What Are Stone Cores And How They Benefit The Environment
For the past several decades, the petroleum industry has been using the best type of sandstone for testing the worth and efficiency of chemical surfactants. It is called the Berea Sandstone. It has uniform material properties and has been used by researchers around the world to conduct core flooding tests. Berea Sandstone has helped in identifying the oil production in a variety of sandstone reservoirs during three types of oil flooding; primary, secondary, and tertiary.
What Is Berea Sandstone?
Berea Sandstone is a special sedimentary rock that is formed by sand-sized grains, composed of quartz that is held together by silica. What makes Berea Sandstone unique is its relatively high permeability and porosity making it an excellent reservoir rock.
How Are Stone Cores Produced?
Stone cores that are produced from Berea Sandstone are perfectly cylindrical in shape and serve as a sample of sandstone that can be used by researchers to conduct rock core flooding experiments. These sandstone cores are regularly used by researchers who work for major petroleum industry firms, as well as, a number of environmental and geological labs who study enhanced oil recovery techniques.
When and Where Are These Stone Cores Used?
Researchers use sandstone core flood testing, that helps them in exploring and learning new techniques. These techniques are both cost-effective and energy efficient for the producers in the oil and gas industry, as well as for the consumers. The best sandstone cores come from Berea formation of sandstone.
Sandstone cores from Berea formation are considered ideal for experimentation because these sandstone cores adhere to specific permeability that closely matches the environmental conditions that core flooding experiments try to replicate.
Researchers use a typical setup for conducting core flooding experiments. These experiments involve a sandstone that closely mimics the permeability and conditions of the actual oil well. Sandstone cores that are cut from Berea formation in a manner that very closely resembles the conditions of oil extraction sites.
For the flooding experiment, a cylindrical sandstone core is first loaded into core holder. Then the researcher inserts a syringe pump into the sandstone core, forcing fluid inside the core. Researchers study the behavior of different variables in the experiment, and from this, they are able to find often new and improved solutions to deploy those techniques in existing oil wells that can maximize crude oil production.
The core laboratory can run dozens of tests, besides core flooding experiments on the newly retrieved cores. The lab measures all the core properties and produces a detailed report of permeability, porosity, oil and gas saturation, in addition to various other factors.
Stone cores are more valuable than small drilling chips such as rock cuttings or well samples retrieved during drilling. Through stone cores, researchers can clearly see the boundaries between limestone, sandstone, and shale. The core samples are preserved for future use in order to be reexamined later.