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Inversion-based detection of bed boundaries for petrophysical evaluation with well logs; applications to carbonate and organic-shale formations

Zoya Heidari and Carlos Torres-Verdin
Inversion-based detection of bed boundaries for petrophysical evaluation with well logs; applications to carbonate and organic-shale formations
Interpretation (Tulsa) (August 2014) 2 (3): T129-T142

Abstract

Petrophysical interpretation of well logs acquired in organic shales and carbonates is challenging because of the presence of thin beds and spatially complex lithology; conventional interpretation techniques often fail in such cases. Recently introduced methods for thin-bed interpretation enable corrections for shoulder-bed effects on well logs but remain sensitive to incorrectly picked bed boundaries. We introduce a new inversion-based method to detect bed boundaries and to estimate petrophysical and compositional properties of multilayer formations from conventional well logs in the presence of thin beds, complex lithology/fluids, and kerogen. Bed boundaries and bed properties are updated in two serial inversion loops. Numerical simulation of well logs within both inversion loops explicitly takes into account differences in the volume of investigation of all well logs involved in the estimation, thereby enabling corrections for shoulder-bed effects. The successful application of the new interpretation method is documented with synthetic cases and field data acquired in thinly bedded carbonates and in the Haynesville shale-gas formation. Estimates of petrophysical/compositional properties obtained with the new interpretation method were compared to those obtained with (1) nonlinear inversion of well logs with inaccurate bed boundaries, (2) depth-by-depth inversion of well logs, and (3) core/x-ray diffraction measurements. Results indicated that the new method improves the estimation of porosity of thin beds by more than 200% in the carbonate field example and by more than 40% in the shale-gas example, compared to depth-by-depth interpretation results obtained with commercial software. This improvement in the assessment of petrophysical/compositional properties reduces uncertainty in hydrocarbon reserves and aids in the selection of hydraulic fracture locations in organic shale.


ISSN: 2324-8858
EISSN: 2324-8866
Serial Title: Interpretation (Tulsa)
Serial Volume: 2
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Inversion-based detection of bed boundaries for petrophysical evaluation with well logs; applications to carbonate and organic-shale formations
Affiliation: Texas A&M University, Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering, College Station, TX, United States
Pages: T129-T142
Published: 201408
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 11
Accession Number: 2015-006978
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 5 tables
Secondary Affiliation: University of Texas, Austin, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201504
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