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Influence of oil saturation upon spectral induced polarization of oil-bearing sands

Abstract : The induced polarization model developed recently by Revil and Florsch to understand the complex conductivity of fully saturated granular materials has been extended to partial saturation conditions. It is an improvement over previous models like the Vinegar and Waxman model, which do not account explicitly for the effect of frequency. The Vinegar and Waxman model can be considered as a limiting case of the Revil and Florsch model in the limit where the distribution of relaxation times is very broad. The extended model is applied to the case of unconsolidated sands partially saturated with oil and water. Laboratory experiments were performed to investigate the influence of oil saturation, frequency, grain size, and conductivity of the pore water upon the complex resistivity response of oil-bearing sands. The low-frequency polarization (below 100 Hz) is dominated by the polarization of the Stern layer (the inner part of the electrical double layer coating the surface of the grains in contact with water). The phase exhibits a well-defined relaxation peak with a peak frequency that is dependent on the mean grain diameter as predicted by the model. Both the resistivity and the magnitude of the phase increase with the relative saturation of the oil. The imaginary (quadrature) component of the complex conductivity is observed to decrease with the oil saturation. All these observations are reproduced by the new model.
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Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:49:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 3:14:01 AM

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M. Schmutz, A. Revil, P. Vaudelet, M. Batzle, P. Femenía Viñao, et al.. Influence of oil saturation upon spectral induced polarization of oil-bearing sands. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2010, 183, pp.211-224. ⟨10.1111/J.1365-246X.2010.04751.X⟩. ⟨insu-00565038⟩

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