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PCTROPHYSICS, VOL 42, NO 5 (SEPTEMDER-OCTOBER 2001). P 438443, 2 FIGURES, 2 TABLES

The Physical Dependence and the Correlation Characteristics of Density and Neutron Logs

Zhi-Qiang Maol

I

I

ABSTRACT

The density and neutron logs are two important physi- cal measurements in formation evaluation. It was found through theoretical derivation that the density log and the neutron response physically relate to each other in sedi- mentary formations because of the existence of the ele- ment hydrogen. It is the physical dependence of the two logs that constitutes the usefulness of these two logs in determining the porosity, identifying lithology of the for- mation and detecting natural gas formation as widely used today. Based on the dependence, a correlation coefficient between density porosity and neutron porosity has been defined. The polarity (i.e, the sign) of the coefficient is

different for gas-bearing zones and oil-bearing zones. The correlation coefficient can be extended to an approach for identifying natural gas formations since it is more sensi- tive to gas. The example of one well from Tarim basin in north- west China demonstrates that an excellent correlation between density and neutron logs does exist in log meas- urements. Thus, the physical dependence of those two logs is shown not only by theoretical derivation but also by field logs. The correlation polarity approach indicates a gadoil contact more accurately than the conventional overlay technique. This is verified with the RFT pressure data from the well.

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I

INTRODUCTION neutron logs. First, some basic concepts are briefly reviewed.

As is well known (Shlumberger, 1976), based on the Compton effect, the density log responds to the electron density of the formation. For a substance consisting of a sin- gle element or a compound, the electron density, pe,can be defined for a substance consisting of a single element

Density and neutron logs play a very important role in formation evaluation. The combined applications, such as density-neutron crossplot and the density-neutron overlay, are widely used in determining lithology and porosity and detecting natural gas zones. However, no precise explana- tion of why these combination cross plots work has previ- ously been given. In this paper, the physical dependencies of density and neutron logs is examined by theoretical means and verified with field logs. The applications combing the two logs are founded on the physical dependencies. Further, the correla- tion characteristics resulting from the dependencies can be extended to the identification of natural gas formations. This new method has advantages over the conventional overlay technique (Gaymard et al., 1968; Tan, 1991) for handling the effects of shale and invasion on density and

Ph

pu = 2-z

A

(1)

or for a molecular substance

k

pe = 2P”&Z,

M

1=I

(2)

wherephis the true bulk density, 2 is the atomic number, A is the atomic weight, Mis the bulk molecular weight, n is the

Manuscript received by thc Editor January 1999. ‘University of Petrolcum Beijing, China

02001 Society of Professional Well Log Analysts. All rights reserved.

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The Physical Dependence and the Correlation Characteristics of Density and Neutron Logs

TABLE1

Element

A

Z

H

1.008

1

C

12.011

6

0

16.000

8

Na

22.99

11

Mg

24.32

12

A1

26.98

13

Si

28.09

14

S

32.07

16

c1

35.46

17

K

39.10

19

Ca

40.08

20

Fe

55.85

26

Z

2-

A

1.9841

0.9991

1.oooo

0.9569

0.9868

0.9637

0.9968

0.9978

0.9588

0.9719

0.9980

0.9980

number of the ith atom, and k is the total number of atoms per molecule. For most of the elements and compounds found in sedi- mentary formations, the factors apart from pb in equation (1) and equation (2) very nearly evaluate to one (as shown in Table 1 and Table 2). In contrast, the neutron log measures the slowing-down of thermal neutrons, mostly by the hydrogen in the forma- tion. Thus, the neutron reading depends mainly on the hydrogen index,HI, of the formation, which is proportional to the quantity of hydrogen per unit volume

(3)

where n/,is the number of hydrogen atoms in the compound, Mis the molecular weight, and c is a constant. By convention, the hydrogen index of fresh water at room conditionsis taken as unity, so the constant c equals 9. Equation (3) can be thus rewritten as

(4)

THE PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE OF THE TWO LOGS

As mentioned, for most elements shown in Table 1 except hydrogen, the atomic weight of an element is about two times larger than the atomic number; i.e., A is about 22. If no hydrogen existed in the formation, equation (2)would take the form

TABLE2

 

Actual

2Cn8z

Compound

Formula

Density

Quartz

Si02

2.654

0.9985

Calcite

CaC03

2.710

0.9991

Dolomite

CaC03MgC03

2.870

0.9977

Anhydrite

CaS04

2.960

0.9990

Sylvite

KCL

1.984

0.9657

Halite

NaCL

2.165

0.9581

Gypsum

CaS042H20

2.320

1.0222

Klaolinite’

A14Si4010(OH)8

2.420

1.0102

Mg-smectite’ MgA114si22060(OH)1~

2.469

0.9981

Illite

KI-I.sA~~(S~,-~.SA~I.I.~)020(OH)4 2.530

0.9965

Fresh Water

H20

1.ooo

1.1101

Salt Water

200,000ppm

1.146

1.0797

“Oil”

n(CH2)

0.850

1.1407

Methane

CH4

1.247

“Gas”

cl 1H4.2

1.238

‘Serra, 1984

’Hepler et al., 1992

In fact, the element hydrogen does exist in sedimentary for- mations and the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008) is very close to unity, i.e. Ah = 2h = 1. So, we get

where the last line employs E.n, A; / M= 1 . Combining equation (4), we find

k

,=I

Equation (6) shows clearly that the electron density index is not independentof the hydrogen index for sedimentaryfor- mations. Therefore, the density log and the neutron response physically relate to each other in sedimentary formations. Because the physical dependenceof the two logs is tied to the element hydrogen, equation (3) can be used in determining the fluid content or porosity and identifying the formation fluid type, especially in detecting natural gas in formations.

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THE CORRELATION CHARACTERISTICS

OF THE

NUCLEAR APPARENT POROSITIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL APPLICATION IN NATURAL GAS DETECTION

The above analysis demonstrates that the physical dependence of density and neutron logs facilitates their combined application. The analysis of the correlation char- acteristics of the log responses also shows that a correlation approach could be used to identify gas formations, perhaps more easily than with the conventional overlay technique. In a shaly hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone, the response equations of the density and neutron logs are respectively given by

ph (~-@-~I)~III‘,+@S/jph+@(l-Sh)p~t+~P,/II (7)

+@(1- Sj1 HI,, +1 HI,/l

wherep is the density, HI is the hydrogen index, @is the total porosity, S is the saturation, and V is the relative volume. The subscripts mn, slz, n~,h, and b represent the rock matrix, shale, formation water. hydrocarbon and log response, respectively. The apparent density porosity ODand the apparent neu- tron porosity Q~canbe derived from equations (7) and (8), respectively

a,, = PJJ~~- ph

PI, -p/I

-

1

P”1U -PI,

- @(l+S,pill‘, - p It

(9)

+ K/I

Pmr - P \/I

pnru - pn

=

@+@S/,bh +K/I&I

The correlation coefficient, R, of QD and ONcan be then defined as following

where

L

&N = iz@Nl,and,/. =

Ih

1=I

lA

k

I=)

where k is the number of sampling points that represent a segment of log curves used to correlate. The continuous cal- culation of the correlation coefficient, R, is similar to what we do in correlating any two correlation curves of dipmeter measurements (no “search length” is involved, correlating the points or segment of log curves with same depth). The sign of R is termed the correlation polarity. To understand the correlation characteristic of density and neutron logs calculated by equation (11) and to extend it to gas identification, the following formations with various lithological and fluid features are qualitatively discussed.

Clean sand, aqueous

Both density and neutron logs read directly the porosity of the clean aqueous sandstone in this case. The overlay of the two logs would result in a perfect superposition. The correlation calculation should be characterized by a positive coefficient, R, whose value is close one.

Clean sand, oil pay

Only the first two terms in equations (9) and (10) are retained in the responses of density and neutron logs to this formation, respectively

01) = @ +@S/I& = @,

QN = @-@s/lL= @.

For crude oil with normal gravity, those two logs respond principally to the porosity of the formation in respect that both dh and are approximately zero. The main features of the overlay and the correlation calculation are very similar to the clean aqueous formation discussed above.

Clean sand, natural gas

Under these conditions, equations (9) and (10) can be written as

@N = @- @s/z</I.

Obviously, density porosity increases while neutron decreases since neither dIl nor (1, can be neglected in gas for- mation. The differences between the apparent porosities and the actual porosity depend on the gas saturation, poros- ity and gas density. Moreover, the excavation effect (Seges- man and Liu, 1971) of gas will further lower the neutron reading, because of the relatively large neutron-slowing- down length in gas. Under reservoir conditions, the situa-

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The Physical Dependence and the Correlation Characteristics of Density and Neutron Logs

tion will become complicated in that the quantity might be small because of deep invasion, low porosity or low gas saturation. The correlation polarity method still works as long as the response to residual gas exists whether it is great or small. In contrast the overlay technique only works when the response of gas is significant enough to cause a distinct difference between density porosity and neutron porosity. In other words, the correlation polarity is more sensitive than the overlay techniqueto a small gas response. This rea- soning also appliesto the shaly formation discussed below.

Shaly sand, natural gas

The analysis for responses of the tools is more compli- cated in shaly gas formation since the value ofpsl,may vary greatly. ps/, may be greater than pnla or not, depending upon the clay/shale structures in the rocks. Frequently in laminated shale intervals, Psh > pma,and d,~,will be negative. In this case the density log will read a porosity lower than the actual porosity and neutron log higher. Furthermore, both overlay and correlation tech- niques work well because of the low Sl1 in this situation. Therefore

@Ll =$+$shdh

@N=$-$shcsh

+Khdsh

+Khcsh

z$-~hdsh

=$+Khcsh

.

For dispersed or structural claylshale, Psh is often less thanp,,. The values of @D and @Ndependupon whether the effect of gas is greater than that of shale or not. If the effect of shale predominates (i.e., KhdsIl > $Shdl,and V,/,&,, > $s/lch) and consequentlysh is low, the two logs will respond as if to a shale interval. The correlation method is still valid but the overlay technique fails when the response to gas is larger than that to shale. However, the superiority is not as significant as when the overlay of the two logs exhibits a distinct offset. This situation is frequently found in shaly gas reservoirsbecause the response to gas might be counter- acted by the response to shale and further reduced by a lower gas saturation (caused by deep invasion, higher shale content or low porosity).

resistivity log responses, the interval from A to E can be interpreted as hydrocarbon-bearing formation, and the oiVwater contact is considered at the level E. The gadoil interface is not clear. The correlation coefficient, R, calculated by equation (11) in which K = 7 is plotted in track 5 in Figure 1 (to emphasizethe results of reservoir,R is artificiallyset to zero in shale intervals). 2 is the ratio of density porosity over

FIELD LOG EXAMPLE

Figure 1 shows composite logs, overlay, and correlation calculations of density and neutron logs of a well drilled through structure T in Tarim basin in northwest China. The reservoir formations are marine sandstones. The lower part of the reservoir is formed by an offshore bar characterized by good petrophysical properties. The upper shaly and gravel sandstone corresponds to branch channel deposits. According to the salinity of the formation water and the

The composite logs and the location of gasloil contact

by the correlation polarity approach in Well No.1 of the T Reser- voir, Tarim Basin, China.

FIG. 1

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Mao

neutron porosity. The is determined from density and gamma ray logs.

good correlation (i.e., 0.5 c I R I < 1.0) of density

porosity and neutron porosity in all intervals demonstrates that the density log and the neutron log responses are codependent. Field logs verify the theoretical derivation presented in this paper. The conventional overlay of density porosity and neu- tron porosity showed that a possible gadoil interface should be at level D or even lower because of the great differences between them (can be seen from both track 4 and 5) above the level. The correlation coefficient seems to indicate a gadoil contact in level B mainly because R tends to be posi- tive (indicating oil or water as the possible pore fluids) below that depth. The negative R within the oil formations is mainly caused by laminated shale that impliesp,,, may be greater than P,,,~(intervals from F to D). Figure 2 shows the RFT data acquired from the borehole. The gadoil and oil/water contacts are identified at levels C and E, respectively. The gadoil contact from the correlation calculation is more in agreement with the RFT contact than the contact from the conventional overlay technique. This example shows that the correlation polarity of density and neutron porosities is a useful approach for identifying natu- ral gas formations.

A

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the fundamental physics of density and neutron logs, and the nuclear properties of the elements and com- pounds existing in sedimentary rocks, it is shown that the electron density index is related to the hydrogen index in sedimentary rocks. Consequently, the density log is corre- lated with the neutron log. The physical codependence of the two logs is also verified by field log responses, which are marked by excellent corre- lation coefficients for the logs throughout the reservoir. The physical dependence of density and neutron logs is the inher- ent basis of the combined applications of these logs. The correlation polarity of an oil zone is completely dif- ferent from that of a gas zone. In addition, the polarity approach is still useful when the response of gas on the logs may be small. All of these characteristics features could be used to develop an effective technique for gas detection. The tentative application of the method as shown in the paper is reasonable and promising.

NOMENCLATURE

electron density index bulk density, g/cm3 hydrogen index, fraction atomic weight atomic number molecular weight apparent density porosity, fraction apparent neutron porosity, fraction

A+

0

< relative volume, fraction saturation, fraction porosity, fraction density, g/cm3

Subscripts:

nu7

rock matrix

Sh

shale

W

formation water

h

hydrocarbon

D

density log

N

neutron log

FIG.2

The fluid pressure profile from the RFT measurements

of the well.

REFERENCES

Gayniard,R., and Poupon,A,, 1968, Response of neutron and for-

mation density logs in hydrocarbon bearing formations: The

Log Aidyst, vol. 9, no. 5, p. 3-13.

Hepler, L. G. et al, 1992, AOSTRA Technical Handbook of Oil

Sands. Bitumens and Heavy Oils, Chinese Version (translated by Liang et al.), Press of University of Petroleum, Dongying.

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The Physical Dependence and the Correlation Characteristics of Density and Neutron Logs

Schlumberger Ltd., 1976, Log Interpretation, Volume I: Princi- ples. Segesman, F., and Liu, O., 1971, The excavation effect, paper N, in 12th Annual Logging Symposium Transactions: Society of Professional Well Log Analysts. Serra, O., 1984, Fundamentals of well-log interpretation, 1: The Acquisition of Logging Data, Elsevier. Tan, T. D., 1991, Log interpretation of deep gas zone by nuclear logging porosity difference method" (in Chinese): Petroleum Exploration and Development, vo1.18, no. 6.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zhi-Qiang Mao is an associate professor of applied geophys- ics with the University of Petroleum Beijing, China. He received his doctors degree in applied geophysics from the postgraduate school of the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development of Beijing. He has worked for China National Petro- leum Cooperation (CNPC) in Tarim Petroleum E & D Headquar- ters as a log analyst from 1993 to 1997. As a visiting scholar, he had studied and worked shortly in MIT, USA, Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP), and Gaz de France (GDF), France. He is in charge of two key research projects of CNPC. His research interests include log interpretation, petrophysics, and formation evaluation.

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