Rocks, pores, and capillary pressure is the subject of a short course, Rocks, Pores, and Capillary Pressure, taught at AAPG’s Summer Education Conference in Fort Worth. The course, which will be held on June 20, combines analogies, real-world examples, case studies and demonstrations to examine the relationships among pore geometry, capillary pressure, reservoir quality, fluid distributions and seal potential. The instructor, Dr. Charles Vavra, is the owner of North Star Geological Services and he has many articles, reports and training manuals dealing with sedimentary petrology of sandstones and carbonates, reservoir description and pore-level characterization of conventional and unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.

By the end of the day, participants should be able to:

  • Understand physics governing capillary pressure
  • Relate capillary pressure, capillary radius and effective pore throat radius
  • Convert laboratory (air/brine, oil/brine or mercury injection) capillary pressure data to reservoir-specific hydrocarbon-brine systems
  • Apply capillarity pressure data to model reservoir water saturation
  • Use reservoir capillary pressure to estimate height above Free Water Level, transition zone thickness and depths of fluid contacts
  • Integrate hydrocarbon shows with capillary pressure data to estimate hydrocarbon column height
  • Relate pore type and pore geometry to reservoir quality (porosity, permeability, capillarity, relative permeability and recovery efficiency).
  • Identify and explain factors controlling seal potential
  • Demonstrate how a rock can simultaneously act as a seal to hydrocarbon and a conduit for formation water
  • Use capillary pressure data to calculate the maximum expected hydrocarbon column a seal can hold
  • Apply pore-level and capillary pressure concepts to reconcile “dry holes”

For more information about the course, please visit the website:

The course, which is a part of the Summer Education Conference, is suited for all levels of experience and background. It is especially appropriate for people working on complex reservoirs and those exploring for by-passed or “missed” pay.

If you have any questions, please email

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

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