- A large amount of measurements are possible depending on the availability of core material, making the resulting models more representative of different lithologies and robust.

Image – Rock testing service
RLIST® – A non-destructive strength testing service from Innovative Engineering

UPVT - Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Tests

Innovative Engineering also provides another non-destructive method for the assessment of Formation Strength through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Testing (UPVT) which uses high frequency sound energy to generate a wave that propagates through a material medium. This allows measurement of travel time for the wave through a sample. This is a measure of a formations capacity to transmit sound waves and will vary with rock texture, lithology and porosity. We acquire data from core plug samples for calibration of formation strength models. This testing can also be carried out wherever the samples are located and is non-destructive meaning the material is preserved.

Principle of physics: the force needed to extend or compress a spring by a given distance is proportional to that distance.

Innovative Engineering offers RLIST UPVT results into two steps presented in a formal report:

1) Rock strength measurement
2) Processing and analysis of the data derived from the tests

Through both measurements (RLIST and UPVT) Innovative Engineering reduces the risk introduced by limited strength data by having robust predictions from calibrated models and larger data set.

Acoustic Wave
UPVT – Wave amplitude response from one test.

IPSD & MA - Image Particle Size Distribution and Morphological Analysis

Innovative Engineering carries out IPSD & MA using an integrated petrographic image analysis system. A high-resolution petrographic microscope with a digital camera is used for image acquisition. The acquired images are then analysed using image software. The software offers a variety of statistical techniques for analysis and these are used to establish grain morphology.

The use of visual imaging allows manipulation, analysis and conversion of particle and solids data at a micro scale. Very powerful computational algorithms allow determination of the geometrical characteristics for a particular sample such as size, angularity (commonly used for sand control completions) and fines for use in production studies. Using these techniques, Innovative Engineering is able to compare and identify any possible changes in grain shape due to higher fluid velocities, analysing the grains from sand produced at surface in real operations or from test effluents (Sand Retention Tests). Providing this information we are able to provide a qualitative indication of potential increase in erosion rates in flow lines reducing the risk associated with line integrity.

The IPSD & MA results can be completed with an X-Ray analysis in order to identify, for example, the content of scale on the tested sand.

Live Z Builder – Pictures taken with a microscope software module to take high resolution 3D images.
Image Browser – Another capacity is once you have acquired all the consecutive images, they can be joined together to create one large image or mosaic. This image shows 30 images stitched to have a highest resolution image covering a bigger area.

SSC - Sand Sample Cleaning

Sample preparation is extremely important to ensure the best sample quality and therefore accurate results. Innovative Engineering, in addition to testing samples, can also assist our clients with any required cleaning samples prior to testing. We carry out a physical and chemical cleaning process through solvent extraction and density differential, to remove the remaining oil fraction and prepare the samples for tests such as PSD and SRT.

Sand mixed with solvent and water - physical separation of the oil and water due to density differences.