BP calibrates Exa’s DigitalRock

Multi-year trials of computer tomographic permeability validates alternative to laboratory analysis.

Exa Corp.’s DigitalRock (DR) software was highlighted in a BP presentation at the 2017 SPE/ADIPEC conference in Dubai. BP’s Gary Jerauld presented multi-year trials of DR’s approach to computing relative permeability from micro-CT images of rock using Lattice Boltzmann flow simulation. The approach reduces the time and cost of measuring relative permeability by and uses smaller rock volumes than traditional laboratory techniques. The authors believe that this could mead to the replacement of costly coring operations with side-wall cores.

DR constructs a pore space grids from segmented micro-CT images. A fluid-flow simulator is then applied to calculate permeability. The multi-year calibration compared the results with traditional lab measurements on full-size cores using steady-state and dynamic protocols. The paper concludes that the simulations faithfully reproduce the lab measurements across a wide range of experiments including core flooding, 3D sand packs and trapped gas.

Just prior to ADIPEC, Exa Corp was acquired by France’s Dassault Systèmes in a $400 million all-cash deal. Exa had $72 million revenue in 2016 and clients for its Lattice Boltzmann modeler include BMW, Tesla, Toyota, NASA, Embraer and BP.

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