Acoustic Character Logs and Their Applications in Formation Evaluation
- G.R. Pickett (Shell Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 659 - 667
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.2.3 Rock properties, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis, 3 Production and Well Operations, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.14 Casing and Cementing
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Examples are presented which show that the velocity, amplitude, attenuation and apparent frequency of several acoustic waves can be recorded in the borehole. Examination of such recordings, termed "character" logs, indicates that the wave types observed include a refracted compressional wave and a wave which travels with formation shear velocity. Laboratory data are used to show that compressional and shear wave velocities are dependent on porosity, effective stress and lithology; but that the change in reciprocal velocity per unit change in porosity is larger for shear waves than for compressional waves. We, therefore, conclude that the accuracy of porosity determinations can sometimes be improved by use of shear wave velocities, provided that the shear wave amplitudes are large enough to delineate the shear arrival from the preceding compressional arrival on the character log. Borehole data are presented which show that the difference between shear wave and compressional wave reciprocal velocities can be used to predict porosities. This is a refinement which may allow the prediction of porosities from single-receiver acoustic logs without introduction of errors from borehole fluid travel-times. Laboratory and field data are presented to show that the relationship between compressional and shear wave velocities can be used to indicate lithology. An example is presented to show that fractures usually cause a greater reduction in borehole shear wave amplitudes than in compressional wave amplitudes, an effect which may offer a more reliable means of detecting fractures. The complexity of the borehole acoustic wave train can make presently available cement bond logs highly sensitive to the gate and bias settings used. The character log offers a means to circumvent possible misinterpretations by recording all amplitudes, from which the interpreter can select the appropriate data for evaluating the cement bond. Character logs may also be used as a quality control for open-hole transit-time logs when existence of small compressional wave amplitudes interferes with the proper functioning of bias-controlled timing devices. Evaluation of the potential uses of character log data is not complete; but a character log presented in a form convenient for routine use would be a desirable addition to currently available logs. To summarize, possible applications for such a log in formation evaluation include the following (1) quality control of transit-time logs, (2) refinement of porosity predictions, (3) determination of lithology, (4) improvement of fracture detection and (5) improvement of cement bond evaluation. Suggestions are made regarding the requirements for a sufficient but practical character log for routine use.
Acoustic logs have become a widely used porosity tool in formation evaluation. In addition, there is a growing application of acoustic logs in cement bond evaluation and fracture detection. These applications have mainly involved the use of logs of first-arrival transit times and amplitudes and have not included detailed studies of the complete signal. The purpose of this paper is to show that significant benefits in formation evaluation can be gained by a more complete use of the acoustic wave train generated in the borehole by an acoustic logging tool. We hope that this discussion will also stimulate further development of logs suitable for routine use so that these benefits may be realized. Examples of acoustic wave train logs, termed "character" logs, are presented to show that several identifiable acoustic waves are present in the borehole. The measurable characteristics of these acoustic waves and some of their relations to formation properties of interest are also discussed. The more obvious potential uses of character logs are listed, and some suggestions are made regarding the requirements for a sufficient but practical character log for routine use.
Some 10 years ago, Vogel and Summers and Broding noted that the signals received uphole from an acoustic logging tool located in a borehole had a number of interesting characteristics. The logging tool consisted of two or more pressure transducers spaced on an acoustically insulated body (Fig. 1a). One of the pressure transducers was used as a transmitter to generate pressure waves in the borehole fluid. The other transducer served as a receiver to detect any pressure waves reaching it in the borehole. The receiver then converted these pressure waves to electrical signals which were transmitted to the surface and displayed on an oscilloscope as a record of time vs receiver-signal amplitude. Fig. 1b is a schematic representation of a typical record.
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