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Anlisis de rocas y fluidos

8. Semestre/09-03-2015

Ingeniera de Petrleos

RESISTIVITY
Before we discuss resistivity well logging, it is important to learn how electricity flows into a formation,
and to know which components of the formation permit or prevent the flow of electricity. In this
discussion, we will first start by describing conductivity and its relation to resistivity.

Conductivity
Electricity can pass through a formation only because of conductive water contained within the
formation. With a few rare exceptions, such as metallic sulfide or graphite, dry rock is a good electrical
insulator. But perfectly dry rocks are very seldom encountered in the subsurface; water is in their pores
or absorbed in their interstitial clay, therefore subsurface formations have finite, measurable
resistivities.
In general, reservoir rock consists of two types of components:

NON-CONDUCTIVE COMPONENTS
Rock matrix (with a few exceptions like clays and ore bodies)
Hydrocarbons
Fresh water

CONDUCTIVE COMPONENTS
Salt water
Some rock minerals such as shales, siderite, pyrite
Conductivity is in most cases controlled by the following properties of the water phase:
Porosity (), the amount of pore volume per unit bulk volume
Water Saturation (Sw), the fraction of the pore volume occupied by water
Water Conductivity (Cw)
Water conductivity, in turn, is a function of the salinity of the water, as well as the pressure and
temperature conditions in the reservoir.

Ohms Law
Ohms law states that the potential difference (V) between two points on a conductor is equal to the
product of the electrical current flowing in the conductor (I ), and the resistance of the conductor (R).
Practical units of measurement are, respectively, the volt, the amp, and the ohm. Expressed as an
equation, the relationship is
V=IR
Volts = Amps Ohms
The resistance of a material is its ability to impede the flow of electrical current. Well logging, however,
is more concerned with the resistivity, rather than the resistance, of a rock. Resistivity is a measure of
the electrical resistance of a specific amount of a substance. In this case, resistivity is numerically

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Anlisis de rocas y fluidos

8. Semestre/09-03-2015

Ingeniera de Petrleos

equivalent to the voltage required to cause one amp to pass through a cube of face area one-meter
square. This concept is illustrated in Figure 1: Definition of the Ohm-Meter

Figure 1
To obtain that "specific resistance" R of a rock, the resistance r is multiplied by the rocks surface
area A and divided by its length L. Specific Resistance, more commonly referred to as resistivity, is
defined as:

The unit of resistivity is the ohm-meter2/meter, and abbreviated as Wm2/m or Wm.


When discussing formation resistivities, it is common to say "this is a 25-ohm sand" rather than to say
"this sand has a resistivity of 25 ohms meters squared per meter." So the field jargon, when talking
about resistivity logs, is to say "ohm" when "ohm m2/m" is really meant.

The Relation between Conductivity and Resistivity


Conductivity is the reciprocal of resistivity.
A substance with infinite resistivity (empty space) has a conductivity of zero, and a substance with low
resistivity has high conductivity. Conductivity is expressed in mhos per meter (mho/m). In other words,
the inverse of the ohm is the mho. In the metric system, the unit of conductivity mho/m is known as
S/m (Siemens/m). On wireline logs, conductivity is usually expressed in a finer measurement of
millimhos per meter (mmho/m), where 1000 mmho/m = 1 mho/m.

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Anlisis de rocas y fluidos

8. Semestre/09-03-2015

Ingeniera de Petrleos

Measuring Resistivity
Given an infinite isotropic homogeneous medium containing a spherical electrode that emits a current
(I ) radially in a spherical distribution (see Figure 2: Electrical Logging Schematic),

Figure 2
the voltage drop between any two concentric spherical shells with radii r and r + dr can be
determined in the following manner:
dV = I dr
where dV is the voltage drop, I is the current, and dr is the resistance between the two shells. If the
resistivity of the medium is R, then

and

Integrating this equation from r = A to r = M, the equation to determine the value for Vm becomes

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Anlisis de rocas y fluidos

8. Semestre/09-03-2015

Ingeniera de Petrleos

where Vm is the measured voltage at some point a distance M from the current electrode A, and R is
the formation resistivity .
This ideal derivation does not fit the real world for two reasons. First, a borehole is required in order to
introduce an electrode into the formation, and, second, no formation is infinite and homogeneous.
Over the years, many improvements have been made to this simple, but inadequate, method of
measuring formation resistivity.

TYPICAL RESISTIVITIES
Typical formation resistivities range from 0.2 ohm-m to 1000 ohm-m. Soft formations (shaly sands)
range from 0.2 ohm-m to about 50 ohm-m. Hard formations (carbonates) range from 100 ohm-m to
1000 ohm-m. Evaporates (salt, anhydrite) may exhibit resistivities of several thousand ohm-m.
Formation water, by contrast, ranges from a few hundredths of an ohm-m (brines) to several ohm-m
(fresh water). Seawater has a resistivity of 0.35 ohm-m at 75 F.

Effects of Invasion
Determining the resistivities of a given segment of the formation is not always a straightforward task.
Drilling disturbs the equilibrium in the distribution of water and hydrocarbon saturations that is
determined by the interaction of gravity and capillary forces in the undisturbed reservoir. As mud
filtrate invades permeable formations, the conductivity in the invaded zone changes. The shape of this
zone is often assumed to be cylindrical around the borehole, and to contain water with conductivity
equal to that of the mud filtrate. This is illustrated in Figure 3: The borehole and surrounding
environment. The latter value can be measured on the surface from mud samples.

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Anlisis de rocas y fluidos

8. Semestre/09-03-2015

Ingeniera de Petrleos

Figure 3
In an impermeable rock such as shale, invasion does not occur. In a permeable rock, the flushed zone is
defined as the zone around the borehole where the pores are 100% filled with mud filtrate. The
transition zone contains a mixture of mud filtrate and original formation fluids. The virgin zone contains
only original formation water and/or hydrocarbon saturation. It is these reservoir conditions as they
exist in the virgin zone that are of direct interest to the petrophysicist. Measurement of virgin reservoir
conditions, however, is very difficult due to the influence of the altered zones. Furthermore, the lateral
extent of these altered zones is not generally known, making compensation a difficult task due to the
effects of the altered zones. For this reason, additional conductivity measurements, with different
depths of investigation, are required to help delineate these different zones and correct for their effect
on many downhole measurements.

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