Artificial Intelligence Applied to NMR Logging for Rock and Fluid Typing in Heavy Oils

Rojas, Pedro A. Romero (Weatherford International) | Cristea, Alexandrina (Weatherford International) | Pavlakos, Paul (Weatherford International) | Ergündüz, Okan (ARAR AS) | Kececioglu, Tayfun (ARAR AS) | Alpay, Server Fatih (ARAR AS)



Nuclear magnetic resonance wireline logging and data post-processing technologies are continuously evolving, making significant contributions to rock, fluid typing, formation evaluation and characterization of the near-wellbore zone. In heavy oil fields, however, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging is known to provide an underestimated permeability, poor reliable oil typing and thus poor oil saturation and viscosity determinations, especially when the evaluation is based only on the spectra of transverse magnetic relaxation times (T2) (one-dimension NMR) [Romero et al., 2009]. Several attempts have been made to improve NMR results, mostly with limited success [Fang et al., 2004], especially in separating the oil component from the contribution of other fluids to the T2 spectra. The main reason lies not necessarily in the selection of the data acquisition parameters and sequences for a single-frequency or multi-frequency tool, but in the way how the data is post-processed.

The present study refers to a well drilled through the Derdere formation, a limestone/dolomite heavy oil reservoir in Turkey. The NMR data was acquired in with a centralized, single-frequency wireline tool in a 6-in. borehole, drilled with water-based mud in a freshwater carbonate reservoir. The generated T2 log was analyzed in a traditional way to obtain the NMR total porosity and its partitions based on standard cutoff values. For the given 12 API oil gravity, reservoir temperature (76 °C) and gas-oil-ratio (GOR) the T2Oil peak appears around 170 ms, right from the T2 cutoff for limestones; therefore, no corrections were needed on the permeability calculated from the Timur-Coates and Schlumberger-Doll-Research (SDR) equations. In the present well, only a diffused separation between oil and free water could be observed on the T2 distribution log from field data.

In the broader concept of Artificial Intelligence, the newly proposed post-processing steps to obtain the oil saturation start by deconvolving the T2 spectra, using blind source separation (BSS) based on independent component analysis (ICA) [Romero, 2016; Romero Rojas et al., 2018]. Based on its T2 peak value —the expected T2Oil peak response— calculated from the prejob planner/simulator, the deconvolution results show that one specific independent component corresponds to the oil, from which the oil saturation was determined.

Results demonstrated the usefulness of NMR logging technology in the characterization and evaluation of this reservoir. Data post-processing based on BBS-ICA enable adequate differentiation between fluid components from T2 spectra. For the reasons above, NMR has been proposed for additional wells in the same field.