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ROCK PHYSICS OF LOW POROSITY/LOW

PERMEABILITY SANDSTONES

TAD M. SMITH

TIGHT GAS SANDS: OVERVIEW

Formal definition of tight is a reservoir with permeability less than 0.1 mD


(Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)

Typically also low porosity ( < ~10%)

Tight gas sand reservoirs currently account for approximately 19% of total U.S.
gas production (Oil and Gas Investor, 2005)
Estimated reserves in all unconventional reservoirs is approximately 200 Tcf
tight gas sand reservoirs may contain up to 35% of the U.S. recoverable gas resources
some facts on tight gas sands in the Rockies:
Upwards of 41.7 Tcf
Montana and the Dakotas could contribute another 100 Tcf
Within the Green River and Wind River basins, more than 1,000 Tcf of gas is thought to occur in
tight gas sands at depths greater than 15,000 feet

Geophysical understanding is growing

Rock physics lags behind other aspects of tight gas sand reservoirs

TIGHT GAS SANDS: OVERVIEW

Projected growth in unconventional gas production during the next


23 years. Y-axis scale is annual production, in TCF
(http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/archive/aeo06/pdf/trend_4.pdf)

THIS PROJECT
= PRODUCED GAS

CLOSELY SPACED WELLS

= PRODUCED MINOR GAS

SMALL DEPTH VARIATION (<420 m)


= ABANDONED

KEY ELEMENTS OF RESERVOIR:


9 Quartz sand (>80% quartz)
9 Relatively thin (10-20 m)
9 Low porosity (avg. 4.5%)
9 Fractured
PROJECT DATASET:
9 One well with dipole
9 5 wells with image logs
9 Two wells with core
9 Consistent logging suite
9 Oil-based mud

1 MILE

DEPTH
M

GR
GAPI

150

0.2

M2R9
OHMM

2000

0.2

M2R3
OHMM

2000

0.2

M2R1
OHMM

2000

( SP )
-160
200

40
C24
MM

400

10000

VP_FINAL
ft/s

2800
A common
observation

2810

2820

2830

2840

2850

KEY ELEMENTS OF RESERVOIR:


9 Quartz
2860sand (>80% quartz)
9 Relatively thin (10-20 m)
9 Low porosity (avg. 4.5%)
9 Fractured
2870

POROSITY RANGE = 0 12% (AVG. = 4.5%)

AVG. VELOCITY ~ 16500 ft/s)

20000

22000

VELOCITY VARIATIONS; POROSITY


Large velocity variations may be due to

20000

1) uncertainties in the measurements


2) compositional variations
3) porosity variations
4) fractures and cracks
3) other factors?

16000
14000
12000

NOTE THAT THESE DATA DO NOT


EXTRAPOLATE TO MATRIX VALUES

DEVON LYNX 6-9-61-9

10000

DEVON
3-19-61-9
NOTE POOR CORRELATION BETWEEN POROSITY AND VELOCITY
(R2LYNX
= 0.44)

ONLY TWO WELLS EXTRAPOLATE BACK TO MATRIX VALUES


8000

VP (ft/s)

18000

OUTLIER WELLS

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08
POROSITY

0.1

0.12

ARL LYNX 10-17-61-9


DEVON LYNX 11-7-61-9
ARL LYNX 9-16-61-9
COP 100 LYNX 10-22-61-9

0.14

0.16

POROSITY; LAB MEASUREMENTS


DATA AT 4000 psi NES

NO CORRELATION WAS FOUND


18000
BETWEEN VELOCITY
AND
COMPOSITION
17000

2000 ft/s spread in


P-wave velocity

VELOCITY (ft/s)

16000

15000

14000

13000

12000

11000

10000
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

POROSITY (%)

3.5

4.5

KEY POINTS:

NO CLEAR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN


VELOCITY AND POROSITY

NO APPARENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN


COMPOSITION AND VELOCITY

WHAT ELSE?

FRACTURES

DEPTH
M

2790

2800

2810

2820

2830

2840

2850

2860

2870

2880

GR
GAPI

100

LCAL
MM

100

HCAL
MM

150
300
300

0.2

RDEEP
ohmm

2000

0.2

RMED
ohmm

2000

0.2

AHT20
OHMM

2000

FRACTURES AND CRACKS

Parting surfaces and


stylolites
Difficult to determine
which are natural vs.
induced
Locally cemented

SMALL SCALE FRACTURES


PARTIALLY CEMENTED CRACK

VELOCITY VARIATIONS; CRACKS


CHERT GRAIN

DETRITAL QUARTZ GRAINS

HIGH-ASPECT RATIO PORES

PRESSURE SOLUTION
CONTACT/SCAR

ORGANIC MATTER/
DEAD OIL
ORGANIC/CLAY
LAMINAE

LOW-ASPECT RATIO PORES

DETRITAL QUARTZ GRAINS


NOTE THE APPARENT RAMDOM
ORIENTATION OF CRACKS AND GRAIN
BOUNDARIES

100UM

KUSTER AND TOKSZ, 1974

9 BEST FOR LOW POROSITY ROCKS


9 MULTIPLE PORE GEOMETRIES CAN BE MODELED
9 RANDOM ORIENTATION (ISOTROPIC DISTRIBUTION)

= aspect ratio = short axis/long axis

0.1

22000

MULTIPLE PORE GEOMETRIES

20000

BOTH MODELS EXTRAPOLATE TO MATRIX VALUES

16000
14000

K-T, = 0.004

12000

VP (ft/s)

18000

K-T, spherical pores

DECREASING PORE GEOMETRY

K-T, = 0.05

8000

10000

NOTE THAT SIMPLE CONSIDERATION OF PORE GEOMETRY


RESULTS IN LARGE DIFFERENCES IN VELOCITY, BUT A TREND
THAT PROJECTS BACK TO THE MATRIX VALUE AT 0% POROSITY
0

0.015

0.03

0.045

0.06
POROSITY

TOTAL POROSITY

0.075

0.09

0.105

0.12

VARIABLE CRACK CONCENTRATION

20000

22000

GAS-FILLED SPHERES
BRINE-FILLED CRACKS
= 0.001

16000

cc = 0.1%

14000

cc = 0.25%

12000

cc = 0.5%

10000

SPERICAL POROSITY, WITH VARIABLE CRACK CONCENTATION ( = 0.001)

8000

VP (ft/s)

18000

cc = 0

NOTE THAT IN THIS CASE, THE VELOCITY-POROSITY RELATIONSHIP IS


RELATIVELY FLAT.
0

0.015

0.03

0.045

0.06

0.075

0.09

0.105

0.12

POROSITY
SPHERICAL
POROSITY

cc = crack concentration

CORE VELOCITIES
18000

POROSITY FOR ALL SAMPLES IS LESS THAN 5%


17000

P-wave Velocity (ft/s)

16000

15000

APPROXIMATE RESERVOIR NES (psi)


14000
DATA AT 4000 psi NES

18000

13000

SAMPLE 1
SAMPLE 3
SAMPLE 6
SAMPLE 9
SAMPLE 11.1

17000

VELOCITY (ft/s)

16000

12000

15000

SAMPLE 11.2
SAMPLE 12
SAMPLE 14.1

14000

13000

12000

KEY OBSERVATIONS:
11000
1)
LARGE RANGE IN VELOCITIES AT HIGH NES
2)
LARGE CHANGE IN VELOCITIES WITH INCREASING NES

11000

10000
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

POROSITY (%)

10000
0

1000

2000

3000

4000

EFFECTIVE STRESS (psi)

5000

6000

3.5

4.5

SLOT PORES IN TIGHT GAS SANDS

Shanley et al., 2004

SLOT PORES
PAY SAND
DEPTH
FT

PERF
10 B/E

PERF

8150

VSHALE
v/v

0.2

VSHALE

If Sw 20%, an M value of 1.3 is


required to explain this resistivity
(porosity 9%)

RILD
ohm.m

200

EDIT_VP
KM/S

EDIT_VS
KM/S

3.5

PREDICTED VP

PREDICTED VS

ASSUMPTIONS:
Quartz matrix
Gas saturated spheres (log-porosity)
Brine-filled cracks (slot pores)
Crack aspect ratio = 0.01

8200

AVG. POROSITY 9%

Sphere concentration = 6%
Crack concentration = 2.5%
VP = 4.583 km/s
VS = 2.744 km/s

8250

OBSERVATIONS/CONCLUSIONS

POROSITY DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE CORRELATED WITH


VELOCITY IN MANY LOW POROSITY SANDS

VELOCITY-POROSITY RELATIONSHIPS IN LOW POROSITY ROCKS


CANNOT BE EXPLAINED WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF CRACKS TO
THE ROCK MATRIX

THIS IS PROBABLY ALSO RELATED TO PETROPHYSICAL


OBSERVATIONS OF SLOT PORES

Used to explain very low M values in some low porosity sandstones.

Implications

VP and VS TYPICALLY CANNOT BE EXPLAINED SIMULTANEOUSLY


BY USING ONLY ONE PORE GEOMETRY (i.e., need multiple pore
aspect ratios)

THIS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN MODELING


POROSITY IN LOW POROSITY ROCKS
Velocities and moduli may not be correlated with porosity!

OBSERVATIONS/CONCLUSIONS
CARE MUST BE TAKEN WHEN USING ANY SEISMIC
DATA TO MAP POROSITY
In low porosity rocks, the effects of pore geometry are probably more
important than the total porosity
Amplitude anomalies in low porosity reservoirs may be may be
indicators of lithology, and not reservoir quality

IMPLICATIONS FOR PERMEABILITY AND/OR


ATTENUATION?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ConocoPhillips
VeritasDGC (CGGVeritas)
Carl Sondergeld
Chandra Rai

QUESTIONS?
(1

K sat

K fr

)2
K0
= K fr +
(1 ) K fr
+
2
K fl
K0
K0

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