Mercury Injection Porosimeter Laboratory

The School of Chemical Engineering manages a state-of-the-art Mercury Injection Capillary Pressure (MICP) Porosimeter Laboratory that offers services for both university research and commercial work.

An understanding of capillary pressure behaviour is vital to optimise reservoir characterisation and to accurately determine cap, intra-formational or fault sealing capacities.

MICP evaluation can be conducted on reservoir lithologies, cap seals, intra-formational seals and fault seals. It is commonly used in petroleum geology and petroleum engineering, but also finds application in gas (e.g. CO2) storage projects.

Our services

Our Mercury Injection Porosimeter Laboratory can provide analyses on core, sidewall cores or cuttings and also a comparison between cuttings and core analyses (if a combination of these sample types is available).

Microscopic sorting of cuttings can be provided, so a more homogeneous lithology may be analysed. This can be especially useful in the case of seal analysis, as in comparison microscopically sorted cuttings allow for a more definite threshold pressure (maximum hydrocarbon height) to be determined than for unsorted cuttings.

We offer a range of MICP-based interpretive services including:

  • non-wetting phase directional injection and withdrawal
  • pore network characterisation
  • saturation vs height determination
  • free water level determination
  • calculation of recovery efficiency
  • seal capacity measurements
  • calculation of hydrocarbon/CO2 column heights.

Frequently asked questions

  • How should samples be prepared for testing?

    In order to conduct reliable analysis, at least two 1 cm3 cubes of core material are needed. This provides enough material for two samples - one of which is a backup sample and can be returned on completion of the analyses.

    Cuttings will need to be at least 5-10 mm in diameter (depending on lithology), so that the injection curve is not masked by irregularities in the surface of the cuttings. 

    Please note: Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bit cuttings are generally too small for MICP analysis.

  • How long does testing take?

    The following are approximate turnaround times for basic analysis:

    • ≤ 5 samples: up to two weeks
    • 5-15 samples: up to three weeks.

    We can provide a more accurate time estimate once we have received your samples.

  • Is there a cost involved?

    Sample charges for MICP analysis include sample analysis, raw data and graphs. For information on the pricing for your samples, please contact us via the link below. 

    In addition to the above, an Interpretative Report can be provided. The cost of an Interpretative Report is determined by the time it takes to derive data, prepare and produce a report. For information on pricing please contact us via the link below

Cotact us

If you have any questions or would like further information about our MICP analysis services, please contact Associate Professor Abbas Zeinijahromi.


The MICP Laboratory is located at:

School of Chemical Engineering 
Room G04, Ground Floor, Santos Petroleum Engineering Building
North Terrace Campus