Petrophysics Laboratory

The laboratory offers a range of different techniques including some which are world leading or unique. Our association with the capabilities of the Wolfson Multiphase Flow Laboratory together with nano particle and very high-resolution computed tomography facilities in the School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering extends laboratory capabilities even further.

Research staff have an extremely good reputation not only in experimental determinations but also in numerical modelling and the development of theory.


Major pieces of equipment include:

  • Research grade gas expansion porosimeter, capable of measuring porosities to within ±0.002 (0.2%)
  • Gas permeameter
  • Apparatus for measuring the steady-state streaming potential coefficient of rock cores
  • Apparatus for measuring the frequency dependent dynamic permeability and streaming potential coefficient of unconsolidated earth materials including beat packs, sands and soils
  • Apparatus for measuring the frequency dependent dynamic permeability and streaming potential coefficient of rock cores
  • Solartron Impedance spectrometer (1 mHz – 20 MHz)
  • Supporting mass, fluid pH and fluid electrical conductivity measurement devices
  • Water flooding rig currently set up to investigate the effects of nanoparticles on hydrocarbon extraction from cores.


Currently the laboratory is involved in the following major research strands, publications for each of which can be found on the Petrophysics research group page:

  • Frequency-dependent electrokinetics, developing theoretical models, carrying out numerical modelling and ground truth in the results with high-quality experimental measurements for the purpose of the development of the electro-seismic technique. This technique is the promise for improving upon the resolution of conventional seismics at the same time as providing rock characteristics remotely.
  • Improvement of oil recovery from hydrocarbon reservoirs using nano particle-based water flooding. The addition of nanoparticles to water floods has potential not only to provide a greater production of oil by their physical presence, but can also act as a vector to deliver functional chemicals to optimise the production of the reservoir.
  • The microstructural and flow properties of gas shales. A new project is beginning to examine the interplay between porosity, connectivity and fluid flow across a range of scales to nano scales using very high-resolution computed tomography imaging and advanced volumetric analysis.
  • Carbonate petrophysics. In recent years the petrophysics laboratory has, together with the Wolfson Multiphase Flow Laboratory, concentrated on understanding how the petrophysics will characteristics of carbonate reservoirs have been affected by various manifestations of diagenesis, concentrating on the reservoirs in northern Iraq.
  • Advanced fractal reservoir modelling. This research strand has seen the development of the idea of reservoir modelling based on multiscale fractals to the stage where almost a complete workflow for making reservoir models which take account of data variability, legislative, such at all scales is possible.

A few examples of work carried out in the laboratory previously or by staff include:

  • Development of the first theoretical model for the streaming potential of rocks.
  • Development of models for predicting the probability of types carbonate rocks together with an understanding of how diagenesis affects their physical properties.
  • Initial development of advanced fractal reservoir models.
  • Providing the largest and highest quality dataset of experimental electrokinetic measurements on rock cores.
  • Development of Archie’s law for two and then multiple conducting phases, leading to the recognition that cementation exponent and saturation exponent are two manifestations of the same physical process.

Who can use the facility?

We are committed to sharing our facilities and associated expertise with external academic and industrial collaborators. To make an enquiry please contact Professor Paul Glover, e:


School of Earth and Environment

Members of staff

  • Professor Paul Glover: Designer and constructor of many of the pieces of apparatus in the laboratory, experimentalist specialising in the electrical and electrokinetic properties of rocks and the development of theoretical models.
  • Dr Piroska Lorinczi: Reservoir modelling and modelling of experimental petrophysics data.
  • Dr Richard Collier: The petrophysics and petroleum geology of types carbonate reservoirs.
  • Dr Zhongliang Hu: Nano-particle water flooding.
  • Ms Siddeequah Azmi: Nano-particle water flooding.
  • Mr Mohammed Garum: The microstructural properties of gas shales.
  • Ms Rong Peng: Frequency-dependent streaming potential of earth materials.