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As seen in the illustration, the air-water interfaces in the narrow tubes exhibit more concavity than to the air-water interfaces in the wide tubes. Consequently, the height of the water columns in the B tubes (which are narrow) rise even higher than that of the A tubes (which are wider). The smaller the opening, the greater the capillary pressure. With respect to a reservoir, this may be thought of in terms of pore throat diameters. Halliburton © 2001, Halliburton 39 Basic Petroleum Geology Basic Petroleum Geology and Log Analysis Large pore throat diameters § Generally yield a lower capillary pressure because of the decrease in the amount of surface tension.
This can be demonstrated in Figure 27, which illustrates several molecules of water in a droplet of water. Molecule A will feel equally balanced forces of cohesion on all sides because of the surrounding water molecules. Molecule B, however, will feel no comparable attractive force from above. Consequently, there will be an unbalanced cohesive force at the air-water interface, which attempts to pull the molecules down and hold them together. This contractile force is called surface tension. The top layer of molecules acts much like a membrane of A B Figure 27 The principle of surface tension Halliburton © 2001, Halliburton 37 Basic Petroleum Geology Basic Petroleum Geology and Log Analysis rubber, squeezing against the water below and keeping the air-water interface straight.
Figure 31 Grain size effects on capillary pressure and pore throat diameters. Halliburton © 2001, Halliburton 40 Basic Petroleum Geology Basic Petroleum Geology and Log Analysis Irreducible Water Saturation As previously stated, all sedimentary rocks have porosity that is fluid saturated. The fluid is sometimes oil and/or gas, but water is always present. Water saturation is defined as the fraction of that porosity that is occupied by water. If the pore space is not occupied by water, then it must be occupied by hydrocarbons.