The Archie equation is the most common approach for calculating water saturation. The true formation resistivity that is derived from resistivity logs is an important component. In high-angle or horizontal wells (Ha/Hz) the commonly employed induction style tools and multi-propagation resistivity (MPR) tools employed in logging-while-drilling (LWD) have challenges. In particular, at bed boundaries, the formation-to-wellbore geometry affects deep-reading logs and generates artifacts such as so-called polarization horns on the logs. These effects become more significant with increases in the relative dip and the resistivity contrast between the beds. These conditions impair the use of resistivity for water saturation determination. An innovative modeling workflow to generate a true formation resistivity (Rt) from LWD MPR logs is presented. In addition, a number of case examples from Abu Dhabi reservoirs are portrayed.

The workflow described in this study begins with the interpretation of borehole image data to build a structural earth model. For this, the picked boundaries are extended away from the trajectory within an investigative volume of the MPR responses and are used to constrain an inversion algorithm that solves for Rt. The inversion is conducted using eight short- and long-spaced apparent phase differences and attenuation data. Different starting models and inversion constraints are applied to evaluate the sensitivity of the inversion results. The inversion results are further qualified from the ‘misfit’ calculated by the inversion algorithm.

This methodology was used to process data from multiple wells in a development field near Abu Dhabi. These high-angle wells are from carbonate reservoirs with varying characteristics (such as tight, layered, high-permeability streaks, etc) and all employ LWD measurements. The integrated data of vertical wells formation evaluation, dean stark and dynamic data (well test) were used to validate results of the case study.

The processing results showed significant improvement in determining true resistivity that provided highly coherent saturation determination along the entire wellbore profile. It gave confidence in the effectiveness of the approach for an improved quantitative petrophysical evaluation in Ha/Hz wells.

This new processing method is able to solve the existing issue associated with LWD measurement in high angle wells thereby improving the saturation calculation significantly.

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