Definition - What does Porosity mean?

Porosity is the measure of a rock’s ability to hold the hydrocarbons it contains (i.e., oil, gas, water, and condensates). The porosity of a rock can also be referred to as the tiny pores, spaces or holes in the rock in which oil and gas can be accumulated. Porosity comes from the term “Porous” which means tiny holes in sandstones.

Petropedia explains Porosity

There are three important things to be noted in a hydrocarbon bearing reservoir, i.e., porosity, permeability and pressure.

Porosity represents the percentage of the pores or void spaces in sandstones. In mathematical terms it can be expressed as open voids in the sandstone rocks divided by the total rock volume. The total rock volume is equal to the solid volume of rock and porous volume of the rock. A sandstone rock generally has 8% porosity which means that the 92% of its portion is solid rock and only 8% has the void spaces which may hold the hydrocarbons in it. However, if a rock is found with 8% porosity, it is considered to be an economic deal for the operators and E&P organizations and can be developed into a decent hydrocarbon reservoir.

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