Horizontal Permeability

Definition - What does Horizontal Permeability mean?

Horizontal Permeability is the ability of a reservoir rock to allow fluids to flow through its pores in a reservoir bed. It indicates the flow capacity of formation in a horizontal direction. The permeability of a rock is required so as to analyze the formation rock and thus, the combination of permeability data with pore pressure, porosity and other parameters is checked to estimate the productivity of the formations. Hydrocarbon formations in the rock reservoir bed can be either in horizontal plane or in vertical plane.

Petropedia explains Horizontal Permeability

In order to know the permeability of a rock formation, horizontal permeability of the rock as well as the vertical permeability of the rock have to be understood. A ratio (horizontal to vertical permeability ratio) is estimated that helps in understanding the rock permeability between the vertical and horizontal planes. The purpose of finding such ratio is that it gives geologists a good idea of hydrocarbon flow and whether to go for horizontal or vertical drilling.

A high horizontal to vertical permeability ratio states that the reservoir rock has a low vertical permeability with respect to horizontal permeability which produces a large pressure drop near wellbore because of vertical component of flow. This pressure increase represents increase in the SPP (Skin due to Partial Penetration).

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