Ryan Z. Jones

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Qinhong Hu


The Permian Basin has been producing oil and gas for over a century, but the production has increased rapidly in recent years due to new completion methods such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The Wolfcamp Shale is a large producer of oil and gas that is found within both the Delaware and Midland sub-basins of the Permian. This study focuses on the Wolfcamp A section in the Delaware Basin which lies within southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. The most recent study performed to estimate continuous (unconventional) oil within the Delaware Basin was conducted in November 2018 by the USGS. They found that the Wolfcamp and overlying Bone Spring formations have an amount of continuous oil that more than doubles the amount found in the Wolfcamp of the Midland Basin in 2016. However, to ensure a high rate of recovery of this oil and gas it is important to understand the nano-petrophysical properties of the Wolfcamp Shale. This study aims to obtain the nano-petrophysical properties of the Wolfcamp A shale formation in Eddy County, NM. To determine petrophysical properties such as density, porosity, permeability, pore connectivity, pore-size distribution, and wettability, various testing procedures were used on a total of 10 samples from 3 different wells in the Wolfcamp A formation. These procedures include vacuum-assisted liquid saturation, mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), liquid pycnometry, contact angle/wettability, and imbibition, along with XRD, TOC, and pyrolysis evaluations. Results show that samples from two wells are carbonate-dominated and contain 0.08-0.25% TOC, while the third well shows higher amounts of quartz/clay with 1.56-4.76% TOC. All samples show a high concentration of intergranular pores, and two dominant pore-throat sizes of 2.8-50 nm and >100 nm are discovered. Permeability and tortuosity values in the 2.8-50 nm pore network range from 2.75-21.6 nD and 375-2083, as compared to 8.85103 -5.44×105 nD and 5.49-295 in the >100 nm pore network. Average porosity values range from 0.891-9.98% from several approaches, and overall wettable pore connectivity is considered intermediate towards deionized water (hydrophilic fluid) and high towards DT2 (n-decane:toluene=1:1, a hydrophobic fluid).


Nanopetrophysics, Wolfcamp Shale, Delaware Basin, Permian Basin


Earth Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington