A High Angle and Horizontal Well Interpretation Toolkit for Quantitative Formation Evaluation and Reservoir Characterization

Mendoza, Alberto X. (ExxonMobil Neftegas) | Gaillot, Philippe (ExxonMobil Exploration Company) | Yin, Hezhu (ExxonMobil Abu Dhabi Offshore Petroleum Company) | Nicosia, Wayne (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Guo, Pingjun (Exxon Mobil Corporation) | Mardon, Duncan (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Passey, Quinn R. (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.) | Wertanen, Scott R. (ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Surumana) | Zhou, JinJuan (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company) | Fitz, Dale Edward (ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.)


Over last several years, the ability to perform accurate, quantitative formation evaluation in high-angle and horizontal (HA/HZ) wells has been increasingly recognized as a high priority, unsatisfied need within the formation evaluation (FE) community. The industry has realized that the ability to drill extended reach wells has surpassed the ability to evaluate them. Well logs are often underutilized for geologic modeling and assessment applications due to lack of confidence in petrophysical analysis results.

In this paper, we introduce a state-of-art formation evaluation toolkit specifically developed for quantitative interpretation of high angle and horizontal well logs. Starting with wellbore images and standard triple-combo field logs, the workflow consists of: 1) three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) display modules for well path, wellbore images logs, scalar logs and dips to quality control (QC) the data; 2) a comprehensive image analysis module combined with log analysis to build a 3D geometrical earth model; 3) a depth coherence processing (DCP) module to effectively correct recorded borehole images of different logging tool sensors with different depths of investigation (DOI) back to borehole size (BS); 4) a 3D joint inversion module to accurately model and interpret gamma ray (GR), neutron, density, and resistivity logs, to build a common petrophysical earth model; and 5) an output module in which the common earth model is populated with bedding geometries and petrophysical property distributions.

The advanced formation evaluation toolkit described in this paper enables geoscientists to realize much more value than ever before from high-angle and horizontal well data, especially in thinly bedded reservoirs. The detailed description of the internal architecture and lateral petrophysical characterization of the reservoirs are essential for understanding stratigraphy and conditioning geological models. The improved estimations of the petrophysical properties yield more accurate estimates of reserves in place.