A review of the nuclear magnetic resonance physics and application in petroleum industry

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Nov 1, 2017
  • Author: Ayham Ashqar
  • Journal: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A


The measurement of the nuclei response to an external magnetic field known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has proven to have wide application covering different industries. NMR use in the petroleum industry focuses on solving rock and fluid properties. NMR T2 is the dominant measurement due to the short measurement time in comparison with T1, and at the same time, it generates the required information. The nondestructive technique generates an echo decay sequence and is commonly utilized to characterize the pore structure by observing the static and dynamic aspects of the nuclear spin. NMR measured decay time is controlled by the fluid and rock pore geometry (pore size), and therefore, the mean T2 can potentially be used to estimate permeability. NMR spectra, however, is affected by the presence of paramagnetic minerals either in the reservoir or in drilling fluid. Its shallow depth of investigation makes it prone to formation damage during drilling; however, the technique provides vast data to improve the understanding of reservoir properties. This article reviews NMR basic physics, and the added value to the petroleum industry through its application to characterize the reservoir, and its productivity, such as porosity, pore size distribution, permeability, and capillary pressure.

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