The mineralogical complexity of mudstone reservoirs has led to the increased usage of multimineral optimizing petrophysical models for estimating porosity, water, and hydrocarbon volumes. A key uncertainty in these models is the log response parameter assigned for each log equation related to each volumetric variable. Default parameter values are commonly used and often need to be modified by considering subjective local knowledge or intuition to achieve a result that is considered acceptable. This paper describes the methods developed at Chevron for calibration of mineral log response parameters using core data.

Mineral log response parameters are controlled by the major and trace element chemistry of the individual minerals in the formation rock matrix. BestRock™ uses a nonlinear approach to optimize whole-rock chemistry with mineralogy to calculate individual mineral structural formulas and trace element associations from which certain log response parameters can then be calculated. Accurate quantitative phase analysis (QPA) to determine mineral content is a critical step in the process, which is achieved here by rigorous sample preparation methods and QPA by x-ray diffraction (QXRD).

The QXRD in combination with whole-rock elemental analyses are processed using Chevron’s BestRock optimization software to provide refined quantities of the mineral species present in the formation, their structural formulas, and their predicted wireline log responses. Calibrated petrophysical models are built from the information obtained from the QXRD and BestRock results.

The method described herein provides an independent and robust method for determining petrophysical parameters that is independent of the interpreter, quick to implement, and supported by quantitative measurements.

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