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SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016


Holger Thern, Geoffrey Page, Baker Hughes Inc.

Copyright 2016, held jointly by the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts We present a systematic compilation and discussion of
(SPWLA) and the submitting authors.
This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPWLA 57th Annual Logging main properties affecting resistivity and NMR fluid
Symposium held in Reykjavik, Iceland June 25-29, 2016. volume estimations such as Archie exponents and T2
cutoffs. This includes various reservoir types with
ABSTRACT various fluid types and measurement conditions.
Guidelines will be provided on how to combine
The accurate quantification of fluid volumes is one of resistivity-based fluid volumetrics and NMR-based
the most important tasks for determining the economic volumetrics most effective. An unpublished and four
value of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Resistivity-based fluid previously published log examples illustrate a wide
saturation calculations have been established for many range of reservoir scenarios. In addition to the log
decades with known benefits and challenges. More interpretation aspect, we also relate the results to their
recently, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) applications ranging from real-time drilling
technology has developed as an alternative, robust optimization through hydrocarbon-in-place estimates
method for direct fluid volume estimation. Resistivity and reservoir modeling input to production and
logging data are used to calculate saturation of completion decisions.
conductive (e.g., water) versus non-conductive (e.g.,
hydrocarbon) fluids in the formation. NMR logging INTRODUCTION
data capture information about pore size in the
formation and, thus, separate movable fluids, usually Porosity and saturation are critical reservoir rock
residing in large pores, from bound fluids. The bound properties for the oil and gas industry. They are used to
fluids are further sub-divided into clay-bound water estimate hydrocarbon (HC) volume in place, which is a
components and irreducible components held by key property to determine the economic value of a
capillary forces. The movable water and hydrocarbon reservoirs.
volumes can be estimated using simple T2 cutoff
approaches or more sophisticated 2D-NMR methods The main established porosity measurements come
(the latter of which are generally only available for from density, neutron, acoustic, and NMR logging
wireline NMR applications). tools. Density and neutron are run virtually always in
combination, delivering not only porosity but also shale
As todays reservoirs are becoming more challenging, volume and light hydrocarbon indication. Acoustic can
conventional resistivity data evaluation involves also be used to estimate porosity and adds capabilities
increasing difficulties and ambiguities such as in such as identifying secondary porosity. NMR is
complex lithology due to the presence of conductive typically run as an additional service, but can also serve
minerals, low formation water salinity, fractures and as a density-neutron replacement in case radioactive
vugs, or local variations in water resistivity. NMR data sources are not available or desired. NMR delivers total
processing and interpretation are also not straight- porosity as well as fractions of porosity, namely
forward in complex carbonates and heavy oil reservoirs, movable fluid, capillary bound water, and clay-bound
as well as in case of wettability alteration and due to the water. A more detailed review of the porosity in a rock
presence of magnetic minerals. Ambiguities in either of and the fluid components associated with certain pore
the measurements can be efficaciously addressed by and rock types can be found in Woodhouse and Warner,
combining results from both approaches. In simple 2005. It is important to be aware of the potential
reservoirs, for instance, the combination of resistivity differences in porosities and porosity fractions
and NMR reduces uncertainties and can be used to associated with the different measurement principles.
identify and quantify effects such as invasion or water
(-free) production. The porosity in hydrocarbon-bearing formations is of
main interest. Hydrocarbons typically migrated into the
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

pores of a reservoir rock and replaced part of the hydrogen locked within the inorganic matrix such as
initially present water. The oil and gas industry deploys clay hydroxyl ions or within organic matter such as
various tools for determining the saturation of fluids in kerogen, because of too short relaxation time. One big
rocks. Historically the first, and today still the most advantage of NMR is that the subsequent interpretation
important, is the resistivity tool which differentiates for both, porosity and saturation, comes from a single
conductive water from non-conductive hydrocarbon. instrument data set and measurement volume.
Another measurement for differentiating water and
hydrocarbon is NMR. It uses the contrast in T2 or T1 Rock Properties. The rock properties affecting the
relaxation times of different fluids or by additionally NMR measurement most are total porosity and pore
determining the fluids diffusivity. The latter, however, size distribution. The former determines the initial
is today only available from wireline (WL) logging signal strength of the measured echo train, while the
tools due to technical limitations of logging-while- latter determines (amongst other parameters) the
drilling (LWD) tools. Other methods used for saturation measured relaxation time behavior (Fig. 1, left).
estimation include dielectric measurements, sigma,
carbon-oxygen, and other pulsed-neutron measurements Fluid Properties. The NMR relaxation times are also
(the latter primarily in cased wellbores). affected by the fluid type. Each fluid comes with its
specific bulk relaxation time. Bulk water has typically a
The paper provides a framework for integrating NMR T2 time of a few seconds. Bulk hydrocarbons can
fluid volumes with resisitivity-based fluid distributions extend from very long T2 relaxation times of several
for assessing fluid volumetrics such as bound versus seconds for gas and light oil, down to milliseconds and
movable fluids and water versus hydrocarbon below for heavy oil and tar (Fig. 1, right).
saturation. As there are already a large number of rock
and fluid properties that influence these two The NMR system is calibrated to directly measure true
measurements, none of the other measurement porosities in fresh water. Other fluids need correction
principles is discussed. Nonetheless, other logging data for their relative hydrogen volume, i.e., hydrogen index,
have the potential to be included for further refining the HI, compared to fresh water at ambient conditions.
interpretation for fluid volumetrics and saturation. Most hydrocarbons have a HI around 1. A correction is,
therefore, primarily required for gas and light oil.
Both, NMR and resistivity provide important
information about fluid volumetrics and saturation.
Their basic principles, benefits and limitation are
reviewed in the following sections.


NMR measures a time-dependent signal that has been

generated by spins manipulated by electro-magnetic
waves. The acquired series of data points (i.e., the echo
train) forms a decay curve over time. The initial signal
strength corresponds to total porosity, while the decay
of the echo train is associated with rock and fluid
properties. The decay is transformed into a T2
distribution of the exponential relaxation decay
components within the echo train, representing
porosity, fluid volumes, and fluid properties.1

Wellbore NMR responds to all hydrogen within fluids

in the pore spaces, but it does not capture signal from Fig. 1 Overview of the main effects on NMR T2
distribution. Left: Pore size effect of the wetting-phase
fluid (typically water) on surface T2 relaxation. Right:
1 Effect of hydrocarbon type (non-wetting-phase fluid)
More complex acquisition schemes for T1 distributions
and fluid diffusivities D are not discussed here, but can on bulk T2 relaxation. The effect due to diffusion is not
be found in for instance Hursan, 2005, and Sun, 2006. incorporated.
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Rock-Fluid Interaction. The main properties related to Because the surface-to-volume ratio (S/V) is inversely
rock-fluid interactions are mineralogy and wettability. proportional to pore size, the pore size can be estimated
The wetting phase fluid experiences interaction with the from the NMR signal of the wetting-phase fluid (Fig. 1,
pore surface shortening the T2 proportional to the pore left), provided the surface relaxivity is known. The non-
size. Thus, a pore size effect for the wetting phase fluid wetting-phase fluid is governed by its bulk relaxation
is observed (Fig. 1, left). Besides the pore size, the time which is proportional to the fluid viscosity.
amount of T2 reduction is also governed by the material Therefore, the hydrocarbon type and its viscosity can be
itself, represented by a material constant termed surface estimated from the NMR signal of the non-wetting-
relaxivity, which is determined by the mineralogy of phase fluid. (Fig. 1, right).
the rock matrix. In addition, internal (magnetic) field
gradients, IFG, can be induced by local variations in Based on a number of core studies and based on
magnetic susceptibility, which also cause a shortening experience with a number of NMR logging
of T2. applications, T2 cutoff times were established to divide
the NMR T2 distribution into different volume fractions
T2 Relaxation Equation. The measured T2 relaxation (Fig. 2). In clastics, relaxation times up to 3.3 ms are
time, incorporating all the above mentioned effects, is typically associated with clay-bound water (CBW).
composed of three terms: Depending on clay type and other factors (e.g.,
pressure) the T2 cutoff can vary. In clastic formations
1 1 ( ) irreducible water (= capillary-bound water = bulk
= + (1)
12 volume irreducible, BVI) is typically associated with a
T2 range of 4 to 33 ms, and movable water (BVM, bulk
It is used to evaluate the above mentioned effects volume movable) with T2 values above 33 ms. The T2
quantitatively with ranges can vary depending on a variety of factors such
as pore throat size, mineralogy, wettability, and others.
= surface relaxivity The sum of CBW and BVI is assigned to be the
S = pore surface area (complete) bound water, BW. In carbonates the T2
V = pore volume cutoff between BVI and BVM is typically higher, e.g., in
D = fluid diffusivity the range of 100 to 200 ms because of the smaller
= gyromagnetic ratio (constant for hydrogen) surface relaxivity of calcium carbonate (i.e., carbonate
G = magnetic field gradient (due to tool hardware and rocks) compared to that of silicon dioxide (i.e., clastic
susceptibility-induced internal field gradients) rocks). Independent of the mineralogy, the T2 cutoff
TE = interecho spacing (= sampling of the echo train) default values should ideally be calibrated to core data
for specific reservoirs as a wide range of T2 cutoff
values have been identified in practice. In many cases a
variable T2 cutoff based on level-to-level mineralogy
and capillary pressure changes may be most


Resistivity tools measure resistivity (or conductivity) of

the formation, with resistivity being determined by both
rock and fluid properties.

Rock Properties. The most important rock property is

the fluid-filled porosity, but pore system properties such
as pore throat size, connectivity, tortuosity,
cementation, etc. also play a role. These properties are
Fig. 2 Overview of the interpretation of an NMR T2 commonly expressed via the parameters a, m, and n in
distribution for different water volume contributions: the saturation equation discussed below.
clay-bound water, irreducible (= capillary-bound)
water, and movable water. Rock components such as Fluid Properties. Each fluid in the pore space will
matrix rock and dry clay are not measured by NMR. contribute to the measured resistivity according to its
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

specific resistivity. Water provides almost all the INTEGRATED PORE VOLUMETRICS
conductivity seen, unless there are metallic conductors
present in the matrix, which occurs only rarely. The Despite the large number of parameters that potentially
conductivity of water depends on its ionic content, affect the measured NMR volumetrics and resistivity
saturation, and temperature, which must be determined fluid volumetrics, the two measurements can be
to enable quantitative interpretation of the data. In combined effectively for a variety of applications which
contrast, hydrocarbons are non-conducting fluids. are discussed in this section of the paper.

Rock-Fluid Interaction. Wettability can play an

important role in resistivity interpretation, in particular
if the fluid-pore surface interaction leads to additional
conductive paths by the generation of some ionic
layers. The continuity of the fluid phases is also
important, with electrical conductivity through a rock
being dependent on a continuous conductive path
through the water phase.

Resistivity Equations. The most generic equation

describing an empirically-derived relationship for
resistivity including the above factors is the famous
Archie equation:

1 1 1
= (2)


Rt = measured formation resistivity

a = tortuosity factor
Sw = water saturation
n = saturation exponent
t = total porosity
m = cementation exponent
Rw = water resistivity

Equation (2) does not incorporate additional

conductivity due to pore surface-fluid interactions
between for instance clay particles and water. There
are, however, a large number of alternative saturation
equations that take this effect into account by including
terms like the cation exchange capacity (CEC or Qv) of Fig. 3 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid
clay minerals (e.g., Waxman-Smits equation) or by volumetrics (bottom). Irreducible water saturation
including a conductivity assigned to clay-bound water condition is assumed; the presence of clay as well as
different from the free formation water (e.g., Dual other complicating effects is not considered.
Water equation). The majority of these equations have
been developed to more accurately describe the The following considerations on combining NMR and
resistivity responses in specific reservoirs or formation resistivity apply for properly conducted measurements
types, and the selection of the correct equation is a (e.g., full polarization of NMR signal), after corrections
challenge and depends on formation type, clay type and (e.g., HI correction for light hydrocarbons), calibrations
distribution, porosity range and type (e.g., total or (e.g., for T2 cutoff and Archie parameters), and
effective), and water salinity range. Various saturation supplementary measurements (e.g., Rw) have been
equations available and their uses are detailed by performed and incorporated in the data processing to
Worthington, 1985. the extent they are known.
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 3 represents a sketch of comparing NMR-based

fluid volumetrics (top half) and resistivity-based fluid
volumetrics (bottom half) where a known total porosity
t is assumed for the latter. Total and effective porosity
systems are not differentiated in detail, and in the
following the total porosity system is used.

The systematic behavior of NMR versus resistivity

fluid volumetrics is analyzed in the following Fig. 5 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid
paragraphs for five different scenarios: volumetrics (bottom) where bound water, BW, is
separated into clay-bound, CBW, and irreducible, BVI,
1. Reservoirs without bias on NMR and resistivity volumes.
fluid volumetrics calculation.
2. Reservoirs with heavy oil and tar components. The cases discussed in the following will investigate the
3. Cases where NMR-based hydrocarbon fluid effects that can introduce a discrepancy between the
volumetrics are available. NMR and resistivity fluid volumetrics. Observing a
4. Reservoirs with internal field gradients (IFG) and discrepancy and understanding the reason for it will
wettability alteration. translate into better more accurate quantification of
5. Cases with a bias in Archie parameters or Rw. reservoir properties and understanding of reservoir
Log examples illustrating several of the scenarios are
given in a later section of the paper. Leaving the reservoir section at irreducible water
saturation and moving into a transition zone, the NMR
Simple, Unbiased Reservoir Conditions. In a water-wet volumetrics do not change but the resistivity water
reservoir at irreducible water saturation (Swir) all water volume increases (Fig. 6). The increase is easily
is bound in clay or by capillary forces and will not flow identified by comparing NMR and resistivity results
during production. For the appropriate T2 cutoff and the and will help establishing the oil-water-contact (OWC)
appropriate saturation model with known parameters, a or gas-water-contact (GWC) as well as determining the
match of the NMR bound water fraction and the water length and character of the transition zone.
volume from resistivity is observed (Fig. 4).

Fig. 6 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid

Fig. 4 NMR (top) versus resistivity fluid volumetrics volumetrics (bottom) for a transition zone where part of
(bottom) in a reservoir at irreducible water saturation the movable fluid, BVM, is water. In a water leg, SHC
without a bias on NMR and Archie parameters. reduces to zero.

Introducing CBW as a separate quantity (i.e., BW = Identification of Heavy Oil and Tar. In the case of
CBW + BVI) changes the representation of BW (Fig. 5). heavy oil hydrocarbon components are found also in the
Also, the presence of clay can heavily impact the bound water range of the NMR T2 distribution
determination and interpretation of reservoir properties. (compare Fig. 1, right). The resulting excess bound
It has, however, no consequence on the concept of water can be determined in comparison to the
comparing NMR- and resistivity-based fluid resistivity-based water volume and used as an indicator
volumetrics, provided the effects of clay on the for heavy oil (Fig. 7). An independent validation can
resistivity data have been fully accounted for. come from 2D-NMR techniques, because heavy oil and
water separate by a very large contrast in diffusivities.

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

point to additional effects as discussed in other

paragraphs of this section.

Fig. 7 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid

volumetrics (bottom) where heavy oil components
cause an overestimation of bound water, BW.
Fig. 9 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid
When the heavy oil components become even more volumetrics (bottom) for a transition zone in case NMR
viscous, they will become (in part) invisible to the separates movable water and hydrocarbon volumes.
NMR measurement (compare Fig. 1, right). So, in
addition to the excess bound water, also an A very important effect to be considered is the invasion
underestimation of NMR total porosity compared to of mud filtrate. The resistivity data used for saturation
conventional total porosity is found (Fig. 8). This analysis are typically taken from a deep-reading
serves as an indicator for tar components representing measurement, while NMR data come from the
an immobile, often not producible fluid phase. Similar formation within the first few inches away from the
techniques can be used for substantially improving the borehole wall. Therefore, invaded mud filtrate can show
determination of porosity, hydrocarbon and kerogen up easily in the NMR volumetrics, while it rarely
content in unconventional shale reservoirs. affects a deep-reading resistivity-based saturation.

Assuming a reservoir at irreducible water saturation

(compare Fig. 4) and introducing water-base mud
filtrate (WBMF) into the NMR measurement causes a
higher water volume from NMR than from resistivity
(Fig. 10). If this situation is detected, the NMR-
resistivity comparison can be used to adjust drilling
parameters such as equivalent circulating density, ECD,
in real-time for reducing the amount of invasion or to
Fig. 8 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid assess variations in formation pressure, e.g., related to
volumetrics (bottom) where heavy oil components reservoir compartmentalization.
cause an overestimation of bound water, BW, and tar
components are missed by NMR causing NMR total
porosity underestimation.

Cases with NMR-Based Hydrocarbon Volume. Under

favorable conditions, NMR can directly separate
hydrocarbon and water volumes, which can be
compared to resistivity-based fluid volumes. This
applies in particular to 2D-NMR data where not only
the contrast in T2 but also the contrast in fluid Fig. 10 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid
diffusivity D and/or T1 is evaluated. Also simple T2 volumetrics (bottom) where the shallow-reading NMR
distributions, e.g., acquired while drilling, can show measures invaded WBM filtrate while the deep-reading
sufficient contrast to effectively separate water and resistivity measures (a higher) native oil saturation.
hydrocarbon signals.
Oil-base mud filtrate (OBMF) invasion can be more
In the case of a transition zone (compare Fig. 6), a difficult to identify in NMR data, in particular if the
match of the resistivity-based water volume with the NMR signature of native hydrocarbon and OBM filtrate
NMR-based water volume (= bound water + native are similar or if the two fluids mix. Again 2D-NMR as
movable water) is expected (Fig. 9). Deviations will applied in wireline logging can have advantagesi

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

because it uses multiple NMR properties for observed this situation in field data yet. Note that the
differentiating fluids. Independent of the amount of transfer of observations from laboratory to downhole
OBM filtrate invasion, the NMR bound water and conditions deserves special attention. The conditions
resistivity water volumes are expected to match in this for acquiring laboratory and downhole data can be
case (Fig. 11). largely different, thus, potentially affecting the
measured properties.

The opposite effect, i.e., an increase of the T2 cutoff is

required in case the wettability in the reservoir changes
from water-wet towards oil-wet. This can be caused by
surfactants introduced in the pore space by the invasion
of OBM filtrate. Depending on the degree of
wettability, the bulk relaxation of water will shift its T2
to larger values, while the hydrocarbon T2 will reduce,
Fig. 11 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid because the hydrocarbon now also experiences surface
volumetrics (bottom) where the shallow-reading NMR relaxation (Fig. 13; Looyestijn, 2006). As a
sees invaded OBM filtrate while the deep-reading consequence the NMR bound water is underestimated.
resistivity responds to the native pore fluid distribution. The required measure to take in this case is an increase
in the T2 cutoff so the NMR bound water matches the
Internal Field Gradients and Wettability. Internal field resistivity water volume.
gradients and variations in wettability may not be
common in many reservoirs. Nevertheless, they should This situation has been suggested by lab measurements
be identified if present and they require special (Chen, 2004) and observed in multiple NMR logging
attention for interpretation. Internal field gradients data examples. Invasion of OBM filtrate containing
(IFG) can be caused by the presence of magnetic surfactants, (which are used to create an invert
minerals at the pore surface. These gradients shorten the inversion emulsion oil based mud), change the
T2 relaxation time (compare equation 1), thus, shifting wettability of the flushed zone. In some clastic
part of the movable fluid into the bound water region. reservoirs drilled with OBM a shift of T2 cutoff from 33
As a result, the NMR bound water is overestimated, ms to 80 ms is commonly used.
requiring the adjustment of the T2 cutoff (Fig. 12) to
match NMR bound water and resistivity-based water
volume. To compensate the effect a shift of the T2
cutoff to a smaller value has to be introduced. The
amount of shift for the T2 cutoff can be calibrated
against the resistivity fluid volumetrics.

Fig. 13 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid

volumetrics (bottom) where a change in wettability
causes an increase in T2 cutoff, i.e., an underestimation
of bound water, BW. The T2 cutoff has to be increased
to compensate for the effect.

Fig. 12 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid Native-state oil-wet conditions will be more difficult to
volumetrics (bottom) where internal field gradients treat, because part of the water signal will further
cause a shortening in T2, i.e., an overestimation of increase its T2 (due to less interaction with the pore
bound water, BW. The T2 cutoff has to be reduced to wall) while part of the oil will further reduce its T2
compensate for the effect. (more interaction with the pore wall). The interaction
between the two fluids and the pore wall needs to be
Laboratory studies suggest that fluid components can described by the surface relaxivity to oil and water as
be shifted so far that they even cause porosity well as the capillary forces acting on the fluids in the
underestimation (Ruesltten, 1998), but we have not pore space. The quantification of wettability and its
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

effects on NMR measurements remains a challenging of conductive clay reduces both m and n. Oil wetness
topic and a more detailed discussion is beyond the results in an increase of n, but there are more effects
scope of this paper. coming to play such as the pore surface roughness. Rw
depends on the salinity of the formation water and can
Deviations of Archie Parameters and Rw. A mismatch be affected by water-flooding and other local variations.
of NMR volumetrics and resistivity saturation can also Some more discussion on refining Archie parameters
indicate deviations in the Archie parameters a, m and n and incorporating effects of clay conductivity can be
or the water resistivity Rw. Too small a resistivity-based found in Ostroff, 1999.
water volume is for instance caused by too small a, too
small n, too small m, or too small Rw (Fig. 14). Too Although variations in the Archie parameters can be
large a, too large n, too large m, or too large Rw causes indicated by comparison with NMR, verification by
too high resistivity-based water volume (Fig. 15). The core analysis is highly recommended and the selection
comparison with NMR volumetrics can, thus, lead to an of an appropriate saturation equation for the clay
assessment and refinement of m, n, and Rw. conductivity and distribution are critical. Providing
more details on the subject is beyond the scope of this
The same also applies for shaly sand formations where paper.
terms associated with clay conductivity can be
evaluated by comparison to NMR volumetrics. Thus, LOG EXAMPLES
NMR volumetrics can either validate a shaly-sand
resistivity model or translate into an update of the In this section log examples are shown and discussed
model. where the combination of NMR volumetrics and
resistivity saturation was successfully applied for
several of the above-discussed applications.

Determine Water-Free Production. In a clean,

hydrocarbon-filled, clastic reservoir at irreducible water
saturation (Swir), an appropriate T2 cutoff (e.g., 33 ms or
other) is expected to yield accurate capillary bound
water from the NMR T2 distribution. Accurate water
saturation, on the other hand, is determined from
Fig. 14 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid resistivity when the Archie parameters and Rw are
volumetrics (bottom) where resistivity saturation is known. A match of NMR bound water and the
underestimated due to too small a, too small n, too resistivity-based water volume in a reservoir section at
small m, or too small Rw. irreducible water saturation indicates water-free
production which is extremely important information
for well completion decisions.

An early assessment of water-free production using the

combination of NMR and resistivity wireline data has
been published by Ostroff, 1999 (Fig. 16).
Conventional data analysis leaves the question whether
there are several segregated reservoir sections and
whether the zone from 4570 to 4595 ft is a water-
Fig. 15 NMR- (top) versus resistivity-based fluid producing transition or water zone. Introducing the
volumetrics (bottom) where resistivity saturation is NMR bound water volumes clearly indicates that all
overestimated due to too large a, too large n, too large water is bound in the zone of question and, thus, no
m, or too large Rw. water production is expected. The high amount of
bound water can be associated with very fine-grained
There are a number of situations where Archie sand with high capillary forces keeping the water in
parameters deviate from their defaults. For increasing place. After the integration of NMR and resistivity, the
cementation or tortuosity of the pore system (e.g., for presence of multiple OWCs can be eliminated and a
disconnected vugs) m increases. A less tortuous pore single OWC is established at around 4615 ft.
network (e.g., due to fractures) reduces m. The presence

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

A second log example for the determination of water- NMR bound water and resistivity-based water volume
free production using NMR and resistivity logging is displayed in Track 4 of the log and used as a heavy
while drilling, LWD, data comes from a gas field in oil indicator. In zones with immobile tar components, in
Italy. The field is located on the continental shelf of the addition an underestimation of NMR total porosity
Adriatic Sea and consists of thick turbidite sequences compared to conventional total porosity from gamma
with alternating shale and sand layers of Plio- ray, density, and neutron is observed. Quantification of
Quarternary age. Gamma ray, density, neutron, the porosity deficit, which is used as a tar indicator, is
resistivity, NMR and high-resolution electrical image shown in Track 5.
data were acquired while drilling the well with WBM.
A section of more than 200 m is shown in Fig. 17 with The typically expected light oil T2 response can be seen
multiple gas sand layers separated by shale intervals. in Track 7 at approximately x550 ft and x610 ft where
The evaluation of resistivity data yields water saturation the late T2 peak signifies light oil. In other zones (e.g.,
of 50% and more. This suggests that there is a x580 to x600 ft) faster T2 components show up
substantial risk of producing water together with gas. originating from the heavy oil components. An
The NMR data, however, reveal that all water independent validation of heavy oil and tar occurrence
components in the top two-third of the log are bound, is given by very low mobilities from a formation tester
i.e., the water is not producible. Thus, the combination tool (Track 6).
of the two measurements indicates water-free
production also in this example. The lower third section Determining Invasion Effect. NMR LWD has been
of the log shows water-bearing layers in the reservoir applied for reservoir characterization of a chalk
with the resistivity-based gas saturation dropping reservoir, offshore Denmark. Based on NMR log and
towards zero. lab data a well-pronounced separation of water and oil
phases in the T2 distribution was established
Note that in this example NMR is reading formation (Christensen, 2015). A log adopted from the publication
that is virtually completely invaded by WBM filtrate, is shown in Fig. 19.
thus, delivering total porosity without the need to apply
a gas HI correction. Also the density-versus-neutron Light oil shows up at late T2 times (reflecting low oil
comparison shows a reduced gas effect due to partial viscosity), while the middle T2 times represent the water
invasion. phase (reflecting variations in pore size and saturation).
By applying a variable T2 cutoff between the two T2
In addition, the NMR data are found to indicate fining- peaks an NMR-based saturation and volumetrics can be
up sequences in many of the sands. In conjunction with easily calculated. Comparison to resistivity-based
layer characterization from an electrical image, this saturation indicates with a good match of the saturation
offers yet another promising combination of NMR and (Track 5) and volumetrics (Track 6) in the bottom zone
resistivity data. Results of this approach will be the of the displayed log section, but much higher NMR
subject of a future publication. water saturation and volumetrics in the top of the log
section. The reason is that the top section is heavily
Identification of Heavy Oil and Tar. The combination invaded by water-base mud (WBM) filtrate which
of NMR and resistivity LWD data has been applied affects the shallow-reading NMR measurement but not
very successfully in the development of a carbonate the deep-reading resistivity measurement. The mud
field in Saudi Arabia (Akkurt, 2009). A log adopted pressure applied while drilling was not changed across
from the publication is shown in Fig. 18. the log section which indicates compartmentalization of
the reservoir section. The formation pressure in the top
NMR bound water is calculated using a T2 cutoff zone is lower, enabling more filtrate invasion,
locally established for the carbonate field. The compared to the bottom zone, where less filtrate
comparison of water volume from resistivity with the invasion occurs. The amount of invasion can be
NMR bound water indicates zones where NMR bound assessed while drilling in real-time and, thus, can be
water appears to be much larger than the total water used for applications such as mud pressure adjustment
volume from resistivity. As heavy oil components are and compartment identification. Pressure adjustment
expected in this reservoir, the conclusion is that heavy was, for instance, applied in other wells of the same
oil components show up in the T2 range that is assigned field, but it was not possible in this log section due to
to the bound water fraction, thus, causing an borehole stability concerns.
overestimation of bound water. The difference between
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Furthermore, an NMR fluid substitution method that a range of 10 to 30 ms for the T2 cutoff depending on
was applied in the chalk field (i.e., yielding T2 iron concentration.
distributions at full water saturation, Track 3) was the
basis for deriving various additional deliverables from The behavior found in the laboratory study was also
the NMR data. The deliverables include pore size and observed in the field. The same range of T2 cutoff
an improved permeability profile which are introduced variation between 10 and 30 ms was determined from
and discussed in other papers (Thern, 2014; comparing NMR and resistivity fluid volumetrics.
Christensen, 2015). Unfortunately, no data release was available at the time
of the writing this paper. Because the data present
Adjusting Archie Parameters. This log example also several more valuable findings such as pay
comes from a North Sea chalk field, located offshore identification and improved reservoir properties by
Norway, and was published by Thorsen, 2008. Besides using NMR, the results will be published in a full paper
observing mud filtrate invasion effects similar to the at a later time.
previous example, NMR-based oil saturation was in
addition found to indicate the adjustment Archie DISCUSSION
parameters. A log adopted from the publication is
shown in Fig. 20. The log examples illustrate several benefits of
combining NMR and resistivity fluid volumetrics,
The acquired NMR LWD data provide valuable insight applying to various stages of data analysis and
into invasion characteristics, because the mud type was interpretation.
changed from water-base mud to oil-base mud while
drilling the well. In general, the same interpretation for In the case of LWD data, data evaluation can be
water and oil volumes from NMR applies as in the performed in real-time. Information such as T2 cutoffs
previous example: the late T2 peak corresponds to light and Archie parameters and an appropriate real-time
oil; the middle T2 peak corresponds to water. The effect software are required to evaluate the data. As discussed
of mud type change can easily be seen in Fig. 20, where for the fourth log example (Fig. 19), the real-time data
in the top section the water T2 peak is very strong showed varying degrees of shallow invasion. Based on
(invaded WBM filtrate), while in the bottom section the the invasion information, the pressure in the drilling
oil peak is very strong (native oil and invaded WBM mud column could be adjusted to stay closer to the
filtrate). desired conditions avoiding an influx of formation fluid
or fracking the rock. In some applications, the borehole
In the top section, the NMR data can be interpreted for needs to be rapidly completed after finishing the
invasion effects in conjunction with resistivity. In case drilling due to wellbore stability concerns. In this case
of very high mud pressure, the NMR oil saturation the described evaluation scheme can provide valuable
(after WBM filtrate invasion) can potentially be information to efficiently optimize the completion
interpreted as residual oil saturation. In the bottom scheme.
section, native oil may have been replaced by OBM
filtrate. This leaves the NMR-based oil saturation At the post-processing stage, both data from wireline
unaltered, thus, delivering independent oil versus and from LWD are typically reprocessed and the
irreducible water saturation. A comparison of NMR analysis and interpretation is further refined. This will
irreducible water saturation to resistivity saturation yield more accurate and robust reserve estimates, and
indicates in this case a too optimistic resistivity model. further helps refining completion and production
The NMR irreducible water saturation consequently decisions, e.g., by avoiding water-producing zones or
was used for adjusting Archie parameters in this zones rendered impermeable by the presence of tar.
Although the combination of NMR and resistivity fluid
Adjusting T2 Cutoff due to Glauconite. The effect of volumetrics delivers valuable information in a number
glauconite and other magnetic minerals on the NMR T2 of cases, not all effects can be identified and quantified
distribution was described by Dodge, 1995. In a core equally well. Some potential effects are described in the
study they validated that the presence of magnetic following.
minerals can shorten the NMR relaxation time, thus,
requiring also a shortening of the T2 cutoff time for Non-Unique Interpretation. A similar discrepancy of
determining correct NMR bound water. They estimated NMR versus resistivity fluid volumetrics can be found
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

for different scenarios. The case of NMR bound water depth of investigation potentially measure different
smaller than resistivity-based water volume is for formation volumes and lithologies. Due to its limited
instance found in a transition zone, in case of internal depth of investigation of up to a few inches, NMR is
field gradients by magnetic minerals, and for wrong much less affected than the deep-reading resistivity
resistivity parameters (too small a, too small n, too measurement. A prominent exception is borehole
small m, or too small Rw) or because of the application enlargement which can introduce artefacts when the
of an inappropriate saturation equation. The opposite NMR measurement reads borehole fluid. An analysis of
case of NMR bound water larger than resistivity-based any available caliper data can help identifying the
water volume is found in heavy oil, for a T2 cutoff shift potential for this scenario.
due to OBM filtrate invasion, and for wrong resistivity
parameters (too large a, too large n, too large m, or too As described above, the wettability change due to OBM
large Rw) or because of the application of an filtrate invasion comes with a rather moderate shift of
inappropriate saturation equation. water and oil T2. In case of a more radical change in
wettability (e.g., oil-wet conditions) both the T2
It is, however, rather uncommon that all these elements distribution and the Archie parameters (e.g., m) are
occur in one formation. In most cases, it will be expected to be much more affected. This situation
possible to identify the root cause of the discrepancy by deserves special consideration and is beyond the
eliminating unrealistic scenarios. content of the overview provided in this paper.

Other Limitations. The calculation of fluid volumetrics Other Applications. Besides the volumetrics analysis
from NMR and resistivity comes with some inherent discussed in this paper there are several other valuable
features and limitations which need to be taken into combinations available from combining NMR and
account when comparing the results of the two resistivity data.
An area where simple, conventional interpretation
A key difference between the NMR and the resistivity approaches are likely to struggle is in unconventional
measurements is their vertical resolution. The NMR reservoirs. Dealing with unconventional reservoirs is
vertical resolution is well-defined by rate of beyond the scope of this paper, but a number of
penetration, ROP, acquisition timing, and processing interpretation approaches using NMR or resistivity data
settings (Coman, 2014). It is typically in the range of have been published (Korb, 2014; Passey, 1990).
0.2 to 1.5 m, i.e., 9 in to 5 ft. The vertical resolution of
resistivity measurements is less well defined and Another interesting combination for NMR and
depends on tool configuration, measurement type and resistivity is thin bed analysis where a high-resolution
setup (e.g., the frequency of induction tools), and electical image is combined with the less-resolved
formation resistivity itself. It is typically in the range of NMR data as suggested by Ostroff and Shorey, 2000.
0.3 to 3 m, i.e., 1 to 10 ft. In addition, the resistivity
measurement is potentially affected by nearby Also a correlation between the cation exchange capacity
(conductive) beds which introduce smearing of the (CEC or Qv) and NMR CBW, which can be used to
measured resistivity or even artefacts such as refine the evaluation of resistivity log data, was
polarization horns. NMR, however, does not suffer proposed (Ostroff, 1999), and later confirmed with core
from this type of effects. measurements (Martin and Dacy, 2004).

Another effect playing potentially a role for resistivity Finally, there is a link between NMR and resistivity
evaluation is anisotropy, e.g., due to laminated with respect to flow properties through the pores
formations, or simply intrinsic electrical anisotropy as (Herrick, 2013). Resistivity measures the electrical
found in many shales. This is an effect that needs to be current flowing through the conductive fluid phase in a
considered separately. NMR is essentially a volumetric pore system. NMR is used to estimate permeability
scalar measurement and not affected by anisotropy. (based on porosity and pore size information), i.e., it
characterizes the fluid flow through the pore system.
Depth of investigation is a measurement property that is Although electrical current flow and fluid flow are
discussed in an earlier paragraph. A complicating different phenomena, there are basic analogies between
situation, however, can occur in high angle or the two offering another promising topic for future
horizontal (HAHz) wells, where tools with different investigations.
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

CONCLUSIONS Coman, R., Tietjen, H., Thern, H., Blanz, M.,

Christensen, S.A., 2015: Improved NMR Logging
The combination of NMR- and resistivity-based fluid Approach to Simultaneously Determine Porosity, T2
volumetrics is an extremely valuable but commonly and T1. SPE paper 175050 presented at the SPE
underused approach. A systematic investigation of the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in
conditions where NMR- and resistivity-based fluid Houston, Texas, USA, 28-30 September 2015.
volumetrics deviate has been presented as a framework Dodge, WM.S., Shafer, J.L., Guzman-Garcia, A.G.,
for joint NMR and resistivity interpretation. This 1995: Core and Log NMR Measurements of an Iron-
includes the determination of scenarios such as water (- rich Glauconitic Sandstone Reservoir. Paper O
free) production, the presence of heavy oil and tar, presented at the SPWLA 36th Annual Logging
invasion discrepancies between shallow-reading NMR Symposium, Paris, France, 26-29 June 1995.
and deep-reading resistivity, the presence of wettability
Herrick, D.C., 2013: Pore-Geometric Controls on
alteration and internal magnetic field gradients, and
Single-Phase Darcy Permeability of Porous Media.
biases in Archie parameters. Abstract presented at the GeoConvention held in
Calgary, Alberta, May 6-10, 2013.
Several case histories illustrate the identification of the
effects responsible for discrepancies between NMR- Hursan, G., Chen, S., Murphy, E., 2005: New NMR
and resistivity-based fluid volumetrics. Depending on Two-Dimensional Inversion of T1/T2app vs. T2app
the job setup the discrepancies can be detected at both Method for Gas Well Petrophysical Interpretation.
real-time and post-processing stage. The knowledge SPWLA paper GGG presented at the SPWLA 46th
gained by joint evaluation of NMR and resistivity data Annual Logging Symposium held in New Orleans,
translates into more accurate and robust input for Louisiana, United States, June 26-29, 2005.
drilling pressure management, reserve estimation, Korb, J.P., Nicot, B., Louis-Joseph, A., Bubici, S.,
reservoir modeling, as well as completion and Ferrante, G., 2014, Dynamics and Wettability of Oil
production decisions. and Water in Oil Shales. The Journal of Physical
Chemistry C, 118 (40), pp. 23212-23218, 2014.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Looyestijn, W.J., 2008: Wettability-Index
Determination from NMR Logs. Petrophysics, vol. 49,
The authors are grateful to Gary Ostroff for insightful no. 2, pp. 130-145, 2008.
discussions and a critical review of the paper. They also
thank Baker Hughes for support and permission to Martin, P. and Dacy, J., 2004: Effective Qv by NMR
publish the paper. Core Tests. Paper HH presented at the 45th Annual
Logging Symposium held in Noordwijk, Netherlands6-
REFERENCES 9 June, 2014.
Ostroff, G.M., Shorey, D.S., and Georgi, D.T., 1999:
Akkurt, R., Seifert, D., Al-Harbi, A., Al-Beaiji, T.M., Integration of NMR and Conventional Log Data for
Kruspe, T., Thern, H.F., Kroken, A., 2009: Real-time ImprovedPetrophysical Evaluation of Shaly Sand.
detection of tar in carbonates using LWD triple combo, Paper OOO presented at the SPWLA 40th Annual
NMR and formation tester in highly-deviated wells. Logging Symposium, Oslo, Norway, May 30 - June 3,
Petrophysics, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 140-152, 2009. 1999.
Chen, J., Hirasaki, G.J., Flaum, M., 2004: Effects of Ostroff, G.M. and Shorey, D.S., 2000: Applications of
OBM Invasion on Irreducible Water Saturation: NMR log Data For Evaluation Of Low-Resisitivity
Mechanisms and Modifications of NMR Interpretation. Pay. Paper presented at the GeoCanada Conference,
SPE paper 90141 presented at the SPE Annual Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 2000.
Technical Conference and Exhibition held in Houston,
Texas, USA, 26-29 September 2004. Passey, Q.R., Creaney, S., Kulla, J.B., Moretti, F.J.,
Stroud, J.D., 1990: A Practical Model for Organic
Christensen, S.A., Thern, H., Vejbaek, O., 2015: NMR Richness from Porosity and Resistivity Logs. AAPG
Fluid Substitution Method for Reservoir Bulletin, 74, (12), pp. 1777-1794, 1990.
Characterization and Drilling Optimization in Low-
Porosity Chalk. Paper HH presented at the SPWLA Ruesltten, H., Eidesmo, T., Slot-Petersen, C., White,
56th Annual Logging Symposium, Long Beach, J., 1998: NMR Studies of an Iron-Rich Sandstone Oil
California, USA, July 18-22, 2015. Reservoir. SCA paper 9821 presented at the

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

International Symposium of the Society of Core ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Analysts, the Hague, Sept. 14-16, 1998.
Sun, B.Q., Olson, M., Baranowski, J., Chen, S., Li, W., Holger Thern is a Technical Lead
Georgi, D., 2006: Direct Fluid Typing and for NMR research at the Celle
Quantification of Orinoco Belt Heavy Oil Reservoirs Technology Center at Baker
Using 2D NMR Logs., SPWLA paper presented at the Hughes in Germany working with
SPWLA 47th Annual Logging Symposium held in NMR technology for 18 years.
Veracruz, June 4-7, 2006 Holger earned a B.A. in Physics
from the University of Constance
Thern, H., 2014: Examining the Fluid Film Model in and an M.Sc. in Geophysics from
Porous Media by NMR Rock Catalog Data, paper
the University of Cologne. His work experience
SCA2014-51 presented at the International Symposium
includes data interpretation development and technical
of the Society of Core Analysts, Avignon, France, 8-11
support for NMR wireline logging applications with
September, 2014.
Western Atlas in Houston, Texas, and the development
Thorsen, A.K., Eiane, T., Thern, H., Williams, S., of the MagTrak NMR LWD tool in Celle, Germany.
Fristad, P., 2010: Magnetic Resonance in Chalk Currently he is working on new NMR applications and
Horizontal Well Logged with LWD, SPE Reservoir interpretation methods for both wireline and LWD
Evaluation & Engineering, paper 115699, vol. 13, no. 4, NMR applications.
p. 654-666, 2010.
Woodhouse, R., Warner, H.R., 2005: Sw and Geoffrey Page studied physics at
Hydrocarbon Pore Volume Estimates in Shaly Sands the Royal College of Science in
Routine Oil-Based-Mud Core Measurements Compared London. He began his oilfield
with Several Log Analysis Models. SPE paper 96618 career as a Dresser Atlas field
presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and engineer 36 years ago, moved into
Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, 9-12 October, 2005. Petrophysics in Aberdeen 28 years
ago, and is now Region
Worthington, P.E., 1985, The Evolution of Shaly-Sand
Concepts in Reservoir Evaluation. The Log Analyst, Petrophysical Advisor for Baker
vol. 26, no. 1, p. 2340, 1985. Hughes based in Aberdeen. He is a former President of
the Aberdeen chapter of the SPWLA (AFES) and was
honoured with a life membership. He has written and
presented many papers over the years, helped organise
many of the conferences including SPWLA 2008 in
Edinburgh, and in his spare time teaches the
Petrophysics course of Aberdeen Universitys
Integrated Petroleum Geoscience MSc course.

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 16 Wireline log example from oil-bearing sandstone formation in the Gulf of Mexico for identification of
water-free production by combining NMR and resistivity data. Track 1: Rock volume with various rock and fluid
components; Track 2: Resistivity and NMR-based permeability; Track 3: Resistivity-based saturation; Track 4:
Volumetrics with NMR fluid fractions (CBW and BVI) and resistivity-based fluid fractions (water and hydrocarbon);
Track 5: NMR T2 distribution. NMR bound water indicates clearly that the whole reservoir section from 4520 to
4610 ft will produce oil without water-cut. The strong variations in the amount of bound water are associated with a
change in sand grain size. In very fine-grained sand more water volume will be kept in place due to higher capillary

Figure adopted from Ostroff, 1999.

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 17 LWD log example from a gas-bearing sand-shale formation in Italy for identification of water-free
production by combining NMR and resistivity data. Track 1: Gamma Ray; Track 2: Resistivity; Track 3: Resistivity
at fixed depth of investigations after removing adjacent bed effects; Track 4: Porosity from density, neutron and
NMR; Track 5: NMR T2 distribution; Track 6: Volumetrics with NMR fluid fractions (CBW and BVI) and
resistivity-based fluid fractions (water and hydrocarbon); Track 7: NMR-based permeability; Track 8: Electrical
image. The porosity data in Track 4 show a close response of density, neutron and NMR in the sand zones indicating
that NMR sees formation fully invaded by WBM filtrate and density-neutron sees formation partially invaded. The
deep-reading resistivity saturation in Track 6 quantifies the water and hydrocarbon volumes, with gas saturation
below 50%. Adding NMR bound fluid indicates water-free gas production in the top two-third of the log despite the
relatively low hydrocarbon saturation. Further down the data indicate water-bearing sand layers.
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 18 LWD log example from an oil-bearing carbonate formation in Saudi Arabia for identification of heavy oil
and tar by combining LWD NMR and resistivity Track 1: Resistivity; Track 2: Resistivity-based volumetrics (water
and hydrocarbon); Track 3: NMR-based volumetrics (bound water and movable fluid) and conventional total
porosity; Track 4: Porosity difference of NMR compared to conventional total porosity; Track 5: Excess bound
water; Track 6: Mobilities from formation tester; Track 7: NMR T2 distributions. Heavy oil is identified by excess
bound water from comparing NMR-based bound water volume to resistivity-based water volume. Immobile tar is
additionally identified by NMR porosity underestimation. Formation tester mobilities confirm the presence of heavy
oil and tar.

Figure adopted from Akkurt, 2009.

SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 19 LWD log example from an oil-bearing chalk formation, offshore Denmark, for identification of water-base
mud (WBM) filtrate invasion by combining NMR and resistivity. Track 1: Gamma ray, caliper, bitsize, rate of
penetration (ROP); Track 2: Resistivity, NMR-baseed permeability, NMR-based pore size; Track 3: Fluid-
substituted NMR T2 distribution; Track 4: Measured T2 distribution; Track 5: Saturation from NMR and resistivity;
Track 6: Volumetrics from NMR, resistivity and conventional total porosity. Saturation from deep-reading
resistivity indicates water saturation around 30% in most of the well. Saturation from NMR indicates much higher
water saturation of up to 80% in the upper section of the log due to invasion of WBM filtrate. Shallow invasion of
WBM filtrate can easily be determined from the two measurements.

Figure adopted from Christensen, 2015. NMR fluid substitution and its results are described there in detail.
SPWLA 57 th Annual Logging Symposium, June 25-29, 2016

Fig. 20 LWD log example from an oil-bearing chalk formation in the North Sea for identification of deviations in
Archie parameters by combining NMR and resistivity Track 1: Gamma ray, caliper, bitsize; Track 2: Resistivity and
NMR-based permeability; Track 3: NMR T2 distribution; Track 4: Saturation from NMR and resistivity; Track 5:
Volumetrics from NMR, as well as density and neutron data. In the OBM-drilled section NMR yields a maximum
hydrocarbon saturation indicating that the commonly applied resistivity processing overestimates the hydrocarbon
saturation. Archie parameters were thus adjusted in this field. In the WBM-drilled section, NMR underestimates the
hydrocarbon volume because it is affected by shallow WBM filtrate invasion.

Figure adopted from Thorsen, 2008.