Neutron and density logs are important borehole measurements for estimating reservoir capacity and inferring saturating fluids. The neutron log, measuring the hydrogen index, is commonly expressed in apparent water-filled porosity units assuming a constant matrix lithology whereby it is not always representative of actual pore fluid. By contrast, a lithology-independent porosity calculation from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and/or core measurements provides reliable evaluations of reservoir capacity. In practice, not all wells include core or NMR measurements. We discovered an interpretation workflow wherein formation porosity and hydrocarbon constituents can be estimated from density and neutron logs using an interactive, variable matrix scale specifically suited for the precalculated matrix density. First, we estimated matrix components from combinations of nuclear logs (photoelectric factor, spontaneous gamma ray, neutron, and density) using Schlumberger’s nuclear parameter calculator (SNUPAR) as a matrix compositional solver while assuming freshwater-filled formations. The combined effects of grain density, volumetric concentration of shale, matrix hydrogen, and neutron lithology units define an interactive matrix scale for correction of neutron porosity. Under updated matrix conditions, the resulting neutron-density crossover can only be attributed to pore volume and saturating fluid effects. Second, porosity, connate-water saturation, and hydrocarbon density are calculated from the discrepancy between corrected neutron and density logs using SNUPAR and Archie’s water saturation equation, thereby eliminating the assumption of freshwater saturation. With matrix effects eliminated from the neutron-density overlay, gas- or light-oil-saturated formations exhibiting the characteristic gas neutron-density crossover become representative of saturating hydrocarbons. This behavior gives a clear qualitative distinction between hydrocarbon-saturated and nonviable depth zones.

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