An experimental study of solid matrix weakening in water-saturated Savonnières Limestone
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Petrophysical properties of carbonate reservoirs are less predictable than that of siliciclastic reservoirs. One of the main reasons for this is the physical and chemical interactions of carbonate rocks with pore fluids. Such interactions can significantly change the elastic properties of the rock matrix and grains, making the applicability of Gassmann's fluid substitution procedure debatable. This study is an attempt to understand the mechanisms of fluid-rock interactions and the influence of these interactions on elastic parameters of carbonates. We performed precise indentation tests on Savonnières limestone at a microscale level under dry, distilled water, and n-Decane saturated conditions. Our experiments display softening of the rock matrix after water saturation. We have found that mainly the ooid cortices, peloid nuclei and prismatic intergranular cement are affected by water flooding. We also observed a shear modulus reduction in Savonnières limestone in an experiment performed at ultrasonic frequencies. One of the most important results obtained in our experimental study is that the Gassmann fluid substitution theory might not always be applicable to predict the elastic moduli of fluid-saturated limestones.
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