We introduce a novel well-logging method for determining more-accurate total porosities, fluid volumes, and kerogen volumes in shale-gas and shale-tight-oil wells. Improved accuracy is achieved by self-consistently accounting for the effects of light hydrocarbons and kerogen on the log responses. The logging measurements needed to practice this method are bulk densities, nuclear-magnetic-resonance (NMR) total porosities, and total-organic-carbon (TOC) weight fractions. The TOC weight fractions and the matrix densities, which are used to interpret the bulk density measurements, are both derived from geochemical-tool measurements.

Most unconventional shale-gas and shale-tight-oil reservoirs contain some nonproducible immobile hydrocarbons. When immobile hydrocarbons are present, our method requires prior knowledge of in-situ total water volumes. The water volumes can be estimated from dielectric-tool measurements. In special cases (e.g., in some mature shale-gas reservoirs) where no immobile hydrocarbons are present, a dielectric tool is not needed. In such cases total water volumes are outputs of the method.

We discuss the response functions in shale reservoirs for measurements of bulk densities, NMR porosities, and TOC weight fractions and derive exact self-consistent solutions to the response equations. The algebraic solutions are used to compute shale total porosities, fluid volumes, and kerogen volumes. The predicted shale total porosities and fluid volumes are corrected for light-hydrocarbon effects on the measured bulk densities and NMR porosities and for kerogen effects on the bulk densities. It is shown that significant errors can be made in log-derived shale total porosities if NMR porosities or density-log porosities are assumed to represent true-shale porosities without applying proper corrections.

We discuss the application of the method to the analysis of logging data acquired in a mature shale-gas well drilled in the Marcellus Shale in the northeastern United States and to data acquired in a shale-tight-oil well drilled in the Permian Basin in west Texas. A multifrequency dielectric tool is used to determine in-situ total water volumes in the tight oil well. The mature shale-gas reservoir does not contain immobile hydrocarbons, and, therefore, dielectric-logging measurements were not needed in this well. The results in both wells are shown to compare favorably with core data.

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