Magnetic susceptibility of petroleum reservoir fluids

Oleksandr P. Ivakhnenko, David K. Potter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Aknowledge of the magnetic properties of petroleum reservoir fluids may provide new techniques for improved reservoir characterisation, petroleum exploration and production. However, magnetic information is currently scarce for the vast majority of reservoir fluids. For instance, there is little in the literature concerning basic magnetic susceptibility values of crude oils or formation waters. We have therefore measured the mass magnetic susceptibility (?m) of several crude oils, refined oil fractions, and formation waters from local and world-wide sites. All the fluids measured were diamagnetic, however there were distinct differences in magnitude between the different fluid types. In particular, ?m for the crude oils was more negative than for the formation waters of the same locality. The magnetic susceptibility of the oils appears to be related to their main physical and chemical properties. The results correlated with the density, residue content, API (American Petroleum Institute) gravity, viscosity, sulphur content and metal concentration of the fluids. Light fractions of crude oil were the most diamagnetic. The magnetic measurements potentially allow physical and chemical differences between the fluids to be rapidly characterised. The results suggest other possible applications, such as passive in situ magnetic susceptibility sensors for fluid monitoring (for example, the onset of water breakthrough, or the detection of migrating fines) in reservoirs, which would provide an environmentally friendly alternative to radioactive tracers. The mass magnetic susceptibilities of the fluids in relation to typical reservoir minerals may also play a role in fluid-rock interactions, such as studies of wettability. The ?m of crude oil from the various world-wide oil provinces that were tested also showed some differences, possibly reflecting broad physical and chemical features of the geological history of each province. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)899-907
    Number of pages9
    JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
    Issue number13-14 SPEC. ISS.
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • Crude oil
    • Formation water
    • Magnetic susceptibility
    • Petroleum reservoir


    Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic susceptibility of petroleum reservoir fluids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this