Electrokinetic Effects and Fluid Permeability

J. G. Berryman

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University of California
P. O. Box 808 L-200
Livermore, CA 94551-9900

Fluid permeability of porous media depends mainly on two parameters: porosity and a pertinent length-scale parameter. Electrical imaging methods typically measure electrical conductivity, which can then often be related to porosity by Archie's law. When electrical phase measurements are made in addition to the amplitude measurements, a measure of the pertinent length scale can then be obtained. Since fluid permeability controls the ability to flush unwanted fluid contaminants from the subsurface, inexpensive maps of permeability could improve planning strategies for remediation efforts. Detailed knowledge of fluid permeability is also important for oil field exploitation, where the distribution of this parameter in three-dimensions is a common requirement for petroleum reservoir simulation and analysis.