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Back to Basics and Rule of Thumb Methods

In Petrophysical Evaluations

Ko Ko Kyi
Retired Principal Petrophysicist

The use of powerful computers and sophisticated software nowadays has made
petrophysical evaluations look easy; something which can be quickly performed at a push
of a button. Without knowing the basic theories and principles behind petrophysics, blindly
relying on software to produce these evaluations can lead to misinterpretation which can
have serious consequences such as missed opportunities or wrong economic assessment,
either over or under estimation, of the hydrocarbon potential. There are times where digital
data is not available and manual interpretation of the petrophysical data has to be carried
out by hand. At such a time, it becomes very important to know the basics and “the rule of
thumb” methods to carry out a meaningful interpretation. There are also times, where
conventional interpretation with standard methods cannot provide a satisfactory evaluation
and some “tricks of the trade” need to be used to provide the best possible solution to the
problem. In this presentation, some case histories are presented on the importance of
knowing the “rules of thumb” and “tricks of the trade” to help petrophysicists in their work.
Gas Correction
Worried about how gas correction is done? There are complex methods and there are also rules of
thumb “easy-to-do” methods, to derive gas-corrected porosity using neutron and density logs.

Gas correction methods for porosity in a gas bearing sand

1. Using iteration process with


petrophysical software

2. Using approximate equations:

PHI_23 = (2*DPHI+NPHI)/3
PHI_GM = SQRT[(DPHI^2+NPHI^2)/2]
PHI_SLB = (7*DPHI+2*NPHI)/9
PHI_85 = 0.85*DPHI

Notes:
Both DPHI and NPHI must be computed using
Sandstone Matrix.
Gas corrected porosity PHIT is obtained from the
triple lithological model.
All the approximate methods are overestimating
the porosity compared to the triple lithology model
result in gas bearing zone.
All the results tend to agree in liquid hydrocarbon
and water bearing intervals
Gas correction methods for porosity in a gas bearing limestone reservoir

1. Using iteration process with software

2. Using approximate equations:

PHI_23 = (2*DPHI+NPHI)/3
PHI_GM = SQRT[(DPHI^2+NPHI^2)/2]
PHI_SLB = (7*DPHI+2*NPHI)/9
PHI_85 = 0.85*DPHI

Notes:
Both DPHI and NPHI must be computed using
Limestone Matrix.
Gas corrected porosity PHIT is obtained from the
iterative process using neutron-density crossplot.
PHI_GM (Gaymard’s method) seems to be the
closest to the gas corrected porosity PHIT.
Water Saturation Computation Without Porosity Log

Ever been stumped when asked to


compute water saturation based on
one resistivity log only?

You can make it happen with a certain


assumption and a pinch of salt.

Sw = Sqrt(R0/Rt)

Where,
R0 = Resisitivty in the water leg
Rt = Resistivity in the hydrocarbon
bearing interval.

Assumption: The reservoir quality does not


change and porosity remains constant over
the zone of interest.
Variable Rock Textural Properties,
The Dreaded Variable “m” in Carbonates
Rxo and Rt almost overlaying each
other at values between 1-2 ohm-m
Improvement of hydrocarbon
saturation using ratio method
Pickett Plot and Hingle Plot

Pickett Plot is usually used to determine Rw Hingle Plot is also used to determine
(formation water resistivity). Rw, without having to compute
It can also be used to graphically display zones porosity first. It can also display zones
with different water saturation values. with different water saturation values.

Credit to original owner of the plots


Buckles Number and Buckles Plot

Uses of Buckles Plot


• Identify Swirr Zones for Analysis (i.e. Capillary Pressure)
• Identify One Type of Low Resistivity Pay
• Identify Stratigraphic Flow Units (Depositional
Environment)
Buckles Number can give an indication if a certain
zone is at irreducible water saturation and therefore
Ref: ConocoPhillips
will not produce any water.