A simple physical model was used to develop an equation that relates the electrical conductivity of a water-saturated shaly sand to the water conductivity and the cation- exchange capacity per unit pore volume of the rock. This equation fits both the experimental data of Hill and Milburn and data obtained recently on selected shaly sands with a wide range of cation-exchange capacities.

This model was extended to cases where both oil and water are present in the shaly sand. This results in an additional expression, relating the resistivity ratio to water saturation, water conductivity and cation-exchange capacity per unit pore volume. The effect of shale content on the resistivity index- water saturation function is demonstrated by several numerical examples.


A principal aim of well logging is to provide quantitative information concerning porosity and oil saturation of the permeable formations penetrated by the borehole.

For clean sands, the relationships between measured physical quantities and porosity or saturation are well known. However, the presence of clay minerals greatly complicates log interpretation, particularly the electrical resistivity and SP logs, and considerably affects evaluation of hydrocarbon-bearing formations. The conductance and electrochemical behavior of shaly sands and their relation to log interpretation have been studied by many workers. Wyllie and Lynch reviewed this work in some detail.

Virtually all laboratory measurements of electrical resistivity and electrochemical potential of shaly sands published to date are the work of Hill and Milburn.

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