The Guard Electrode Logging System
- John E. Owen (Geophysical Research Corp.) | Walton J. Greer (Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1951
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 347 - 356
- 1951. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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The guard electrode system measures the resistivity of formations by employing a thin disk of current which is caused to flow perpendicular to the bore hole. The control of this current disk is obtained in a brute force manner through the use of relatively long equipotential electrodes above and below the measuring electrode.
The log obtained from the system is free of "lag," "plateau," "shadow," "reflection" and other distortions evident on conventional logs. The proportionate contributions of the hole size and invaded zone resistivity to the apparent resistivity reading are reduced when the mud and filtrate resistivities are lower. Thus, the guard system favors the use of conductive muds.
The mathematical development of the theory is given in an appendix. Equations are derived to evaluate the effects of mud resistivity, hole size, invaded zone resistivity and depth, and the true formation resistivity.
Sample logs from several provinces are reproduced and compared with conventional electric logs to illustrate the much greater detailed lithology that can be presented by the guard electrode system.
With increased ability of those in the petroleum industry to analyze formation characteristics from electrical resistivity data, there has become apparent the need for more precise measures of that parameter.
The measurement of the resistivity of a homogeneous and isotropic material can be made simply when the body of the material is infinite in all dimensions and the measuring electrodes can be placed within the body. In such a case, the current leaving an electrode follows a spherical distribution and the mathematical expression for the potential level at any distance from that electrode can readily be derived.
If it is considered that the active electrodes are within a bore hole filled with mud of a resistivity different from that of the formation, the current does not flow in a spherical pattern near the current source or sink, and the calculations of potential levels become more difficult. The additional consideration of a section of formation invaded by mud filtrates, and thus having resistivity different from either that of the mud, the adjacent formations or of the undisturbed formation, makes the mathematical problem extremely complex. Should the vertical dimensions of the formations be considered as finite, the problem becomes so complex as to preclude reasonable solution. Yet, even these considerations have not described adequately the conditions encountered in a large proportion of the wells to be studied.
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