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ADVERSE INFLUENCES Acoustic logs are subject to errors which are often very easy to detect.

Factors that influence sonic log readings are: Noise spikes; causing decreased travel times Stretch; causing excessive travel times. Cycle skipping causing excessive travel times. Hydrocarbon effect -causing increased interval transit times. Shale effect -causing increased travel times Unconsolidated sands -causing excessive travel times Boreholes without liquid -will not support propagation of compressional waves, and thereby preclude use of the sonic tool. Conventional acoustic tools that measure travel times contain a threshold circuit which triggers when the received signal passes beyond a pre-set limit. The limitations of the conventional tools are all associated with either this trigger mechanism, the shape of the waveform that is detected, or the tool calibration. In some cases, however, the problems are readily apparent, and can be cleared up by simply logging at a slower speed. Noise Noise can be generated mechanically or by stray electric signals that are picked up by the receiver electronics (Figure 1: Noise Spikes). If this noise exceeds the trigger level A before the arrival of the Pwave that traveled through the formation, the receiver circuit will be triggered prematurely and the time measurement will be erroneously small.

Figure 1 To limit this possibility all receiver circuits are switched off for 120 microseconds after transmitter firing. The far receiver is the most sensitive due too longer "open" periods and the larger attenuation of

the acoustic wave for longer spacings. Noise spikes are usually intermittent and lead to much smaller travel times over very short intervals. The log readings around these noise induced short travel times can usually be trusted. Editing out noise peaks is very important for seismic applications where a cumulative travel time that is too short will lead too horizons that are located too deep in the seismic section after two way travel times are converted to depth. DT Stretch The second and third cycle of the wave-form are usually of progressively larger amplitude. As depicted in the Noise Spikes graphic, the signal arriving at the far receiver is usually weaker. As the trigger level is constant for both receivers, triggering at the far receiver can occur too late, causing t to be slightly too large. This phenomenon sketched in Figure 2:

Figure 2 Sonic Stretch is called t (DT) stretch. Cycle Skipping Worse than DT stretch is the occurrence of triggering at the second or even third cycle (Figure 3: Cycle Skipping).

Figure 3 Cycle skipping leads to a marked sudden shift to a higher t value and later to a similar abrupt shift back to the correct value. This problem is often caused by the presence of gas, or fractures, or borehole rugosity. In this regard, cycle skipping should be regarded more as a diagnostic tool than as a nuisance. The actual travel time measurement is determined at the first arrival peak. However, the tools internal trigger mechanism for detecting this peak is subject to errors. Figure 4 illustrates two common problems.

Figure 4 In the first, the bias level is set too high and the travel time is triggered by a later peak, causing an erroneously long time to be measured (this is known as cycle skipping). In the second, the bias is set too low and the travel time is triggered by noise, causing an erroneously short travel time. In the BHC mode, it is not always possible to distinguish between cycle skipping and noise, since two measurements are effectively averaged by the tool. Cycle skipping is not a subtle problem; during logging it will be readily apparent on the logging screen when the curve starts jumping back and forth. In many cases, this problem can be rectified while logging by simply dropping back down, and then re-logging the interval at a slower speed. This approach will provide a valid and useable sonic curve from which to calculate porosity, etc; however, by removing the cycle skipping from a gas zone, the "flag" which called attention to the gas zone will also be removed. Hydrocarbon Effect In the presence of hydrocarbons, the interval transit time of a formation will increase, causing the sonic porosity to read too high. According to Hilchie (1978), the following empirical corrections should be applied to counteract the hydrocarbon effect: Shale Effect When logging through a sandstone, the presence of shale laminae will affect sonic porosity values. The t values usually increase in proportion to the bulk volume fraction of the laminae, because tsh values of the shale are usually greater than tma values of the matrix.

Effect Of Unconsolidated Sand Unconsolidated formations exhibit longer travel times than can be accounted for by the Wyllie time average equation. This discrepancy can be handled in two ways: conventionally, and by the Hunt transform. The conventional method merely adapts the Wyllie time average equation by introducing the factor Bcp, such that

where Bcp is some number greater than 1. This can be done by estimating Bcp from the transit time in shales adjacent to the formation of interest. Then Bcp= tshale / l00 Thus, if, in a shallow sand-shale sequence, log shale is 130 sec/ft, then a Bcp of 130/100, or 1.3, should be used. The Hunt transform is based on empirical observations from sonic logs and porosity determinations from other means. Figure 5: Sonic Porosity Determination shows the generalized form of the Hunt-Raymer transform compared to the Wyllie formula,

Figure 5 and plots t against porosity for sandstone, limestone, and dolomite. An acceptable equation relating porosity to t for this transform is given by:

Note that t fluid does not appear as a term in this equation. The assumption is that the fluid is liquid (not gas) and is built into the coefficient 1/(ma -f). In sandstones this coefficient is very close to 5/8. Physical Limitations A graph of transmitter-receiver (TR) distance against the time to travel from T to R (Figure 6: Effect of TR Spacing, No Altered Zone) shows that the fastest sound path is through the mud at spacings less than critical spacing Xc.

Figure 6 For larger spacings, the wave path that takes the shortest time to travel, is the one that passes through the formation. The formation velocity v1 is measured only when the spacing X1 is larger than Xc. However assuming that the tool is centered in the hole Xc increases with increasing hole diameter D (larger mud-path Xm), or decreasing formation velocity v1 (slope 1/v1 becomes steeper, and Xc will be larger). A spacing, TR1, of 3 feet is usually sufficient to avoid these problems An "altered" zone around the borehole can exist where the formation has sucked up mud-filtrate and as a result has a lower sonic velocity. Examples are soft hydroscopic clays. This low velocity zone can be circumvented in the same way as the low velocity mud layer by increasing the spacing between transmitter and receiver. However due to the smaller difference between the altered zone velocity and the undisturbed zone velocity the spacing has to increase substantially before the wave that travels through the high velocity undisturbed zone out-runs the wave through the low velocity altered zone. The distance Xc even under these adverse conditions is seldom more than 10 feet, hence sonde

spacings with this length usually produces accurate readings, whereas the BHC would give too high t readings. When the velocity of the shear wave is lower than the compressional velocity of the mud it is physically impossible for the shear wave to leave the formation. The shear wave should, according to Snells law for Vmud > Vforrmation , be refracted away from the normal but the wave that travels along the borehole has already an angle of 90 with the normal. Hence, for this case, the shear wave will not produce a secondary compressional wave in the borehole, and detection of the shear wave velocity with a conventional sonic tool is not possible. The critical shear velocity can be calculated with: in which the sin (formation) = 1 Calibration and Quality Control It bears repeating that acoustic logs are subject to very easily detectable errors, such as cycle skips and noise. And many such problems can often be cured by simply decreasing the logging speed. However, even when the tool is triggering properly, we require proof that the recorded t is correct. A true calibration test shows the response of the tool to a standard environment. An excellent check is to record the transit time in steel casing; where it should read approximately 57 s/ft (provided that the casing is not bonded to a formation of high interval velocity, such as a tight limestone). The tool can be checked in open hole below casing if the log is run through such marker beds as salt (t = 67 sec/ft) anhydrite (t = 50 sec/ft) limestone (t = 47.6 sec/ft). As with all logs, a repeat section of at least 200 feet should be recorded, and this repeat section should overlay within a few sec of the main log over the same interval.