Pore-scale analyses of heterogeneity and representative elementary volume for unconventional shale rocks using statistical tools

James O. Adeleye, Lateef Akanji

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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A statistical technique for the pore-scale analyses of heterogeneity and representative elemental volume (REV) in unconventional shale rocks is hereby presented. First, core samples were obtained from shale formations. The images were scanned using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) machine at 6.7 μm resolution with voxels of 990 × 990 × 1000. These were then processed, digitised, thresholded, segmented and features captured using numerical algorithms. This allows the segmentation of each sample into four distinct morphological entities consisting of pores, organic matter, shale grains and minerals. In order to analyse the degree of heterogeneity, Eagle Ford parallel sample was further cropped into 96 subsamples. Descriptive statistical approach was then used to evaluate the existence of heterogeneity within the subsamples. Furthermore, the Eagle Ford parallel and perpendicular samples were analysed for volumetric entities representative of the petrophysical variable, porosity, using corner point cropping technique. The results of porosity REV for Eagle ford parallel and perpendicular indicated sample representation at 300 μm voxel edge. Both pore volume distribution and descriptive statistical analyses suggested that a wide variation of heterogeneity exists at this scale of investigation. Furthermore, this experiment allows for adequate extraction of necessary information and structural parameters for pore-scale modelling and simulation. Additional studies focusing on re-evaluation at higher resolution are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-765
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
Issue number3
Early online date5 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018



  • pore-scale
  • REV
  • shale rocks
  • statistical tools
  • kurtosis
  • skewness

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