A Complete Petrophysical-Evaluation Method for Tight Formations From Drill Cuttings Only in the Absence of Well Logs
- Camilo Ortega (University of Calgary) | Roberto Aguilera (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- August 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 636 - 647
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.2 Core Analysis, 5.6 Formation Evaluation & Management, 5.8.2 Shale Gas
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 685 since 2007
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The amount of tight-formation petrophysical work conducted at present inhorizontal wells and the examples available in the literature are limited toonly those wells that have complete data sets. This is very important. But thereality is that in the vast majority of horizontal wells, the data required fordetailed analyses are quite scarce. Petrophysical evaluation in the absence ofwell logs and cores can now be considered owing to the possibility of measuringboth the permeability and porosity of drill cuttings. This is essential becausethe application of the successive correlations used throughout the paper isbased on porosity and permeability data.
To try to alleviate the data-scarcity problem, a new method is presented forcomplete petrophysical evaluation derived from information that can beextracted from drill cuttings in the absence of well logs. The cuttings datainclude porosity and permeability. The gamma ray and any other logs, ifavailable, can help support the interpretation. However, the methodology isbuilt strictly on data extracted from cuttings and can be used for horizontal,slanted, and vertical wells. The method is illustrated with the use of a tightgas formation in the Deep basin of the western Canada sedimentary basin (WCSB).However, it also has direct application in the case of liquids.
The method is shown to be a powerful petrophysical tool because it allowsquantitative evaluation of water saturation, pore-throat aperture, capillarypressure, flow units, porosity (or cementation) exponent m,true-formation resistivity, and distance to a water table (if present). Also,the method allows one to distinguish the contributions from viscous anddiffusion-like flow in tight gas formations. The method further allows theconstruction of Pickett plots without previous availability of well logs, andit assumes the existence of intervals at irreducible water saturation, which isthe case of many tight formations currently under exploitation.
It is concluded that drill cuttings are a powerful direct source ofinformation that allows complete and practical evaluation of tight reservoirsin which well logs are scarce. The uniqueness and practicality of thisquantitative procedure originate from the fact that it starts only from thelaboratory analysis of drill cuttings--something that has not been performed inthe past.
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