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Estimating hidrocarbon volume

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- TR0329

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data: A concept

CARMEN T. GOMEZ, JACK DVORKIN, and GARY MAVKO, Stanford University, California

and saturation, is a major problem in

applied geophysics, but the solution

is not straightforward.

Reflection seismology depends on

the contrasts of the elastic properties

(impedance and velocity) that are predominantly affected by porosity and

mineralogy. The elastic properties of

a rock may also strongly depend on

whether it is wet or hydrocarbon-saturated. However, their dependence

on hydrocarbon saturation (if larger

than zero and smaller than one) is

weak. As a result, interpreting seismic

data to quantify saturation is often difficult.

On the other hand, resistivity

strongly reacts to a combination of

porosity and saturation, but the latter

is impossible to estimate without making an assumption about the former.

Consequently, neither seismic nor

resistivity data, if analyzed separately,

can provide the desired estimate of

hydrocarbons in place. The question is:

Can these two types of data be used

together to address the problem?

In this paper, we discuss a physicsdriven solution that combines two theoretical models, one that relates the

elastic-wave velocity to porosity, mineralogy, and pore fluid and one that

relates resistivity to porosity and saturation. This approach allows us to

produce templates of the normalized

resistivity versus the P-wave impedance that quantify porosity and saturation. We show examples of such

templates for a sandstone reservoir

with methane hydrate and with gas.

This concept is based on rock physics

models and is amenable to the upscaling required to interpret field measurements. We use upscaling to

generate a template for the Nuggets

gas field.

Our model-driven templates are

flexible; they can be constructed to

honor the site-specific rock properties

to account for, for example, diagenetic

cementation and depositional sorting

as well as the presence of shale.

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JUNE 2008

Figure 1. Poissons ratio (PR) versus the P-wave impedance for unconsolidated clean gas sand,

color-coded by the total porosity (left) and water saturation (right), assuming pore pressure=30

MPa, temperature=80C, and gas gravity=0.65.

Figure 2. Water saturation versus the P-wave impedance (left) and versus the normalized resistivity (right), color-coded by the total porosity for the same unconsolidated clean gas sand as in

Figure 1.

discriminate between wet- and gasfilled sediment but fails to quantify

Sw.

The left side of Figure 2 reaffirms,

using the same sand, that Sw cannot be

quantified from Ip; note the Sw contour lines are essentially vertical for Sw

< 1. The right side of Figure 2 shows

the normalized resistivity (R t/R w),

where Rt is the measured resistivity

and Rw is that of water, as calculated

from Archies 1942 resistivity equation. Sw strongly reacts to Rt/Rw; however, it cannot be quantified without

knowing . At Rt/Rw=100, Sw can be

0.25 for =0.4 or about 0.70 for =0.2.

Figure 3 shows how the same relationships (between , Sw, and Ip, and

between , Sw, and R=Rt/Rw) are used

to create a resistivity-impedance mesh.

We first fixed porosity (e.g., 0.4), and

computed Ip and Rt/Rw using the soft

sand model and Archies equation for

water saturations from 10.2, generating the first constant porosity line of

Figure 3. Normalized resistivity versus the P-wave impedance template for the same unconsolithe mesh on the left. Then, the same

dated clean gas sand as in Figure 1. The large red circle is the intersection of the hypothetical

procedure was repeated six more

resistivity and impedance data with small red circles showing its projections on the porosity and

times, changing porosity to 0.35, 0.3,

saturation contours.

0.25, 0.2, 0.15, and 0.1. Then, we kept

water saturation constant (e.g., 1.0)

and computed Ip and Rt/Rw using the

same models but changing porosity

this time from 0.10.4, producing the

first constant saturation mesh line at

the bottom. Again, the rest of the constant saturation mesh lines are computed by repeating this last step eight

more times. The intersection of the

two measurements can be projected

upon the saturation and porosity contours to yield (in this example) =0.2

and Sw=0.50. Having both measurements helps constrain porosity and saturation; taking each measurement

separately yields wide ranges for these

variables.

The power of this approach is its

flexibility; numerous models of rock

physics velocity-porosity and resistivity-porosity-saturation are available,

meaning site-specific templates can be

generated that honor texture (e.g.,

cemented versus uncemented rock) as

well as lithology. For example, Figure

4 displays an Ip versus R template in

which

the soft-sand model is replaced

Figure 4. Same as Figure 3 but for cemented sandstone (using the stiff-sand model).

by a stiff-sand model appropriate for

contact-cemented rock. As expected,

the same impedance and resistivity

Primer on rock physics impedance-resistivity templates.

Consider a clean, unconsolidated gas sand whose porosity inputs produce larger porosity and gas saturation than in

() varies from 0.10.4 and whose water saturation (Sw) is Figure 3 because at the same porosity, cemented rock is faster

between 0.21.0. Figure 1 displays the elastic properties as than its uncemented counterpart. This illustrates the imporcomputed from a soft-sand model (Dvorkin and Nur, 1996), tance of using the right model for the right rock.

This flexibility accommodates not only the rock type but

which is appropriate to describe the elastic properties of

unconsolidated sand and shale. Note that the impedance (Ip) also the fluid, or, more generally, the pore-filling material. For

strongly reacts to but only weakly depends on Sw, unless example, in sand containing methane hydrate, both velocity

JUNE 2008

711

Figure 5. Same as

Figure 3 but for a

methane hydrate

reservoir. The well

data (symbols) are

color-coded by water

saturation (one

minus hydrate saturation). Dark blue

means high amounts

of hydrate. The red

and brown symbols

are for shale and

thus fall outside of

the mesh which is

built for clean sand.

Figure 6. Rock

physics diagnostics.

Impedance versus

porosity for sand and

shale in the Nuggets

well. The impedance

is for 100% watersaturated rock

obtained from the

original log data by

theoretically substituting gas in the

reservoir with the

formation water. The

upper curve is the

constant-cement

model for 100%

quartz while the

lower curve is for

100% clay.

build a relevant Ip versus R template (Figure 5), we select the

elastic and resistivity models describing a hydrate reservoir

as established for the Mallik 2L-38 hydrate well (Canada) by

Cordon et al. (2006). The log data superimposed upon this rock

physics mesh indicate that the porosity of the reservoir is

about 0.3 with the hydrate saturation up to 0.8, which is consistent with the values directly observed in the well.

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JUNE 2008

U. K. in 115 m of water. The sand reservoir belongs to the

Eocene Frigg Formation and has a thickness of about 25 m

(Harris and MacGregor, 2006).

The first step is to use the well-log velocity and porosity

data to establish this reservoir as constant-cement sand (a

model originally discussed in Avseth et al., 2000), which is consistent with this formations age (the earliest of the three divi-

Figure 7. Impedance-resistivity template for the Nuggets reservoir with log data superimposed. Color code is water saturation (left) and porosity

(right).

Figure 8. Nuggets gas field well log (blue) and seismic/CSEM (red) data at the well. The full seismic stack was provided by TGS-NOPEC, from

which we obtained the seismic impedance using the Hampson-Russell inversion package. The CSEM resistivity profile was provided by OHM.

The reservoir zone is highlighted in green.

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JUNE 2008

Figure 9. One realization of a pseudo-well. (left to right) Log-scale impedance; seismic-scale impedance; a synthetic normal-incidence trace; logscale resistivity; and CSEM-scale resistivity versus the two-way traveltime. Red vertical bars show the upscaling windows for the impedance

(12.5 m, first frame) and resistivity (150 m, fourth frame). The depth was converted to twt using average velocity in the interval displayed.

Figure 10. (left) Log-scale impedance-resistivity template, same as in Figure 7. (right) Seismic/CSEM-scale template. The symbols are from the

seismic impedance and CSEM resistivity profiles, shown in Figure 8, at the reservoir.

bring the entire interval to the common-fluid denominator

by theoretically making it all wet (fluid substitution from gas

to formation water); (2) plot the resulting impedance-porosity data for sand and shale; and (3) superimpose theoretical

impedance-porosity curves upon this plot to find which model

describes the trends best.

Figure 6 shows that the constant cement-sand model is

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JUNE 2008

The resistivity is modeled using a version of Archies formula known as the Humble or Winsauer equation (Schn,

1996), which assumes the Archie constants are a=0.62 and

m=2.15. The water salinity is 35 000 ppm, which translates to

an Rw of about 0.1 ohm-m. The resulting Ip versus R template

(Figure 7, left) gives the sands porosity at about 0.3 and gas

saturation up to 0.9.

seismic and CSEM data whose scales of measurement are

vastly different from those in the well and also from each

other (Figure 8). These templates have to be altered to honor

the statistics of the data, which vary with the scale of measurement.

To conduct such upscaling, we need to remember that

seismic and CSEM profiling simultaneously provide two values for a single location in the subsurface. What reservoir

properties may generate these two responses? One approach

to answering this question is forward modeling. We assume

that the geometry of the reservoir everywhere is the same

as at the well; i.e., we fix the thickness of the gas and wet

sand layers as well as the properties of the shale surrounding this sand. Next, we create a pseudo-Earth model (or

pseudo-well) as shown in Figure 9 where the impedance in

the shale is about 5 km/s g/cc, similar to the original well.

Then we vary the porosity in the entire sand from 0.15 to

0.40 with a 0.05 step, and, for each porosity step, vary the

water saturation in the gas sand from zero to 1.0 with a 0.01

step. This produces a table of porosity and saturation at the

scale of the pseudo-well.

From this table, we calculate the impedance using the

constant cement-sand model and the resistivity for each

realization using the Humble equation. One such realization is shown in Figure 9.

For upscaling, we use the Backus average with a 12.5m running window (about a quarter wavelength) to transform the log-scale impedance to the seismic-scale impedance

and the arithmetic average with a 150-m running window

to transform the log-scale resistivity to the CSEM-scale resistivity. The latter window (150 m) was selected to honor the

difference between the resistivity at the reservoir as recorded

by logging and CSEM. The upscaled impedance and resistivity profiles are shown in Figure 9. We select those upscaled

values in the middle of the reservoir for each realization and

create an Rt/Rw versus Ip mesh which yields a template usable

at the field scale (Figure 10).

To interpret data from Nuggets Field for porosity and

saturation, we take the seismically derived impedance and

CSEM resistivity selected from the depth interval around

the reservoir. These values are placed upon the field-scale

template in Figure 10. The contour lines in this template indicate that the gas saturation is around 0.85 and porosity is

around 0.25, consistent with the actual values in Nuggets.

Conclusions. By combining two theoretical models, one

that relates the elastic properties of rock to porosity, mineralogy, and pore fluid, and the other that relates resistivity

to porosity and saturation, we create templates of the normalized resistivity versus P-wave impedance. We can generate these templates at the well log-scale and also upscale

them to the seismic/CSEM scales of measurement. Such

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JUNE 2008

obtain simultaneous estimates of porosity and saturation.

The answer is not unique. Many parameters can vary

away from well control, including the geometry as well as

the shale and reservoir properties. For an exhaustive interpretation, they all have to be varied within reasonable ranges

and probability distributions. This will eventually yield not

a single answer but probabilistic distributions of porosity

and saturation. We envision that the approach discussed in

this paper may produce useful invariants, such as porosity

times saturation times thickness (or net-to-gross), which

should be relied upon in reserve estimates. This is a subject

of future work where the existing arsenal of stochastic modeling can be used within the framework presented here.

Finally, we have to reiterate that the rock physics models for the impedance-resistivity templates should be selected

to reflect the geologic nature of rock both on the elastic and

resistivity sides (the latter by, for example, using the

Waxman-Smits-Juhasz equation instead of the Archie equation). Also, instead of considering just the P-wave impedance, other seismic attributes can be explored, such as the

elastic impedance and attenuation, to further constrain the

estimates.

Suggested reading. The electrical resistivity log as an aid

in determining some reservoir characteristics by Archie

(Transactions of AIME, 1942). Rock physics diagnostics of

North Sea sands: Link between microstructure and seismic

properties by Avseth et al. (Geophysical Research Letters,

2000). Seismic reflections of gas hydrate from perturbational

forward modeling by Cordon et al. (GEOPHYSICS, 2006).

Elasticity of high-porosity sandstones: Theory for two

North Sea data sets by Dvorkin and Nur (GEOPHYSICS,

1996). On the universality of diagenetic trends by Dvorkin

et al. (TLE, 2002). Lithology substitution in fluvial sand

by Dvorkin et al. (TLE, 2004). Determination of reservoir

properties from the integration of CSEM and seismic data

by Harris and MacGregor (First Break, 2006). Gas Hydrate

Estimation Error Associated with Uncertainties of Measurements

and Parameters by Lee and Collett (U. S. Geological Survey

Bulletin, 2001). Physical Properties of Rocks: Fundamentals and

Principles of Petrophysics: Handbook of Geophysical Exploration

by Schn (Pergamon Press, 1996). TLE

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Lucy MacGregor and Peter Harris of

OHM/RSI for their advice. Thanks to OHM/RSI and TGS-NOPEC for

providing the data. Thanks to Hampson-Russell for providing their software to Stanford University. This work was supported by the Stanford

Rock Physics and Borehole Geophysics Project, and the DOE Basic Energy

Sciences Grant DE-FG02-03ER15423.

Corresponding author: gomezct@stanford.edu

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