47th Annual AAPG-SPE Eastern Section Joint Meeting

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Identifying Hazards and Enhancing Reservoir Models through interpretation of Hyperspectral Core Imaging for Carbonate and Unconventional and Carbonate Plays.


An emerging analytical tool, with respect to oil and gas explorations, interpretation of Hyperspectral Core Imaging has been used in the mining industry to identify key lithological facies, mineral textures and alterations. Integration of traditional laboratory analysis and petrophysical interpretation allows us to accurately identify drilling and completion hazards as well as refine reservoir and fracture propagation models. In unconventional or carbonate plays, using cuttings, rotary side wall cores, and whole core to incorporate additional laboratory analyses such as X-ray diffraction, porosity/permeability analysis, rock mechanics, organic geochemistry, and thin sections interpretation with hyperspectral imaging analysis can clarify well log responses. The critical component to using these images with respect to oil and gas, is accurate identification of the mineralogy and its relation to depositional fabric and textures within continuous conventional core. This allows for a more inclusive, cohesive grouping and correlation between log-derived electrofacies and sedimentological facies. Understanding this correlation will increase the operator’s capability to identify drilling and fracking hazards such as that can cause costly drilling and completion delays, including bit-deviation and well instability. Differential cemented facies, recrystallized bedding or the widespread occurrence of expandable smectite are all common origins of drilling and fracking risks that can be better understood and mitigated by integrating hyperspectral imaging analysis with traditional energy exploration techniques. Analysis of the Hyperspectral imaging is invaluable when developing models to characterize specific lithology packages. In turn, these packages are used to identify potential horizontal landing zones, hydrocarbon pay zones, drilling and completion hazards (borehole stability, and fracking hazards) and flow barriers. Identification and understanding these packages ultimately reduces operating costs, increases production and can ultimately impact reserves. For example, hyperspectrally-defined lithological packages combined with density and resistivity logs can reveal potential flow barriers that remained undetected in other wells. Hyperspectral imaging also identifies lithology where hydrocarbons and mineral-trapped hydrocarbons are located, further delineating preferable hydrocarbon pay zones across models. This same method of classification can be used to evaluate cores in producing wells for behind the pipe pay to be further pursued or to validate new calculations of reserve estimations.