The Sidewall Epithermal Neutron Porosity Log
- J. Tittman (Schlumberger Well Services) | H. Sherman (Schlumberger Well Services) | W.A. Nagel (Schlumberger Well Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,351 - 1,362
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.6.2 Core Analysis, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 1.2.3 Rock properties
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A sidewall epithermal neutron tool has been developed to substantially reduce environmental effects that have previously complicated neutron log interpretation. Designed for operation in uncased wells, the device provides increased accuracy in both liquid-filled and empty holes. A brief discussion of neutron moderation, diffusion and capture shows that logs using epithermal neutron detection depend on a smaller number of formation-characterizing parameters than those using thermal neutron or capture gamma ray detection. Thus, they come closer to providing an unambiguous determination of hydrogen content. In this new device a directionally sensitive epithermal neutron detection system has been incorporated in a sidewall source-detector skid to minimize borehole effects. The effects of variations in borehole size and shape, mud type, temperature and salinity are greatly reduced. Small residual borehole effects are then computationally accounted for in the surface control panel to provide a borehole-corrected neutron log. The log presents a direct recording of neutron-derived porosity on a linear scale. With corrections for bore hole effects already applied, this direct recording of porosity simplifies log interpretation. Furthermore, comparison with a linear porosity presentation of a formation density log permits sandstones, limestones and dolomites to be readily identified. Thus, in complex or variable lithology, porosity is determined with greater accuracy and reliability that heretofore. Laboratory data and field results demonstrate the improvements in neutron logging afforded by this new sidewall epithermal neutron logging device.
The new Sidewall Neutron Porosity (SNP) logging system, designed for use in uncased wells, provides reliability and accuracy never before achieved with neutron logs. The effects of variations in borehole diameter and shape, fluid salinity, mud weight and temperature parameters that have long complicated neutron log interpretation are suppressed or corrected for by this sidewall epithermal neutron detection system. Furthermore, to simplify interpretation the SNP log presents a direct recording of Computed porosity on a linear scale. The performance improvements achieved by this new system arise primarily from the combination of two important design features. First, though not unique to this new tool, an epithermal neutron detection system is used, Epithermal neutron detection substantially reduces the perturbing influences of the thermal neutron absorption properties of rock matrices and water salinity. Second, the neutron detection system is mounted in a directionally sensitive sidewall skid to greatly minimize borehole effects. The purpose of this paper is to explain briefly the advantages offered by the detection of epithermal neutrons, to describe the SNP equipment and the log, to present calibration and correction data and to give examples of interpretation methods made especially convenient by this new system.
ADVANTAGES OF EPITHERMAL NEUTRON DETECTION
Epithermal neutron detection, of all the neutron methods in current commercial use, provides the simplest determination of formation hydrogen content. Advantages of epithermal neutron detectors, as compared with thermal neutron and gamma ray detectors, are probably best explained by a brief review of the life of a source-emitted neutron. A fast neutron from the source will eventually be captured by the nucleus of an atom. However, before capture is likely to occur, the fast neutron (energy of 100,000 electron volts (ev) or more) will be slowed down until it is in thermal equilibrium with its surroundings. The neutron is then considered to be a "thermal" neutron (average energy of 0.025 ev at 25C). The overwhelming majority of the slowing down thus occurs in reaching epithermal energies (energies just above thermal 0.5 to several ev). After reaching thermal energy, the neutron will "diffuse" through the formation with, on the average, no further energy change until capture. Upon the capture of the thermal neutron, relatively high energy gamma rays are usually emitted. Hydrogen plays a very important role in the process of slowing down fast neutrons. On the other hand, the absorption effects of water salinity and low concentrations of other strong thermal neutron absorbers relatively unimportant in the moderation process are very important in thermal diffusion, capture and the production of gamma rays. Thus, by detecting only epithermal neutrons with the SNP, spurious effects due to these thermal neutron absorbers are greatly minimized as compared to the effects on tools using thermal neutron or gamma ray detectors. The epithermal neutron detection system affords another important advantage.
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