The use of the resistivity image data is becoming a more common tool in the search and development of hydrocarbon accumulations. Regardless of the resource type, play type or environment of deposition, image data is becoming more important in order to assess the potential of these reservoirs.

This paper will discuss the advances in technology on the hardware side that allow for the acquisition of higher quality image data in routine and extreme borehole environments. The use of improved processing techniques will also be discussed which allows for improved reservoir characterization in a wide range of reservoirs compared to only using the conventional open hole log suite. The high resolution quality of image data compared to the basic open hole data, for example will allow for fracture visualization down to 2mm. Other petrophysical analysis using basic open hole data will average out the fine details of the fracture and its effects on porosity and permeability. Image based petrophysics known as "Image petrophysics" allows for the conversion of high resolution image data to high resolution petrophysical properties which provides greater understanding of the impact of the fractures on reservoir characterization. The use of image data calibrated with either core data or basic open hole data allows for the derivation of high resolution porosity distribution. Permeability derivation can also be achieved using image data calibrated with core data. This process can also be extrapolated to wells that are un-cored.

This paper will also discuss the challenges of acquiring image data from challenging borehole environments by employing memory based image tools that can be conveyed using a broad range of conveyance techniques.

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