Abstract

Shale and tight formations have long been a challenge for petrophysical interpretation. In the case of shales, the presence of clays and organic matter, complex mineralogy and pore structure make the log responses complicated. In tight reservoirs, the presence of connected and non-connected dissolution pores, microfractures and slot porosity also complicates the interpretations. This work seeks to integrate and digitize new petrophysical techniques and procedures that address these problems into a software system to assist with shale and tight reservoirs characterization.

A petrophysics software system that includes dual and triple porosity models as well as elastic geomechanical properties has been developed to assist with the evaluation of shale and tight formations. Some critical petrophysical parameters can be quantified, such as matrix, fracture, non-connected and effective porosities, water saturation, total organic carbon, level of organic metamorphism, flow regimes (continuous vs. diffusion-like) at any pressure of interest, as well as Young modulus, Poisson’s ratio and minimum horizontal stress. Based on these estimates, detailed shale and tight reservoirs characteristics can be analyzed and the original hydrocarbons in place can be determined with good accuracy.

Practical workflows for calculating each parameter are also organized and integrated. Object-oriented programming techniques are utilized for the development of this software considering its development life cycle for large-scale software development. Optimization capacity adopted in the current development for the reuse of the software components for future development is also explained.

Two case studies using data from the Nikanassin formation in the Deep Basin of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and the Haynesville shale formation in Texas are presented to illustrate the software development and the application of the software. Conventional well log data, such as gamma ray, density, neutron, acoustic, resistivity, and cores and drill cuttings are utilized in the examples, which is further validated with other sources of information.

It is concluded that the methodology developed in this software will prove valuable and facilitate the petrophysical evaluation of shale and tight formations.

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