Abstract

Hybrid-type plays such as the Bakken petroleum system (BPS) can be particularly challenging from an interpretation, completion, or production perspective due to the mix of conventional and unconventional elements coexisting within a relatively short depth interval. In the BPS, conventional aspects include the presence of separate reservoir intervals, which, depending on your location within the basin, may include the Scallion, Middle Bakken, Sanish, and Three Forks. Unconventional aspects include the Lower Bakken and Upper Bakken shales, which are organic-rich shales comprising source rock and reservoir. Developing an accurate petrophysical evaluation of these formations requires a priori knowledge of the mineralogy, fluids, and geomechanical properties such that appropriate logging measurements, core analysis methods, and interpretation techniques can be obtained and used. During the development phase of an oil field, the log and core measurements being acquired and the petrophysical evaluation being performed may vary significantly from well to well across the field. Some wells may have triple-combo wireline or logging-while-drilling measurements consisting of bulk density, neutron porosity, and induction or laterolog resistivity, supplemented with a total gamma ray measurement. Borehole sonic logs may also have been acquired in some wells primarily for seismic calibration, geomechanical modeling, and hydraulic stimulation design. If the “standard” suite of measurements and petrophysical evaluation being provided fail to accurately represent the true complexity of the formations being evaluated, the asset valuation will, in most cases, be negatively impacted. Our formation evaluation of the BPS led to the identification of unique petrophysical challenges for each of the formations comprising the BPS. Traditional formation evaluation methods were applied to the BPS based on triple-combo measurements, a traditional petrophysical analysis, and the evaluation of net feet of pay. Advanced evaluation methods and techniques were then applied to address the petrophysical complexities identified with core evaluation, advanced log measurements, and discrepancies between the two. New petrophysical models were developed and fine-tuned to address the shortcomings of the simple models, and the net feet of pay were reevaluated using these new models. The detailed formation evaluation program used to characterize the BPS consisted of standard triple-combo logs supplemented with advanced downhole measurements including: (1) triaxial resistivity for thin-bed analysis, (2) nuclear magnetic resonance for porosity, free-fluid, and kerogen identification, (3) dielectric dispersion for water saturation, (4) geochemical spectroscopy for mineralogy and total organic carbon, and (5) dipole sonic for dynamic rock properties. Petrophysical models were developed using deterministic and probabilistic methods to integrate the measurements acquired for the most accurate analysis of porosity, saturation, and mineralogy and to best describe the hydrocarbon production potential of the BPS.

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