RESEARCH PAPERS: Rock Mechanics/Drilling Mechanics

An Analysis of a Method of In-Situ Thermal Properties Determination for Geologic Formations

[+] Author and Article Information
J. D. Lin, T. J. Love

School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla. 73019

J. Energy Resour. Technol 107(1), 122-127 (Mar 01, 1985) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3231149 History: Received October 26, 1983; Revised July 11, 1984; Online October 22, 2009


Geothermal investigations and thermal methods of oil recovery require the thermal properties of rock be known. The thermal conductivity of rock is normally determined by measuring the properties of core samples which have been removed from the well. The major problem with this is the fact that thermal properties are dependent on the moisture content of the rock. This moisture content is very likely altered in transportation and storage. This paper presents an analysis which serves as the basis of a transient heat flux probe measurement that may be used to determine the thermal conductivity and diffusivity in situ. Such in-situ measurements would overcome the disadvantages of core samples and may also be used when core samples are not available. This analysis also provides a method of estimating the time required in order to obtain valid results. The analysis indicates rather long test times may be required for accurate results. However, it does provide a basis for evaluating the results of measurements taken for shorter times. The effects of contact thermal resistance between the probe, the well casing, and the formation are evaluated.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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