Capillarity in Rocks - CIR

Discipline: Reservoir Engineering / Petrophysics
Level: Intermediate
Instructors who teach this course:
  • Mr. David Patrick Murphy
  • Dr. E. C. Thomas


  • About the course
  • Designed For
  • You will learn
  • Course Content
About the course
The course provides detailed knowledge of how capillarity affects hydrocarbon distribution in a reservoir rock, and how the magnitude of capillary forces can be used to deduce valuable information about rock properties including pore throat sizes, pore network geometry, porosity, and permeability. Several in-class exercises reinforce the course learning and provide students with experience using capillary pressure data for reservoir characterization. Exercises will be worked on the computer using spreadsheet software. One personal computer will be provided, at additional cost, for each two participants.


"It was fun and engaging as well as informative." - Petrophysicist, United States


"I can't say enough great things about [instructor]. Great course. One of the best instructors ever." - Foundation Geologist


Designed For
Geoscientists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, and research and development staff who want to gain fundamental insight into the capillary properties and hydrocarbon distribution in reservoir rocks.
You will learn
How To:
  • Select the appropriate capillary pressure measurement method for a set of desired results
  • Closure correct a set of mercury/air capillary pressure data
  • Fit and analyze capillary pressure data using Thomeer, Leverett-J, and Brooks-Corey methods
  • Determine the representativeness of a set of capillary pressure curves within a zone of interest
  • Estimate permeability from a mercury/air capillary pressure curve
  • Calculate pore throat sizes from a capillary pressure curve
  • Create a synthetic capillary pressure curve and estimate the air permeability from a petrographic analysis
  • Obtain values for interphase tension
  • Convert mercury/air capillary pressure curves to hydrocarbon/water capillary pressure curves
  • Determine saturation-height distribution in a single-pore system rock or in a multiple- pore system rock
  • Determine irreducible water saturation
  • Estimate the length of a transition zone
  • Determine clay-bound water using Klein-Hill-Shirley method
  • Compare/contrast capillary pressure data with NMR data
  • Determine the maximum column of hydrocarbon that a specific sealing layer can sustain without leaking
Course Content
  • Capillary pressure applications in reservoir characterization
  • Rock properties from mercury/air capillary pressures
  • Capillary pressure data representativeness
  • Capillary forces in reservoir rocks; their measurement
  • Capillary pressure data fitting methods
  • Representing a large number of capillary curves (averaging)
  • Permeability from capillary pressure curves and petrography
  • Saturation-height functions
  • Surface phenomena, capillarity, wettability, and interphase tension
  • The competition between capillary and gravity forces
  • Relationships between initial and residual saturations
  • Interpretation of single and multiple pore system rocks
  • Clay-bound water
  • Capillary pressure vs. NMR
  • Seal capacity