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THE EVALUATION OF FORMATION

The rock types and their characteristics during drilling


must be known and assistance from the geophysical
methods is required. The main purpose is to know the
exact location of the oil and gas formation.

Principal techniques

1.

Evaluation on the drilling fluid

This is known as mud logging. The existence of oil


may be observed from the drill cuttings under the
ultraviolet

light.

The

drill

cuttings

will

fluorescent if they are part of the oil or gas


formation.

2.

Examination on the drill cuttings.

Upon examination of the drill cuttings the trace


of oil and gas can be realized and the types of
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rock determined. These informations will enable


wells correlation to be made.

Microfossils, pollen grains, plant matters and


mineral particles will assist in the determination
of the age of the formation. The microfossil study
is known as micropaleontology.

The above techniques (1 & 2) involve less additional


cost, but the following problems exist:

i.

The cuttings are too small and they may have


lost some of their original characteristics
due to contamination by the drilling fluid.

ii.

Time lag The drill cuttings take time to


reach the surface and there is problem in
determining exactly the depth from where
they come from.

iii.

The cuttings may originate from the wall of


the well bore.

iv.

Oil and gas traces Problem in determining


the exact depth of its origin.

So it is quite difficult to obtain accurate


information from the above techniques. These
techniques will give some basic and general
information for the existence of oil or gas from
the wells being drilled.

3.

Core Samples

Two types:

i.

Conventional coring

The diamond drilling bits are commonly used.


Information on rock types at depth with its
depth is known accurately. Samples from the
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core can be used in determining the porosity


of the rock.

ii.

Side wall coring (swc)

Usually used in wild catting wells where the


information at this stage is very minimum.

SWC is done when the well is not cased yet.


The swc instrument is lowered down the hole
by means of wire rope.

Small bits are attached to this instrument.


The bits are fired (using small explosive
charge)

to

the

sidewall

and

samples

retrieved.

This method cannot be used if the mud cake


or the filter cake is too thick.

4.

Radioactive techniques

i.

Gamma ray logging


An instrument is lowered down the hole to
measure the gamma ray produced by the
formation.

The method will give the density of the rock


and indirectly the rock types may be known.

Less dense rock will give out less gamma ray.

ii.

Neutron logging
The instrument being lowered down the hole
will produce neutron log. This will make the
formation to release secondary gamma ray.

The release of the secondary gamma ray will


be recorded by the same instrument.

The readings are obtained on the surface and


can be translated into water saturation (Sw)
of the formation.

From here the oil saturation is known


(So = 1 Sw).

The

neutron

logs

can

be

being

used

simultaneously with the electrical logging.

The advantage of the radioactive system over the


electrical system is that the former can be used
in cased hole.

5.

Electrical logging

These methods were developed by Schlumberger


and widely being used.

i.

Resistivity System

An electrode or sonde is lowered down the


hole. This system is to determine the rock
types and the fluid contents within the rock.

The connate water or saline water will give


low resistivity as compared to that of oil and
gas.

This method is important in determining the


water content and oil within the formation.

ii.

Spontaneous Potential (S.P.) method

This technique is also referred to as the


porosity log.

Natural current that flows between the


electrode and the formation is measured and
recorded in millivolts.
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The natural current is due to the chemical


effect between the drilling fluid and the
formation water (usually saline water).

The electromotive force developed can be


translated into porosity.

Note: Electrical log must be done before the hole


is cased.

The followings are the additional electrical logs


that are used for specific purposes:

iii.

Laterolog This is also the resistivity


system. It is meant to determine the sand
and shale boundary.

iv.

Microlog For determining permeable areas.

v.

Microlaterolog For measuring the resistivity


of the mud invaded zone.
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The formation damage occurs around the hole


drilled can be calculated by this technique.

vi.

Induction log For measuring formation


conductivity. Useful for sand and shale that
have low resistivity.

6.

Borehole Diameter Gauge The borehole is being


eroded due to the movement of the drilling fluid.

To know the exact diameter of the hole is


important for determining the volume cement
required in cementing the casing.

7.

Temperature

logging

This

instrument

is

important to determine the top of cement (TOC)


behind the casing.

It is also being used to determine the exact


location of fissures in the rock.
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8.

Acoustical Sound Logging for determining the


formation porosity.

9.

Sidewall photographs or close circuit television: to


the condition of the borehole that has been
drilled.

10. Formation testing

Drill Stem Testing: The test is done while drilling


is in progress and the drill stem is used in sampling
the oil.

When there is indication for the

existence of the oil, the formation is isolated


using packers and samples taken and the flow rate
is recorded. So the productivity of the pay zone
is known.

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