Abstract The local determination of porosity is an extremely valuable target because of different applications in petrophysics. In fact, obtaining a reliable profile of porosity or saturations could considerably improve the evaluation of transport properties of porous media, especially if applied to multiphase flow tests (i.e., for relative permeability characterisation). However, the best procedure to adopt for these kind of studies is currently under debate, involving different experimental choices both for acquisition and hardware solutions. The choice of a reliable procedure could be particularly important especially if heterogeneous samples (i.e., vugular or fractured carbonates) are approached. We have investigated selected carbonate cores, characterised by fractures and large vugs, using different instrumental solutions in order to assess usefulness of application of NMR imaging methods as a porosity measurement tool for heterogeneous samples. Local porosity data have been obtained and discussed relative to conventional measurements and petrographical aspects of rock samples.