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AAPG Eastern Section Meeting

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Improved Oil-in-Place Estimates in Clay- and Pyrite-Bearing Shales Based on Inversion of Multi-Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit Electromagnetic Measurements


Subsurface electromagnetic (EM) measurements, namely galvanic resistivity, EM induction, EM propagation, and dielectric dispersion, exhibit Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit Previous HitdependenceNext Hit due to the interfacial polarization (IP) of clay minerals, clay-sized particles, and conductive minerals. Existing oil-in-place estimation methods based on subsurface EM measurements do not account for dielectric permittivity, dielectric dispersion, and dielectric permittivity anisotropy arising from the IP effects. The conventional interpretation methods generate inaccurate oil-in-place estimates in clay- and pyrite-bearing shales because they separately interpret the multi-Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit effective conductivity and permittivity using empirical models.

We introduce a new inversion-based method for accurate oil-in-place estimation in clay-and pyrite-bearing shales. The inversion algorithm is coupled with an electrochemical model that accounts for the Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit dispersion in effective conductivity and permittivity due to the above-mentioned IP effects. The proposed method jointly processes the multi-Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit effective conductivity and permittivity values computed from the subsurface EM measurements. The proposed method assumes negligible invasion, negligible borehole rugosity, and lateral and vertical homogeneity effects.

The successful application of the new interpretation method is documented with synthetic cases and field data. Water saturation estimates in shale formations obtained with the new interpretation method are compared to those obtained with conventional methods and laboratory measurements. Conventional interpretation of multi-Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit effective conductivity and permittivity well logs in a clay- and pyrite-rich shale formation generated water saturation estimates that varied up to 0.5 saturation units, as a function of the operating Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit of the EM measurement, at each depth along the formation interval. A joint interpretation of multifrequency conductivity and permittivity is necessary to compute the oil-in-place estimates in such formations. Estimated values of water saturation, average grain size, and surface conductance of clays in that formation are in the range of 0.4 to 0.7, 0.5 micrometer to 5 micrometer, and 5×10^-7 S to 9×10^-7 S, respectively. The proposed method is a novel technique to integrate effective conductivity and permittivity at various frequencies. In doing so, the method generates Previous HitfrequencyTop-independent oil-in-place estimates, prevents under-estimation of hydrocarbon saturation, and identifies by-passed zones in shales.