The process of mud-filtrate invasion involves immiscible fluid displacement and salt mixing between mud-filtrate and formation fluids in porous and permeable rocks. Consequently, the post-invasion spatial distribution of fluids and electrolyte concentration around the borehole affects resistivity measurements with different depths of investigation (DOI). In the presence of deep mud-filtrate invasion, the assessment of water saturation in the uninvaded zone based on the deep resistivity log can be inaccurate. Deep and electrically conductive filtrate invasion coupled with shoulder-bed effects can artificially increase water saturation (Sw) estimations by 20 saturation units (s.u.) in the Barik reservoir, resulting in pessimistic estimates of hydrocarbon pore volume if no corrections are applied.

The Barik sandstone reservoir, which is characterized by low porosity (up to 14pu), low-to-medium permeability (up to 40mD) and high residual gas saturation (40 to 50%), exhibits low storage capacity to admit the critical filtrate volume necessary for building an impermeable mudcake. Combined with multiple days of overbalanced exposure to saline water-based mud (WBM), mud-filtrate invasion results in deep and smooth radial transition zones where the uninvaded formation is far beyond the depth of investigation of laterolog tools. Deep resistivity values are therefore lower than the true formation resistivity. Additionally, numerical simulations of resistivity logs show that the resistivity reduction by conductive invasion is further aggravated by shoulder-bed effects when individual reservoir thickness falls below 2.5 meters.

This paper describes the implementation of a compositional fluid-flow simulator to numerically model WBM-filtrate invasion and mudcake buildup in vertical boreholes. The algorithm allows the simulation of physical dispersion and fluid displacement around the borehole in a multi-layer model. Time-dependent radial profiles of Sw and salinity are combined with corecalibrated porosity and electrical properties to compute electrical resistivity via Archie's formulation. Subsequently, numerically simulated logs are generated using vendor-specific forward model processing and compared against field measurements.

This workflow was extensively tested in various reservoir intervals with a wide range of petrophysical rock types and drilling conditions. Results show that the deep laterolog exhibits low sensitivity to conductive filtrate invasion when reservoirs porosities are lower than 8%. Above that threshold value, invasion length is a non-trivial process involving multiple variables. Even though exposure time to open-hole conditions is a key factor leading to deep invasion, certain reservoir characteristics can lead to deeper invasion at short exposure times and significantly increasing uncorrected Sw estimates.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.