The deep organic-rich calcareous Kerogen of North Kuwait, a continuous 50ft thinly alternating carbonate – organic-rich argillaceous sequence, is not only a source rock but has gained importance as potential reservoirs themselves of typical unconventional category. Resource play or Kerogen characterization relies on quantifying total organic carbon (TOC) and estimating accurate mineralogy. This paper describes the first attempt to directly measure total organic carbon of the Limestone-Kerogen sequence.

For the present study, empirical estimations of TOC have been carried out based on conventional log measurements and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The introduction of a new neutron-induced capture and inelastic gamma ray spectroscopy tool using a very high-resolution scintillator and a new type of pulsed neutron generator for the deep unconventional kerogen resources have provided a unique opportunity to measure a stand-alone quantitative TOC value using a combination of capture and inelastic gamma ray spectra. In this process, Inorganic Carbon Content (ICC) is estimated by using elemental concentrations measured by this logging tool in addition to measuring Total Carbon, and this value is subtracted from the measured total carbon to give TOC.

The advanced elemental spectroscopy tool measurements were first used to determine accurately the complex mineralogy of the layered carbonate and organic-rich shale sequence. Extensive laboratory measurements of core / cuttings data were used to calibrate the petrophysical evaluation and capture the heterogeneity seen on borehole image logs. The final analysis shows considerable improvements compared to conventional empirical estimation. Once the mineralogy is properly determined, the log-derived TOC matches very well with core measured TOC.

This technique has provided a new direct and accurate log-derived TOC for Kerogen characterization. The application has a potential to be used for CAPEX optimization of the coring in future wells. This technique can also be applied in HPHT and High-angle horizontal wells, which can overcome challenging coring difficulties in horizontal wells.

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