The material of which a petroleum reservoir rock may be composed can range from very loose and unconsolidated sand to a very hard and dense sandstone, limestone, or dolomite. The grains may be bonded together with a number of materials, the most common of which are silica, calcite, or clay. Knowledge of the physical properties of the rock and the existing interaction between the hydrocarbon system and the formation is essential in understanding and evaluating the performance of a given reservoir. Rock properties are determined by performing laboratory analyses on cores from the reservoir to be evaluated. The cores are removed from the reservoir environment, with subsequent changes in the core bulk volume, pore volume, reservoir fluid saturations, and, sometimes, formation wettability.
Reservoir engineer is concerned about the amount of fluid contained in the rock, the conductivity of fluids through the rocks, and other related properties. Fundamental properties of rocks are explained through two basic quantity porosity and permeability.