Sie sind auf Seite 1von 131

SHALE GAS Predictable variation of a property of a material with the direction in which it is measured,

which can occur at all scales. For a crystal of a mineral, variation in physical properties
Some reservoirs produce natural gas from shale. The fact that shale is both the
observed in different directions is anisotropy. In rocks, variation in seismic velocity
hydrocarbon source rock and the reservoir rock makes producing shale gas a challenging
measured parallel or perpendicular to bedding surfaces is a form of anisotropy. Often
and rewarding task. Terms range from adsorbed gas to well plan, and all have been
found where platy minerals such as micas and clays align parallel to depositional bedding
reviewed by technical experts focusing on shale gas.
as sediments are compacted, anisotropy is common in shales.
Adsorbed gas
Azimuth
The gas accumulated on the surface of a solid material, such as a grain of a reservoir rock,
1. n. [Geology]
or more particularly the organic particles in a shale reservoir. Measurement of adsorbed
gas and interstitial gas, which is the gas contained in pore spaces, allows calculation of gas The angle between the vertical projection of a line of interest onto a horizontal surface and
in place in a reservoir. true north or magnetic north measured in a horizontal plane, typically measured clockwise
from north.
Aeolotropy
2. n. [Drilling]
Predictable variation of a property of a material with the direction in which it is measured,
which can occur at all scales. For a crystal of a mineral, variation in physical properties The compass direction of a directional survey or of the wellbore as planned or measured
observed in different directions is aeolotropy (also known as anisotropy). In rocks, by a directional survey. The azimuth is usually specified in degrees with respect to the
variation in seismic velocity measured parallel or perpendicular to bedding surfaces is a geographic or magnetic north pole.
form of aeolotropy. Often found where platy minerals such as micas and clays align parallel
3. n. [Reservoir Characterization]
to depositional bedding as sediments are compacted, aeolotropy is common in shales.
The angle that characterizes a direction or vector relative to a reference direction (usually
Analog
True North) on a horizontal plane. The azimuth is usually quoted in degrees from 0 to 359.
An example used for comparison. In oil and gas exploration, geoscientists and engineers
4. n. [Drilling, Shale Gas]
compare new prospects and fields with fields and surface exposures thought to be similar
in depositional environment and reservoir character to guide predictions. Wide variations The direction in which a deviated or horizontal well is drilled relative to magnetic north.
in shale reservoirs create doubt about the utility of analog comparisons. Most horizontal wells in shale reservoirs are drilled in the direction of the minimum
horizontal stress. This allows for the creation of multiple hydraulic fractures that are
Anisotropic
normal to the wellbore.
Having directionally dependent properties. For a crystal of a mineral, variation in physical
Basin
properties observed in different directions is anisotropy. In rocks, variation in seismic
velocity measured parallel or perpendicular to bedding surfaces is a form of anisotropy. A depression in the crust of the Earth, caused by plate tectonic activity and subsidence, in
Often found where platy minerals such as micas and clays align parallel to depositional which sediments accumulate. Sedimentary basins vary from bowl-shaped to elongated
bedding as sediments are compacted, anisotropy is common in shales. troughs. Basins can be bounded by faults. Rift basins are commonly symmetrical; basins
along continental margins tend to be asymmetrical. If rich hydrocarbon source rocks occur
Anisotropy
in combination with appropriate depth and duration of burial, then a petroleum system
can develop within the basin. Most basins contain some amount of shale, thus providing and clays within shale, generating liquid hydrocarbons. At the high end of this temperature
opportunities for shale gas exploration and production. range, secondary cracking of oil molecules can generate gas molecules.

Bitumen Completion quality (CQ)

1. n. [Geology] A prediction of how effectively rock may be stimulated using hydraulic fracturing.
Completion quality (CQ) is an engineering assessment of factors that determine the
Naturally-occurring, inflammable organic matter formed from kerogen in the process of
effectiveness of hydraulic fracture treatments and includes the ability to initiate and create
petroleum generation that is soluble in carbon bisulfide. Bitumen includes hydrocarbons
an induced fracture network, the degree of reservoir contact of the newly created
such as asphalt and mineral wax. Typically solid or nearly so, brown or black, bitumen has
fractures, the level of connection to the natural fracture system of those created fractures
a distinctive petroliferous odor. Laboratory dissolution with organic solvents allows
and ability of the stimulated reservoir to deliver gas or oil into the well.
determination of the amount of bitumen in samples, an assessment of source rock
richness. Important factors that affect stimulation design include the rock’s mineralogy, porosity,
mechanical properties, compressive strength and tensile strength. In addition, the
2. n. [Heavy Oil]
presence and state of natural fractures, the in situ stresses and the formation pore
A designation for a hydrocarbon fluid with a gravity of 10° API or lower, based upon the pressure are input into the derivation of CQ. Mineral content, porosity and natural
classification of the US Department of Energy. fractures determine the mechanical properties and strength of rock. The direction of the
minimum stress strongly affects the hydraulic fracture propagation direction. The
3. n. [Shale Gas] difference between the maximum and minimum stresses influences the amount of
The fraction of naturally occurring, inflammable organic matter that is extractable from branching in the induced fracture network; a low stress difference favors maximal
rock using organic solvents. Many petroleum precursors are composed of bitumen, but branching. Variations in the stress and mechanical properties between layers control the
most are formed from kerogen in the process of petroleum generation. Bitumen includes height of fracture growth. Pore pressure affects the stresses. Pressure from nearby
hydrocarbons such as asphalt and mineral wax. Typically solid or nearly so, brown or black, hydraulic fracture treatments or pressure depletion from production in nearby wells can
bitumen has a distinctive petroliferous odor. Laboratory dissolution with organic solvents alter the stresses and influence the effectiveness of the current hydraulic fracture
allows determination of the amount of bitumen in samples, an assessment of source rock stimulation.
richness. Burial and heating of kerogen yield bitumen, then liquid hydrocarbons, and then Continuous reservoir
hydrocarbon gas. Understanding organic content is especially important in shale reservoirs
because the shale is both the source rock and the reservoir rock in the petroleum system. A type of areally extensive reservoir that contains hydrocarbon throughout, rather than
containing a water contact or being significantly affected by a water column or a defined
Buffalo head structural closure. The areal extent of a continuous reservoir, such as a shale reservoir, can
A flow cross installed on top of a frac tree where treating iron is connected and treatment be as large as the extent of the sedimentary basin in which the shale was deposited.
fluid enters the frac tree. Core analysis
Catagenesis Laboratory study of a sample of a geologic formation, usually reservoir rock, taken during
The physical and chemical alteration of sediments and pore fluids at temperatures and or after drilling a well. Economic and efficient oil and gas production is highly dependent
pressures higher than those of diagenesis. Catagenesis involves heating in the range of 50° on understanding key properties of reservoir rock, such as porosity, permeability, and
to 150°C [122° to 302°F]. At these temperatures, chemical bonds break down in kerogen wettability. Geoscientists have developed a variety of approaches, including log and core
analysis techniques, to measure these properties. Core analysis is especially important in A generic term used to describe the assembly of downhole tubulars and equipment
shale reservoirs because of the vertical and lateral heterogeneity of the rocks. Core analysis required to enable safe and efficient production from an oil or gas well. The point at which
can include evaluation of rock properties and anisotropy; organic matter content, the completion process begins may depend on the type and design of well. However, there
maturity, and type; fluid content; fluid sensitivity; and geomechanical properties. This are many options applied or actions performed during the construction phase of a well
information can be used to calibrate log and seismic measurements and to help in well and that have significant impact on the productivity of the well.
completion design, well placement, and other aspects of reservoir production.
3. n. [Well Completions, Shale Gas]
Command trailer
A generic term used to describe the events and equipment necessary to bring a wellbore
A trailer in which fracturing engineers can monitor formation pressures and other critical into production once drilling operations have been concluded, including but not limited to
information pertaining to the fracturing process. the assembly of downhole tubulars and equipment required to enable safe and efficient
production from an oil or gas well. Completion quality can significantly affect production
Composite frac tree
from shale reservoirs.
A frac tree in which multiple frac valves are contained in a single large body such that the
Deviated drilling
overall height of the frac tree is reduced.
The intentional deviation of a wellbore from the path it would naturally take. This is
Conventional reservoir
accomplished through the use of whipstocks, bottomhole assembly (BHA) configurations,
A reservoir in which buoyant forces keep hydrocarbons in place below a sealing caprock. instruments to measure the path of the wellbore in three-dimensional space, data links to
Reservoir and fluid characteristics of conventional reservoirs typically permit oil or natural communicate measurements taken downhole to the surface, mud motors and special BHA
gas to flow readily into wellbores. The term is used to make a distinction from shale and components and drill bits, including rotary steerable systems, and drill bits. The directional
other unconventional reservoirs, in which gas might be distributed throughout the driller also exploits drilling parameters such as weight on bit and rotary speed to deflect
reservoir at the basin scale, and in which buoyant forces or the influence of a water column the bit away from the axis of the existing wellbore. In some cases, such as drilling steeply
on the location of hydrocarbons within the reservoir are not significant. dipping formations or unpredictable deviation in conventional drilling operations,
directional-drilling techniques may be employed to ensure that the hole is drilled vertically.
Cumulative production While many techniques can accomplish this, the general concept is simple: point the bit in
The total amount of oil and gas recovered from a reservoir as of a particular time in the life the direction that one wants to drill. The most common way is through the use of a bend
of the field. Cumulative production can be referenced to a well, a field, or a basin. near the bit in a downhole steerable mud motor. The bend points the bit in a direction
different from the axis of the wellbore when the entire drillstring is not rotating. By
Completion pumping mud through the mud motor, the bit turns while the drillstring does not rotate,
1. n. [Drilling] allowing the bit to drill in the direction it points. When a particular wellbore direction is
achieved, that direction may be maintained by rotating the entire drillstring (including the
The hardware used to optimize the production of hydrocarbons from the well. This may bent section) so that the bit does not drill in a single direction off the wellbore axis, but
range from nothing but a packer on tubing above an openhole completion ("barefoot" instead sweeps around and its net direction coincides with the existing wellbore. Rotary
completion), to a system of mechanical filtering elements outside of perforated pipe, to a steerable tools allow steering while rotating, usually with higher rates of penetration and
fully automated measurement and control system that optimizes reservoir economics ultimately smoother boreholes. Directional drilling is common in shale reservoirs because
without human intervention (an "intelligent" completion). it allows drillers to place the borehole in contact with the most productive reservoir rock.
2. n. [Well Completions]
Diagenesis The amount of oil and gas expected to be economically recovered from a reservoir or field
by the end of its producing life. Estimated ultimate recovery can be referenced to a well, a
The physical, chemical or biological alteration of sediments into sedimentary rock at
field, or a basin.
relatively low temperatures and pressures that can result in changes to the rock's original
mineralogy and texture. After deposition, sediments are compacted as they are buried Exploration play
beneath successive layers of sediment and cemented by minerals that precipitate from
An area in which hydrocarbon accumulations or prospects of a given type occur. For
solution. Grains of sediment, rock fragments and fossils can be replaced by other minerals
example the shale gas plays in North America include the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville,
during diagenesis. Porosity usually decreases during diagenesis, except in rare cases such
Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford, among many others. Outside North America, shale
as dissolution of minerals and dolomitization. Diagenesis does not include weathering
gas potential is being pursued in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.
processes. Hydrocarbon generation begins during diagenesis. There is not a clear, accepted
distinction between diagenesis and metamorphism, although metamorphism occurs at Formation evaluation
pressures and temperatures higher than those of the outer crust, where diagenesis occurs.
The measurement and analysis of formation and fluid properties through examination of
Directional drilling formation cuttings or through the use of tools integrated into the bottomhole assembly
while drilling, or conveyed on wireline or drillpipe after a borehole has been drilled.
The intentional deviation of a wellbore from the path it would naturally take. This is
Formation evaluation is performed to assess the quantity and producibility of fluids from
accomplished through the use of whipstocks, bottomhole assembly (BHA) configurations,
a reservoir. Formation evaluation guides wellsite decisions, such as placement of
instruments to measure the path of the wellbore in three-dimensional space, data links to
perforations and hydraulic fracture stages, and reservoir development and production
communicate measurements taken downhole to the surface, mud motors and special BHA
planning.
components and drill bits, including rotary steerable systems, and drill bits. The directional
driller also exploits drilling parameters such as weight on bit and rotary speed to deflect Frac head
the bit away from the axis of the existing wellbore. In some cases, such as drilling steeply
dipping formations or unpredictable deviation in conventional drilling operations, A flow cross installed on top of a frac tree where treating iron is connected and treatment
directional-drilling techniques may be employed to ensure that the hole is drilled vertically. fluid enters the frac tree.
While many techniques can accomplish this, the general concept is simple: point the bit in Frac tree
the direction that one wants to drill. The most common way is through the use of a bend
near the bit in a downhole steerable mud motor. The bend points the bit in a direction A Christmas tree installed specifically for the fracturing process. A frac tree typically
different from the axis of the wellbore when the entire drillstring is not rotating. By consists of upper and lower master valves, flow cross, wing valves, goat head, and swab
pumping mud through the mud motor, the bit turns while the drillstring does not rotate, valve. Frac trees generally have larger bores and higher pressure ratings than production
allowing the bit to drill in the direction it points. When a particular wellbore direction is trees to accommodate the high flow rates and pressures necessary for hydraulic fracturing.
achieved, that direction may be maintained by rotating the entire drillstring (including the Fracturing fluid
bent section) so that the bit does not drill in a single direction off the wellbore axis, but
instead sweeps around and its net direction coincides with the existing wellbore. Rotary A fluid injected into a well as part of a stimulation operation. Fracturing fluids for shale
steerable tools allow steering while rotating, usually with higher rates of penetration and reservoirs usually contain water, proppant, and a small amount of nonaqueous fluids
ultimately smoother boreholes. Directional drilling is common in shale reservoirs because designed to reduce friction pressure while pumping the fluid into the wellbore. These fluids
it allows drillers to place the borehole in contact with the most productive reservoir rock. typically include gels, friction reducers, crosslinkers, breakers and surfactants similar to
household cosmetics and cleaning products; these additives are selected for their
Estimated ultimate recovery
capability to improve the results of the stimulation operation and the productivity of the natural fractures to distinguish them from fractures induced as part of a reservoir
well. stimulation or drilling operation. In some shale reservoirs, natural fractures improve
production by enhancing effective permeability. In other cases, natural fractures can
Formation evaluation while drilling
complicate reservoir stimulation.
Also known as logging while drilling or LWD, the measurement of formation properties
Fracturing pressure
during the excavation of the hole, or shortly thereafter, through the use of tools integrated
into the bottomhole assembly. LWD, while sometimes risky and expensive, has the Pressure above which injection of fluids will cause the rock formation to fracture
advantage of measuring properties of a formation before drilling fluids invade deeply. hydraulically.
Further, many wellbores prove to be difficult or even impossible to measure with
Formation fracture pressure
conventional wireline tools, especially highly deviated wells. In these situations, the LWD
measurement ensures that some measurement of the subsurface is captured in the event Pressure above which injection of fluids will cause the rock formation to fracture
that wireline operations are not possible. Timely LWD data can also be used to guide well hydraulically.
placement so that the wellbore remains within the zone of interest or in the most
productive portion of a reservoir, such as in highly variable shale reservoirs. Frac stack

A Christmas tree installed specifically for the fracturing process. A frac stack typically
consists of upper and lower master valves, flow cross, wing valves, goat head, and swab
valve. Frac stacks generally have larger bores and higher pressure ratings than production
trees to accommodate the high flow rates and pressures necessary for hydraulic fracturing.
Frac job

Another term for hydraulic fracturing, a stimulation treatment routinely performed on oil
and gas wells in low-permeability reservoirs. Specially engineered fluids are pumped at
high pressure and rate into the reservoir interval to be treated, causing a vertical fracture
to open. The wings of the fracture extend away from the wellbore in opposing directions Fracture permeability
according to the natural stresses within the formation. Proppant, such as grains of sand of That portion of a dual-porosity reservoirs permeability that is associated with the
a particular size, is mixed with the treatment fluid to keep the fracture open when the secondary porosity created by open, natural fractures. In many of these reservoirs, fracture
treatment is complete. Hydraulic fracturing creates high-conductivity communication with permeability can be the major controlling factor of the flow of fluids.
a large area of formation and bypasses any damage that may exist in the near-wellbore
area. Free gas

Fracture The gaseous phase present in a reservoir or other contained area. Gas may be found either
dissolved in reservoir fluids or as free gas that tends to form a gas cap beneath the top seal
A crack or surface of breakage within rock not related to foliation or cleavage in on the reservoir trap. Both free gas and dissolved gas play important roles in the reservoir-
metamorphic rock along which there has been no movement. A fracture along which there drive mechanism.
has been displacement is a fault. When walls of a fracture have moved only normal to each
other, the fracture is called a joint. Fractures can enhance permeability of rocks greatly by Frac fluid
connecting pores together, and for that reason, fractures are induced mechanically in
some reservoirs in order to boost hydrocarbon flow. Fractures may also be referred to as
An abbreviation for fracturing fluid, a fluid injected into a well as part of a stimulation Flow control unit used in the pressurization of fluid employed in hydraulic fracturing.
operation. Fracturing fluids for shale reservoirs usually contain water, proppant, and a Fracturing fluid enters the missile at low pressure and is directed to the pump trucks for
small amount of nonaqueous fluids designed to reduce friction pressure while pumping pressurization. High-pressure fluid returns to the missile and is directed to the well or, in
the fluid into the wellbore. These fluids typically include gels, friction reducers, the case of a multiwell pad, to a frac manifold.
crosslinkers, breakers and surfactants similar to household cosmetics and cleaning
Hydraulic fracture monitoring
products; these additives are selected for their capability to improve the results of the
stimulation operation and the productivity of the well. A technique to track the propagation of a hydraulic fracture as it advances through a
formation. Microseisms are detected, located, and displayed in time for scientists and
Gas shale
engineers to approximate the location and propagation of the hydraulic fracture. Software
Shale that produces natural gas. A shale that is thermally mature enough and has sufficient provides modeling, survey design, microseismic detection and location, uncertainty
gas content to produce economic quantities of natural gas. analysis, data integration, and visualization for interpretation. Computer imagery is used
to monitor the activity in 3D space relative to the location of the fracturing treatment. The
Geomechanics
monitored activities are animated to show progressive fracture growth and the subsurface
The geologic specialty that deals with understanding how rocks, stresses, pressures, and response to pumping variations. When displayed in real time, the microseismic activity
temperatures interact. This understanding is used to solve oilfield problems, such as allows one to make changes to the stimulation design to ensure optimal reservoir contact.
optimizing hydraulic fracturing treatments of shale reservoirs. Geomechanics specialists Also known as microseismic monitoring, this technique delivers information about the
typically work with experts in geophysics, geology, petrophysics, reservoir engineering, effectiveness of the stimulation of a reservoir that can be used to enhance reservoir
drilling engineering, and rock physics to solve geomechanical problems and address development in shale gas completions.
production challenges in shale reservoirs.
Hydraulic fracturing
Giip
A stimulation treatment routinely performed on oil and gas wells in low-permeability
Abbreviation for gas initially in place, the volume of gas in a reservoir before production. reservoirs. Specially engineered fluids are pumped at high pressure and rate into the
reservoir interval to be treated, causing a vertical fracture to open. The wings of the
Goat head fracture extend away from the wellbore in opposing directions according to the natural
A flow cross installed on top of a frac tree where treating iron is connected and treatment stresses within the formation. Proppant, such as grains of sand of a particular size, is mixed
fluid enters the frac tree. with the treatment fluid to keep the fracture open when the treatment is complete.
Hydraulic fracturing creates high-conductivity communication with a large area of
Heterogeneity formation and bypasses any damage that may exist in the near-wellbore area.
The quality of variation in rock properties with location in a reservoir or formation. Shale Heterogeneous
gas reservoirs are heterogeneous formations whose mineralogy, organic content, natural
fractures, and other properties vary from place to place. This heterogeneity makes Possessing the quality of variation in rock properties with location in a reservoir or
petroleum system modeling, formation evaluation, and reservoir simulation critical to formation. Shale gas reservoirs are heterogeneous formations whose mineralogy, organic
maximizing production from shale reservoirs. content, natural fractures, and other properties vary from place to place. This
heterogeneity makes petroleum system modeling, formation evaluation, and reservoir
High-pressure manifold simulation critical to maximizing production from shale reservoirs.
Horizontal drilling The gas stored in the pore space of a reservoir rock. Measurement of interstitial gas and
adsorbed gas, which is the gas accumulated on the surface of another solid material, such
1. n. [Drilling]
as a grain of reservoir rock, allows calculation of gas in place in a reservoir.
A subset of the more general term "directional drilling," used where the departure of the
Kerogen
wellbore from vertical exceeds about 80 degrees. Note that some horizontal wells are
designed such that after reaching true 90-degree horizontal, the wellbore may actually The naturally occurring, solid, insoluble organic matter that occurs in source rocks and can
start drilling upward. In such cases, the angle past 90 degrees is continued, as in 95 yield oil upon heating. Kerogen is the portion of naturally occurring organic matter that is
degrees, rather than reporting it as deviation from vertical, which would then be 85 nonextractable using organic solvents. Typical organic constituents of kerogen are algae
degrees. Because a horizontal well typically penetrates a greater length of the reservoir, it and woody plant material. Kerogens have a high molecular weight relative to bitumen, or
can offer significant production improvement over a vertical well. soluble organic matter. Bitumen forms from kerogen during petroleum generation.
Kerogens are described as Type I, consisting of mainly algal and amorphous (but
2. n. [Shale Gas]
presumably algal) kerogen and highly likely to generate oil; Type II, mixed terrestrial and
The intentional deviation of a wellbore from the path it would naturally take to a horizontal marine source material that can generate waxy oil; and Type III, woody terrestrial source
trajectory. Horizontal lateral sections can be designed to intersect natural fractures or material that typically generates gas.
simply to contact more of the productive formation. Horizontal drilling is accomplished
Logging while drilling
through the use of whipstocks, bottomhole assembly (BHA) configurations, instruments to
measure the path of the wellbore in three-dimensional space, data links to communicate The measurement of formation properties during the excavation of the hole, or shortly
measurements taken downhole to the surface, mud motors and special BHA components, thereafter, through the use of tools integrated into the bottomhole assembly. LWD, while
including rotary steerable systems and drill bits. While many techniques can accomplish sometimes risky and expensive, has the advantage of measuring properties of a formation
this, the general concept is simple: Direct the bit in the direction that one wants to drill. By before drilling fluids invade deeply. Further, many wellbores prove to be difficult or even
placing a bend near the bit in a downhole steerable mud motor, the bend points the bit in impossible to measure with conventional wireline tools, especially highly deviated wells.
a direction different from the axis of the wellbore when the entire drillstring is not rotating. In these situations, the LWD measurement ensures that some measurement of the
By pumping mud through the mud motor, the bit turns while the drillstring does not rotate, subsurface is captured in the event that wireline operations are not possible. Timely LWD
allowing the bit to drill in the direction it points. When a particular wellbore direction is data can also be used to guide well placement so that the wellbore remains within the
achieved, that direction may be maintained by rotating the entire drillstring (including the zone of interest or in the most productive portion of a reservoir, such as in highly variable
bent section) such that the bit does not drill in a single direction off the wellbore axis. shale reservoirs.
Instead, the bit sweeps around and its net direction coincides with the existing wellbore.
Logging-while-drilling
Rotary steerable tools allow steering while rotating, usually with higher rates of
penetration and ultimately smoother boreholes. Horizontal drilling is common in shale The measurement of formation properties during the excavation of the hole, or shortly
reservoirs because it allows drillers to place the borehole in contact with the most thereafter, through the use of tools integrated into the bottomhole assembly. LWD, while
productive reservoir rock. sometimes risky and expensive, has the advantage of measuring properties of a formation
before drilling fluids invade deeply. Further, many wellbores prove to be difficult or even
impossible to measure with conventional wireline tools, especially highly deviated wells.
Interstitial gas In these situations, the LWD measurement ensures that some measurement of the
subsurface is captured in the event that wireline operations are not possible. Timely LWD
data can also be used to guide well placement so that the wellbore remains within the
zone of interest or in the most productive portion of a reservoir, such as in highly variable Also known as hydraulic fracture monitoring, this technique delivers information about the
shale reservoirs. effectiveness of the stimulation of a reservoir that can be used to enhance reservoir
development in shale gas completions.
Lwd

Abbreviation for logging while drilling. The measurement of formation properties during
the excavation of the hole, or shortly thereafter, through the use of tools integrated into
the bottomhole assembly. LWD, while sometimes risky and expensive, has the advantage
Missile Flow
of measuring properties of a formation before drilling fluids invade deeply. Further, many
wellbores prove to be difficult or even impossible to measure with conventional wireline control unit used in the pressurization of fluid employed in hydraulic fracturing. Fracturing
tools, especially highly deviated wells. In these situations, the LWD measurement ensures fluid enters the missile at low pressure and is directed to the pump trucks for
that some measurement of the subsurface is captured in the event that wireline operations pressurization. High-pressure fluid returns to the missile and is directed to the well or, in
are not possible. Timely LWD data can also be used to guide well placement so that the the case of a multiwell pad, to a frac manifold.
wellbore remains within the zone of interest or in the most productive portion of a
reservoir, such as in highly variable shale reservoirs. Mudrock

Maturation A fine-grained detrital sedimentary rock formed by consolidation of clay- and silt-sized
particles. Mudrocks are highly variable in their clay content and are often rich in carbonate
The process of a source rock becoming capable of generating oil or gas when exposed to material. As a consequence, they are less fissile, or susceptible to splitting along planes,
appropriate pressures and temperatures. As a source rock begins to mature, it generates than shales. Mudrocks may include relatively large amounts of organic material compared
hydrocarbons. As an oil-prone source rock matures, the generation of heavy oils is with other rock types and thus have potential to become rich hydrocarbon source rocks.
succeeded by medium and light oils and condensates. Above a temperature of The typical fine grain size and low permeability, a consequence of the alignment of their
approximately 100°C [212°F], only dry gas is generated, and incipient metamorphism is platy or flaky grains, allow mudrocks to form good cap rocks for hydrocarbon traps.
imminent. The maturity of a source rock reflects the ambient pressure and temperature as However, mudrocks are also capable of being reservoir rocks, as evidenced by the many
well as the duration of conditions favorable for hydrocarbon generation. Understanding wells drilled into them to produce gas.
maturation is especially important in shale reservoirs because of the shales dual role as
source rock and reservoir rock. Metagenesis

Microseismic monitoring The last stage of maturation and conversion of organic matter to hydrocarbons.
Metagenesis occurs at temperatures of 150° to 200°C [302° to 392°F]. At the end of
A technique to track the propagation of a hydraulic fracture as it advances through a metagenesis, methane, or dry gas, is evolved along with nonhydrocarbon gases such as
formation. Microseisms are detected, located, and displayed in time for scientists and CO2, N2, and H2S, as oil molecules are cracked into smaller gas molecules.
engineers to approximate the location and propagation of the hydraulic fracture. Software
provides modeling, survey design, microseismic detection and location, uncertainty Natural fracture
analysis, data integration, and visualization for interpretation. Computer imagery is used A crack or surface of breakage within rock not related to foliation or cleavage in
to monitor the activity in 3D space relative to the location of the fracturing treatment. The metamorphic rock along which there has been no movement. A fracture along which there
monitored activities are animated to show progressive fracture growth and the subsurface has been displacement is a fault. When walls of a fracture have moved only normal to each
response to pumping variations. When displayed in real time, the microseismic activity other, the fracture is called a joint. Fractures can enhance permeability of rocks greatly by
allows one to make changes to the stimulation design to ensure optimal reservoir contact. connecting pores together, and for that reason, fractures are induced mechanically in
some reservoirs in order to boost hydrocarbon flow. Fractures may also be referred to as fractures. Geomechanical analysis is commonly conducted before perforating shale
natural fractures to distinguish them from fractures induced as part of a reservoir reservoirs to account for the relationship between formation stresses and productivity.
stimulation or drilling operation. In some shale reservoirs, natural fractures improve
Play
production by enhancing effective permeability. In other cases, natural fractures can
complicate reservoir stimulation. An area in which hydrocarbon accumulations or prospects of a given type occur. For
example the shale gas plays in North America include the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville,
Natural gas
Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford, among many others. Outside North America, shale
1. n. [Geology] gas potential is being pursued in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.

A naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon gases that is highly compressible and


expansible. Methane [CH4] is the chief constituent of most natural gas (constituting as
much as 85% of some natural gases), with lesser amounts of ethane [C2H6], propane
[C3H8], butane [C4H10] and pentane [C5H12]. Impurities can also be present in large Produced water
proportions, including carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide.
A term used to describe water produced from a wellbore that is not a treatment fluid. The
2. n. [Shale Gas] characteristics of produced water vary and use of the term often implies an inexact or
unknown composition. It is generally accepted that water within the pores of shale
Natural gas produced from shale reservoirs is known as shale gas. The composition of the
reservoirs is not produced due to its low relative permeability and its mobility being lower
gas stream is a function of the thermal maturity of the rock. Thermally immature rocks will
than that of gas.
contain heavier hydrocarbon components, possibly even liquid components. Overmature
reservoirs typically contain appreciable quantities of carbon dioxide [CO2]. Pyrolysis
Perforate A type of geochemical analysis in which a rock sample is subject to controlled heating in an
inert gas to or past the point of generating hydrocarbons in order to assess its quality as a
1. vb. [Perforating]
source rock, the abundance of organic material in it, its thermal maturity, and the quality
To create holes in the casing or liner to achieve efficient communication between the of hydrocarbons it might generate or have generated. Pyrolysis breaks large hydrocarbon
reservoir and the wellbore. The characteristics and placement of the communication paths molecules into smaller molecules. This process is used to determine the quality of shale as
(perforations) can have significant influence on the productivity of the well. Therefore, a a source rock and is instrumental in evaluating shale gas plays.
robust design and execution process should be followed to ensure efficient creation of the
Petroleum systems modeling
appropriate number, size and orientation of perforations. A perforating gun assembly with
the appropriate configuration of shaped explosive charges and the means to verify or A technique used to represent the history of a sedimentary basin, including the processes
correlate the correct perforating depth can be deployed on wireline, tubing or coiled and components necessary to form petroleum: a petroleum source rock, a reservoir, a
tubing. trapping mechanism, a seal, and the appropriate relative timing of formation of these.
Using geologic, geophysical, and engineering data, scientists create a 3D model of the
2. n. [Shale Gas]
subsurface that can be used to understand whether petroleum is present and how much
The creation of holes in the casing or liner to achieve efficient communication between might exist in potential traps. Petroleum systems models can be used to help predict pore
the reservoir and the wellbore. This process is integral to the optimal creation of hydraulic pressure and plan well construction and field development. A useful petroleum systems
model can be used to identify and explain inconsistencies in the data. The resulting models
are valuable during exploration for identifying resource richness, such as sweet spots in location to location within the volume, resulting in heterogeneity. However, porosity and
unconventional plays such as shale gas, and during field development and production for permeability are stable in the near-geologic timeframe and do not change due to the
improving completion efficiency. Petroleum systems modeling is distinct from reservoir movement of fluids or gases through any of the formations pore spaces. The result of
simulation in that it covers a larger scale that might include multiple oil and gas fields and reservoir characterization is a reservoir characterization model (also known as a static
considers a geologic time frame of millions of years rather than a production time frame model and sometimes referred to as a geologic model). Shale gas reservoir rocks require
of years or decades. the analysis of high-quality seismic data, core, and log measurements and engineering data
to produce an accurate reservoir characterization model. This model is then used as input
Pore gas
into reservoir simulation, during which reservoir engineers add other reservoir
Also known as interstitial gas, the gas stored in the pore space of a reservoir rock. characteristics, such as pressures, temperatures, and fluid and gas compositions. These
Measurement of interstitial gas and adsorbed gas, which is the gas accumulated on the features can change due to the movement of fluids or gases through any of the formations
surface of another solid material, such as a grain of reservoir rock, allows calculation of gas pore spaces. Since these are dynamic in their nature over short timeframes, once
in place in a reservoir. production is initiated these models are referred to as dynamic models. Thorough reservoir
simulations (dynamic models) that are based on accurately developed reservoir
Proppantized particles mixed with fracturing fluid to hold fractures open after a hydraulic characterizations (static models) can be of significant value in optimizing well placement
fracturing treatment. In addition to naturally occurring sand grains, man-made or specially and field-development planning.
engineered proppants, such as resin-coated sand or high-strength ceramic materials like
sintered bauxite, may also be used. Proppant materials are carefully sorted for size and Reservoir quality (RQ)
sphericity to provide an efficient conduit for production of fluid from the reservoir to the
A prediction of the likelihood of a rock to yield commercial quantities of hydrocarbons.
wellbore.
Reservoir quality (RQ) is a geologic, engineering and economic assessment of a resource,
Refracturing its reserves and their producibility. The term RQ includes the following factors: volume of
oil or gas in place, organic content (TOC), thermal maturity, effective porosity, fluid
An operation to restimulate a well after an initial period of production. Refracturing saturations—oil, gas and water, reservoir thickness and intrinsic permeability.
operations attempt to bypass near-wellbore damage, reestablish good connectivity with
the reservoir, and tap portions of the reservoir with higher pore pressure. Refracturing Rotary steerable system
operations are also performed after a period of production that can alter the stresses in a
A tool designed to drill directionally with continuous rotation from the surface, eliminating
reservoir due to depletion; the restimulation can allow the new fracture to reorient along
the need to slide a steerable motor. Rotary steerable systems typically are deployed when
a different azimuth. A successful refracturing operation restores well productivity to near
drilling directional, horizontal, or extended-reach wells. State-of-the-art rotary steerable
original or even higher rates of production and extends the productive life of a well.
systems have minimal interaction with the borehole, thereby preserving borehole quality.
Reservoir characterization model The most advanced systems exert consistent side force similar to traditional stabilizers that
rotate with the drillstring or orient the bit in the desired direction while continuously
A model of a specific volume of the subsurface that incorporates all the geologic rotating at the same number of rotations per minute as the drillstring.
characteristics of the reservoir. Such models are used to quantify characteristics within the
subsurface volume that are relatively stable over long periods of time and can, therefore, Shale
be considered static. These attributes include the structural shape and thicknesses of the
A fine-grained, fissile, detrital sedimentary rock formed by consolidation of clay- and silt-
formations within the subsurface volume being modeled, their lithologies, and the porosity
sized particles into thin, relatively impermeable layers. It is the most abundant
and permeability distributions. These last two characteristics often vary significantly from
sedimentary rock. Shale can include relatively large amounts of organic material compared
with other rock types and thus has potential to become a rich hydrocarbon source rock, attempt to map sweet spots enable wellbores to be placed in the most productive areas
even though a typical shale contains just 1% organic matter. Its typical fine grain size and of the reservoir. Sweet spots in shale reservoirs may be defined by source-rock richness or
lack of permeability, a consequence of the alignment of its platy or flaky grains, allow shale thickness, by natural fractures, or by other factors, using geological data such as core
to form a good cap rock for hydrocarbon traps. Gas shows from shales during drilling have analysis, well log data, or seismic data.
led some shales to be targeted as potential gas reservoirs. Various clay types and volumes
Shale gas
influence the quality of the reservoir from a petrophysical and geomechanical perspective.
The quality of shale reservoirs depends on their thickness and extent, organic content, Natural gas produced from gas shale formations.
thermal maturity, depth and pressure, fluid saturations, and permeability, among other
factors Source rock

Shaly A rock rich in organic matter which, if heated sufficiently, will generate oil or gas. Typical
source rocks, usually shales or limestones, contain about 1% organic matter and at least
Containing shale, a fine-grained, fissile, detrital sedimentary rock formed by consolidation 0.5% total organic carbon (TOC), although a rich source rock might have as much as 10%
of clay- and silt-sized particles into thin, relatively impermeable layers. It is the most organic matter. Rocks of marine origin tend to be oil-prone, whereas terrestrial source
abundant sedimentary rock. Shale can include relatively large amounts of organic material rocks (such as coal) tend to be gas-prone. Preservation of organic matter without
compared with other rock types and thus has potential to become a rich hydrocarbon degradation is critical to creating a good source rock, and necessary for a complete
source rock, even though a typical shale contains just 1% organic matter. Its typical fine petroleum system. Under the right conditions, source rocks may also be reservoir rocks, as
grain size and lack of permeability, a consequence of the alignment of its platy or flaky in the case of shale gas reservoirs.
grains, allow shale to form a good cap rock for hydrocarbon traps. Gas shows from shales
during drilling have led some shales to be targeted as potential gas reservoirs. Various clay Stimulation
types and volumes influence the quality of the reservoir from a petrophysical and A treatment performed to restore or enhance the productivity of a well. Stimulation
geomechanical perspective. The quality of shale reservoirs depends on their thickness and treatments fall into two main groups, hydraulic fracturing treatments and matrix
extent, organic content, thermal maturity, depth and pressure, fluid saturations, and treatments. Fracturing treatments are performed above the fracture pressure of the
permeability, among other factors. reservoir formation and create a highly conductive flow path between the reservoir and
Staged fracturing the wellbore. Matrix treatments are performed below the reservoir fracture pressure and
generally are designed to restore the natural permeability of the reservoir following
An operation in which numerous reservoir intervals are hydraulically stimulated in damage to the near-wellbore area. Stimulation in shale gas reservoirs typically takes the
succession. Staged hydraulic fracturing operations are commonly performed from form of hydraulic fracturing treatments.
horizontal wellbores placed in shale gas reservoirs. Using geomechanical data, engineers
are able to optimize the placement of perforations and fracturing stages to maximize gas Thermal maturity
production. The degree of heating of a source rock in the process of transforming kerogen into
Sweet spot hydrocarbon. Thermal maturity is commonly evaluated by measuring vitrinite reflectance
or by pyrolysis.
1. n. [Shale Gas]
Tight gas
Colloquial expression for a target location or area within a play or a reservoir that
represents the best production or potential production. Geoscientists and engineers Gas produced from a relatively impermeable reservoir rock. Hydrocarbon production from
tight reservoirs can be difficult without stimulation operations. Stimulation of tight
formations can result in increased production from formations that previously might have Secrecy or confidentiality of information. Operators typically try to prevent disclosure of
been abandoned or been produced uneconomically. The term is generally used for results from exploration wells and will hold any such information "tight". A tight hole is a
reservoirs other than shales. well whose status and data are not widely disseminated by the operator.

Toc Unconventional resource

The concentration of organic material in source rocks as represented by the weight percent An umbrella term for oil and natural gas that is produced by means that do not meet the
of organic carbon. A value of approximately 0.5% total organic carbon by weight percent criteria for conventional production. What has qualified as unconventional at any
is considered the minimum for an effective source rock, although values of 2% are particular time is a complex function of resource characteristics, the available exploration
considered the minimum for shale gas reservoirs; values exceeding 10% exist, although and production technologies, the economic environment, and the scale, frequency and
some geoscientists assert that high total organic carbon values indicate the possibility of duration of production from the resource. Perceptions of these factors inevitably change
kerogen filling pore space rather than other forms of hydrocarbons. Total organic carbon over time and often differ among users of the term. At present, the term is used in
is measured from 1-g samples of pulverized rock that are combusted and converted to CO reference to oil and gas resources whose porosity, permeability, fluid trapping mechanism,
or CO2. If a sample appears to contain sufficient total organic carbon to generate or other characteristics differ from conventional sandstone and carbonate reservoirs.
hydrocarbons, it may be subjected to pyrolysis. Coalbed methane, gas hydrates, shale gas, fractured reservoirs, and tight gas sands are
considered unconventional resources.
Total organic carbon
Vitrinite reflectance
The concentration of organic material in source rocks as represented by the weight percent
of organic carbon. A value of approximately 0.5% total organic carbon by weight percent 1. n. [Geology]
is considered the minimum for an effective source rock, although values of 2% are
A measurement of the maturity of organic matter with respect to whether it has generated
considered the minimum for shale gas reservoirs; values exceeding 10% exist, although
hydrocarbons or could be an effective source rock.
some geoscientists assert that high total organic carbon values indicate the possibility of
kerogen filling pore space rather than other forms of hydrocarbons. Total organic carbon 2. n. [Shale Gas]
is measured from 1-g samples of pulverized rock that are combusted and converted to CO
or CO2. If a sample appears to contain sufficient total organic carbon to generate A measure of the thermal maturity of organic matter. This analytical method was
hydrocarbons, it may be subjected to pyrolysis. developed to rank the maturity of coals and is now used in other rocks to determine
whether they have generated hydrocarbons or could be effective source rocks. The
Tight reflectivity of at least 30 individual grains of vitrinite from a rock sample is measured under
a microscope. The measurement is given in units of reflectance, % Ro, with typical values
1. adj. [Geology, Shale Gas]
ranging from 0% Ro to 3% Ro, with values for gas-generating source rocks typically
Describing a relatively impermeable reservoir rock from which hydrocarbon production is exceeding 1.5%. Strictly speaking, the plant material that forms vitrinite did not occur prior
difficult. Reservoirs can be tight because of smaller grains or matrix between larger grains, to Ordovician time, although geochemists have established a scale of equivalent vitrinite
or they might be tight because they consist predominantly of silt- or clay-sized grains, as is reflectance for rocks older than Ordovician.
the case for shale reservoirs. Stimulation of tight formations can result in increased
Well placement
production from formations that previously would have been abandoned or produced
uneconomically. Activities associated with drilling a wellbore to intercept one of more specified locations.
The term usually is used in reference to directional or horizontal wells that are oriented to
2. adj. [Geology]
maximize contact with the most productive parts of reservoirs via hydraulic fracturing or
to optimize intersection with natural fractures. Geomechanical analysis of natural
fractures and stresses and geological analysis of the reservoir are critical to successful well
planning. Advanced formation evaluation and drilling technology support the drilling
operation in real time.

Well plan

The description of a proposed wellbore, including the shape, orientation, depth,


completion, and evaluation. Well plans might be relatively simple for vertical wellbores.
Directional or horizontal wellbores require more detailed planning about where to land
the well and begin directional drilling, how long the directional or horizontal section should
be, and how to evaluate and complete the well. Shale gas wells, many of which are
horizontal wells, require highly detailed well plans to optimize production from reservoirs
that are vertically and laterally heterogeneous.

Well stimulation

A treatment performed to restore or enhance the productivity of a well. Stimulation


treatments fall into two main groups, hydraulic fracturing treatments and matrix
treatments. Fracturing treatments are performed above the fracture pressure of the
reservoir formation and create a highly conductive flow path between the reservoir and
the wellbore. Matrix treatments are performed below the reservoir fracture pressure and
generally are designed to restore the natural permeability of the reservoir following
damage to the near-wellbore area. Stimulation in shale gas reservoirs typically takes the
form of hydraulic fracturing treatments.
GEOLOGY in desert or semi-arid areas. Of particular concern to geophysicists is the difficulty in
acquiring good seismic data when shooting through a layer of caliche.
This discipline defines terms pertaining to Earth—its history, structure,
composition, life forms and processes that continue to shape and change it. This broad CI
field of science covers many subspecialties. Definitions within range from absolute
The value of the separation between two adjacent contours. A net pay isopach map might
pressure to lithification to Wentworth scale. All definitions have been reviewed by
have a contour interval of 10 feet [3 m], whereas a structure contour map might have a
geologists, and many are augmented by high-quality photographs or illustrations.
contour interval of 1000 feet [300 m]. Contour intervals are chosen according to the map
Calcite scale and the amount and distribution of control points.

The crystalline form of calcium carbonate and chief constituent of limestone and chalk. Competent
Calcite reacts readily with dilute hydrochloric acid [HCl], so the presence of calcite can be
Describes a bed that maintains its original thickness during deformation. Often pertains to
tested by simply placing a drop of acid on a rock specimen.
relatively brittle, solid strata that deform by faulting, fracturing or folding, rather than
Chronostratigraphy flowing under stress. Incompetent beds are more ductile and tend to flow under stress, so
their bed thickness changes more readily during deformation.
The study of the ages of strata. The comparison, or correlation, of separated strata can
include study of their relative or absolute ages. Convergence

Compaction The movement of tectonic plates toward each other, generating compressional forces and
ultimately resulting in collision, and in some cases subduction, of tectonic plates. The
The physical process by which sediments are consolidated, resulting in the reduction of
boundary where tectonic plates converge is called a convergent margin.
pore space as grains are packed closer together. As layers of sediment accumulate, the
ever increasing overburden pressure during burial causes compaction of the sediments, cap rock
loss of pore fluids and formation of rock as grains are welded or cemented together.
A relatively impermeable rock, commonly shale, anhydrite or salt, that forms a barrier or
conventional reservoir seal above and around reservoir rock so that fluids cannot migrate beyond the reservoir.
It is often found atop a salt dome. The permeability of a cap rock capable of retaining fluids
A reservoir in which buoyant forces keep hydrocarbons in place below a sealing caprock.
through geologic time is ~ 10-6-10-8 darcies.
Reservoir and fluid characteristics of conventional reservoirs typically permit oil or natural
gas to flow readily into wellbores. The term is used to make a distinction from shale and clastic intrusion
other unconventional reservoirs, in which gas might be distributed throughout the
Structures formed by sediment injection. Because they resemble intrusive and extrusive
reservoir at the basin scale, and in which buoyant forces or the influence of a water column
igneous features, much of the vocabulary for describing clastic intrusions, or injectites,
on the location of hydrocarbons within the reservoir are not significant.
comes from igneous geology. Sills are emplaced parallel to bedding, whereas dikes cut
Caliche through bedding. The strata containing the intrusion are called host strata and the layers
that feed the intrusion are the parent beds. Sand-injection features exhibit size scales from
A crust of coarse sediments or weathered soil rich in calcium carbonate. It forms when
millimeters to kilometers, and have been seen in cores, borehole image logs, seismic
lime-rich groundwater rises to the surface by capillary action and evaporates into a
sections, outcrops, aerial photographs and satellite images.
crumbly powder, forming a tough, indurated sheet called calcrete. Caliche typically occurs
concentric fold
The deformation of rock layers in which the thickness of each layer, measured To deepen the wellbore by way of collecting a cylindrical sample of rock. A core bit is used
perpendicular to initial undeformed layering, is maintained after the rock layers have been to accomplish this, in conjunction with a core barrel and core catcher. The bit is usually a
folded. drag bit fitted with either PDC or natural diamond cutting structures, but the core bit is
unusual in that it has a hole in its center. This allows the bit to drill around a central cylinder
Convergent
of rock, which is taken in through the bit and into the core barrel. The core barrel itself
Pertaining to the movement of tectonic plates toward each other, generating may be thought of as a special storage chamber for holding the rock core. The core catcher
compressional forces and ultimately resulting in collision, and in some cases subduction, serves to grip the bottom of the core and, as tension is applied to the drillstring, the rock
of tectonic plates. The boundary where tectonic plates converge is called a convergent under the core breaks away from the undrilled formation below it. The core catcher also
margin. retains the core so that it does not fall out the bottom of the drillstring, which is open in
the middle at that point.
Caprock
2. n. [Geology]
A relatively impermeable rock, commonly shale, anhydrite or salt, that forms a barrier or
seal above and around reservoir rock so that fluids cannot migrate beyond the reservoir. Innermost layer of the Earth. Studies of compressional and shear waves indicate that the
It is often found atop a salt dome. The permeability of a caprock capable of retaining fluids core makes up nearly 3500 km [2170 miles] of the Earth's radius of 6370 km [3950 miles].
through geologic time is ~ 10-6-10-8 darcies. Such studies also demonstrate that because shear waves do not pass through the outer
part of the core (2250 km [1400 miles] thick), it is liquid (only solids can shear). The inner
clastic sediment core is solid and 1220 km [750 miles] thick. The core's iron and nickel composition was
Sediment consisting of broken fragments derived from preexisting rocks and transported inferred through studies of the Earth's gravitational field and average density. The
elsewhere and redeposited before forming another rock. Examples of common clastic relatively low density of the outer layers of the Earth suggests a dense inner layer.
sedimentary rocks include siliciclastic rocks such as conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and 3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
shale. Carbonate rocks can also be broken and reworked to form clastic sedimentary rocks.
A cylindrical sample of geologic formation, usually reservoir rock, taken during or after
Condensate drilling a well. Cores can be full-diameter cores (that is, they are nearly as large in diameter
A low-density, high-API gravity liquid hydrocarbon phase that generally occurs in as the drill bit) taken at the time of drilling the zone, or sidewall cores (generally less than
association with natural gas. Its presence as a liquid phase depends on temperature and 1 in. [2.5 cm] in diameter) taken after a hole has been drilled. Cores samples are used for
pressure conditions in the reservoir allowing condensation of liquid from vapor. The many studies, some of which relate to drilling fluids and damage done by them.
production of condensate reservoirs can be complicated because of the pressure Carbonate
sensitivity of some condensates: During production, there is a risk of the condensate
changing from gas to liquid if the reservoir pressure drops below the dew point during A class of sedimentary rock whose chief mineral constituents (95% or more) are calcite and
production. Reservoir pressure can be maintained by fluid injection if gas production is aragonite (both CaCo3) and dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2], a mineral that can replace calcite
preferable to liquid production. Gas produced in association with condensate is called wet during the process of dolomitization. Limestone, dolostone or dolomite, and chalk are
gas. The API gravity of condensate is typically 50 degrees to 120 degrees. carbonate rocks. Although carbonate rocks can be clastic in origin, they are more
commonly formed through processes of precipitation or the activity of organisms such as
Core coral and algae. Carbonates form in shallow and deep marine settings, evaporitic basins,
1. vb. [Drilling] lakes and windy deserts. Carbonate rocks can serve as hydrocarbon reservoir rocks,
particularly if their porosity has been enhanced through dissolution. They rely on fractures In sequence stratigraphy, a section of fine-grained sedimentary rocks that accumulated
for permeability. slowly, thereby representing a considerable span of time by only a thin layer. In condensed
sections, fossils and organic, phosphatic and glauconitic material tend to be concentrated
Clathrate
compared with rapidly deposited sections that contain few fossils. Condensed sections are
1. n. [Geology] most commonly deposited during transgressions. In such cases they are associated with
"maximum flooding surfaces" and form important sequence stratigraphic markers.
An unusual occurrence of hydrocarbon in which molecules of natural gas, typically
methane, are trapped in ice molecules. More generally, hydrates are compounds in which Correlate
gas molecules are trapped within a crystal structure. Hydrates form in cold climates, such
1. vt. [Geology]
as permafrost zones and in deep water. To date, economic liberation of hydrocarbon gases
from hydrates has not occurred, but hydrates contain quantities of hydrocarbons that To seek a comparison or equivalence. Scientists attempt to compare or match up well log
could be of great economic significance. Hydrates can affect seismic data by creating a signatures, chemical signatures, seismic signatures, fossils and rock samples across wide
reflection or multiple. areas to determine the equivalence, extent, thickness, quality, relative age or other
properties of stratigraphic units and rock bodies.
2. n. [Production Testing]
2. vb. [Production Logging, Well Completions, Formation Evaluation, Reservoir
Compounds or complex ions that are formed by the union of water with other substances.
Characterization]
Hydrates can form in pipelines and in gas gathering, compression and transmission
facilities at reduced temperatures and high pressures. Once hydrates are formed, they can To compare and fix measured depths with known features on baseline logs of the wellbore
plug the pipelines and significantly affect production operations. tubulars and the surrounding formation.

3. n. [Drilling Fluids] Cataclasite

A crystalline solid consisting of water with gas molecules in an ice-like cage structure. The A type of metamorphic rock with shearing and granulation of minerals caused by high
general term for this type of solid is clathrate. Water molecules form a lattice structure mechanical stress during faulting or dynamic metamorphism, typically during episodes of
into which many types of gas molecules can fit. Most gases, except hydrogen and helium, plate tectonic activity.
can form hydrates. C1 to nC5 hydrocarbons, H2S and CO2 readily form hydrates at low
Clay
temperature and high pressure. Heavier hydrocarbons may also enter the structure but do
not form hydrates by themselves. Gas-cut muds can form hydrates in deepwater drilling Fine-grained sediments less than 0.0039 mm in size.
operations, plugging BOP lines, risers and subsea wellheads, causing a well-control risk.
Gas hydrates are thermodynamically suppressed by adding antifreeze materials such as Conformity
salts or glycols. A common practice is to use 20 to 23 wt.% NaCl. Nucleation and growth of A bedding surface separating younger from older strata, along which there is no evidence
hydrates can be dynamically inhibited by certain polymers or surfactants. Gas hydrates are of subaerial or submarine erosion or of nondeposition, and along which there is no
found in nature, on the bottom of cold seas and in arctic permafrost regions. Drilling into evidence of a significant hiatus. Unconformities (sequence boundaries) and flooding
these can be hazardous, but they offer another source of hydrocarbons for future surfaces (parasequence boundaries) pass laterally into correlative conformities, or
exploitation. correlative surfaces.
condensed section Craton
A stable area of continental crust that has not undergone much plate tectonic or orogenic chloride, calcium chloride and potassiumchloride. More complex brine systems may
activity for a long period. A craton includes a crystalline basement of commonly contain zinc, bromide or iodine salts. These brines are generally corrosive and costly.
Precambrian rock called a shield, and a platform in which flat-lying or nearly flat-lying
sediments or sedimentary rock surround the shield. A commonly cited example of a craton connate water
is the Canadian Shield. Water trapped in the pores of a rock during formation of the rock. The chemistry of
Catagenesis connate water can change in composition throughout the history of the rock. Connate
water can be dense and saline compared with seawater. Formation water, or interstitial
The physical and chemical alteration of sediments and pore fluids at temperatures and water, in contrast, is simply water found in the pore spaces of a rock, and might not have
pressures higher than those of diagenesis. Catagenesis involves heating in the range of 50° been present when the rock was formed. Connate water is also described as fossil water.
to 150°C [122° to 302°F]. At these temperatures, chemical bonds break down in kerogen
and clays within shale, generating liquid hydrocarbons. At the high end of this temperature Crest
range, secondary cracking of oil molecules can generate gas molecules. The highest point of a wave, mountain or geologic structure.
clear brine CBM
1. n. [Geology] Abbreviation for coalbed methane. Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated
Water containing more dissolved inorganic salt than typical seawater. during coal formation and adsorbed in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix
pores within the coal and natural fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases.
2. n. [Drilling]
Saline liquid usually used in completion operations and, increasingly, when penetrating
a pay zone. Brines are preferred because they have higher densities than fresh water but
Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
lack solid particles that might damage producible formations. Classes of brines include
desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal
chloride brines (calcium and sodium), bromides and formates.
matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix
3. n. [Drilling Fluids] are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability
A general term that refers to various salts and salt mixtures dissolved in an aqueous and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.
solution. Brine can be used more strictly, however, to refer to solutions of sodium
Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered
chloride. We prefer to use brine as a general term. Clear brines are salt solutions that
for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes
have few or no suspended solids.
gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a
4. n. [Well Completions] rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the
A water-based solution of inorganic salts used as a well-control fluid during relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
the completion and workover phases of well operations. Brines are solids free, containing of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
no particles that might plug or damage a producing formation. In addition, the salts declines.
in brine can inhibit undesirable formation reactions such as clay swelling. Brines are
Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In
typically formulated and prepared for specific conditions, with a range of salts available
to achieve densities ranging from 8.4 to over 20 lbm/gal (ppg) [1.0 to 2.4 g/cmo]. these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently,
Common salts used in the preparation of simple brine systems include sodium
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the Consolidation
matrix.
Compaction and cementation of sediments to the degree that they become coherent,
Closure relatively solid rock. Typical consequences of consolidation include an increase in density
and acoustic velocity, and a decrease in porosity.
The vertical distance from the apex of a structure to the lowest structural contour that
contains the structure. Measurements of both the areal closure and the distance from the crop out
apex to the lowest closing contour are typically incorporated in calculations of the
In the case of a body of rock, to be exposed at the surface of the Earth. Construction of
estimated hydrocarbon content of a trap.
highways and other man-made facilities and resultant removal of soil and rock has created
Consolidated spectacular outcrops in some regions.

Pertaining to sediments that have been compacted and cemented to the degree that they Cementation
become coherent, relatively solid rock. Typical consequences of consolidation include an
The process of precipitation of cement between mineral or rock grains and forming solid
increase in density and acoustic velocity, and a decrease in porosity.
clastic sedimentary rock, one phase of lithification.
critical moment
coal bed methane
The time of maximum depth of burial of a hydrocarbon source rock. The critical moment
Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated during coal formation and adsorbed
is the time of highest probability of entrapment and preservation of hydrocarbons in a
in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix pores within the coal and natural
petroleum system-after traps form and hydrocarbons migrate into a reservoir and
fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases.
accumulate-and marks the beginning of preservation in a viable petroleum system.

Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal
Cement matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix
are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability
The binding material in sedimentary rocks that precipitates between grains from pore
and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.
fluids. Calcite and quartz are common cement-forming minerals.
Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered
Coal
for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes
A carbon-rich sedimentary rock that forms from the remains of plants deposited as peat in gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a
swampy environments. Burial and increase in temperature bring about physical and rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the
chemical changes called coalification. Because of the organic origin of coal, it cannot be relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
classified as a mineral. The main types of coal, anthracite, bituminous coal and lignite, can of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
be distinguished by their hardness and energy content, which are affected by their organic declines.
content as well as their conditions of formation. Natural gas associated with coal, called
Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In
coal gas or coalbed methane, can be produced economically from coal beds in some areas.
these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently,
In some basins coals form source rocks.
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
matrix. of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
declines.
Contact
Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In
The interface, also called fluid contact, that separates fluids of different densities in a
these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently,
reservoir. Horizontal contacts are usually assumed, although tilted contacts occur in some
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the
reservoirs. The contact between fluids is usually gradual rather than sharp, forming a
matrix.
transition zone of mixed fluid. A mixed-fluid reservoir will stratify according to fluid density,
with gas at the top, oil in the middle, and water below. Production of fluids often perturbs continental shelf
the fluid contacts in a reservoir.
Continental shelf, or the area at the edges of a continent from the shoreline to a depth of
cross section 200 m [660 ft], where the continental slope begins. The shelf is commonly a wide, flat area
with a slight seaward slope. The term is sometimes used as a for platform.
A diagram of a vertical section through a volume, as opposed to the surface, "bird's eye,"
or plan view of a map. Cross sections are useful for displaying the types and orientations cross-sectional
of subsurface structures and formations.
Pertaining to a diagram of a vertical section through a volume, as opposed to the surface,
Chalk "bird's eye," or plan view of a map. Cross sections are useful for displaying the types and
orientations of subsurface structures and formations.
A porous marine limestone composed of fine-grained remains of microorganisms with
calcite shells, coccolithophores, such as the White Cliffs of Dover (UK). The Austin Chalk of Channel
the US Gulf coast is a prolific, fractured oil reservoir that spurred widespread horizontal
A linear, commonly concave-based depression through which water and sediment flow
drilling activity.
and into which sediment can be deposited in distinctive, often elongated bodies. Channels
coal seam gas can occur in a variety of morphologies, e.g., straight, meandering or braided. In some
areas, coarse sediments can fill channels of streams or rivers that cut through finer grained
Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated during coal formation and adsorbed
sediments or rocks. The close proximity of coarse-grained and fine-grained sediments can
in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix pores within the coal and natural
ultimately lead to the formation of stratigraphic hydrocarbon traps.
fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases.
coalbed methane
Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated during coal formation and adsorbed
matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix pores within the coal and natural
are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases.
and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.
Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal
for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix
gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability
rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.
Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated during coal formation and adsorbed
for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix pores within the coal and natural
gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases.
rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the
Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal
of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix
declines.
are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability
and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.

Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered
these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently, for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a
matrix. rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the
relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
Contour
of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
A line on a map that represents a constant value of the parameter being mapped. This line declines.
includes points of equal value and separates points of higher value from points of lower
Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In
value. Contours are commonly drawn on maps to portray the structural configuration of
these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently,
the Earth's surface or formations in the subsurface. For example, structure maps contain
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the
contours of constant elevation with respect to a datum (such as sea level). Contours are
matrix.
also used to interpret subsurface configurations of rock bodies in areas of limited control,
such as drawing contours of the thickness of a common rock unit in several widely contour interval
separated wells to extrapolate its thickness in a nearby undrilled location.
The value of the separation between two adjacent contours. A net pay isopach map might
crude oil have a contour interval of 10 feet [3 m], whereas a structure contour map might have a
contour interval of 1000 feet [300 m]. Contour intervals are chosen according to the map
A general term for unrefined petroleum or liquid petroleum.
scale and the amount and distribution of control points.
Chert
Crust
A sedimentary rock and a variety of quartz made of extremely fine-grained, or
The thin, outermost shell of the Earth that is typically 5 km to 75 km thick [3 to 46 miles].
cryptocrystalline, silica, also called chalcedony. The silica might be of organic origin, such
The continental crust comprises rocks similar in composition to granite and basalt (i.e.,
as from the internal structures of sponges called spicules, or inorganic origin, such as
quartz, feldspar, biotite, amphibole and pyroxene) whereas the composition of oceanic
precipitation from solution. The latter results in the formation of flint. Chert can form beds,
crust is basaltic (pyroxene and feldspar). The crust overlies the more dense rock of the
but is more common as nodules in carbonate rocks.
mantle, which consists of rocks composed of minerals like pyroxene and olivine, and the
coal-bed methane iron and nickel core of the Earth. The Mohorovicic discontinuity abruptly separates the
crust from the mantle; the velocity of compressional waves is significantly higher below
the discontinuity. The crust, mantle and core of the Earth are distinguished from the contour map
lithosphere and asthenosphere on the basis of their composition and not their mechanical
A map displaying lines that include points of equal value and separate points of higher
behavior.
value from points of lower value. Common types of contour maps include topographic
contour maps, which show the elevation of the Earth's surface; structure contour maps,
which show the elevation or depth of a formation; and gross or net sand or pay maps,
Cherty
which show variations in the thickness of a stratigraphic unit, also called isopachs.
Containing chert, a sedimentary rock and a variety of quartz made of extremely fine-
CSG
grained, or cryptocrystalline, silica, also called chalcedony. The silica might be of organic
origin, such as from the internal structures of sponges called spicules, or inorganic origin, Abbreviation for coal seam gas.
such as precipitation from solution. The latter results in the formation of flint. Chert can
Chlorite
form beds, but is more common as nodules in carbonate rocks.
[(Mg,Al,Fe) 12(Si,Al) 8O20(OH) 16] A platy, pale green mineral of the mica group of sheet
coal-seam gas
silicates, also considered to be a type of clay mineral, found in sedimentary and low-
Natural gas, predominantly methane [CH4], generated during coal formation and adsorbed grade metamorphic rocks. Chlorite is a common authigenic mineral lining the pores of
in coal. Natural gas adsorbs to the surfaces of matrix pores within the coal and natural sandstones. In some cases, the presence of authigenic chlorite on sand grains
fractures, or cleats, as reservoir pressure increases. can inhibit the growth of pore-filling cements during diagenesis and preserve pore space
for occupation by hydrocarbons.
Production of natural gas from coal requires decreasing the pore pressure below the coal’s
desorption pressure so that methane will desorb from surfaces, diffuse through the coal Collision
matrix and become free gas. Because the diffusivity and permeability of the coal matrix
An interaction of lithospheric plates that can result in the formation of mountain belts and
are ultralow, coal must have an extensive cleat system to ensure adequate permeability
subduction zones. The collision of two plates of continental lithosphere, known as an A-
and flow of methane to wellbores at economic production rates.
type collision, can produce high mountains as rocks are folded, faulted and uplifted to
Coal seams are typically saturated with water. Consequently, the coal must be dewatered accommodate the converging plates, as observed in the Alps and the Himalayas. B-type
for efficient gas production. Dewatering reduces the hydrostatic pressure and promotes collisions, in which oceanic lithospheric plates collide with continental lithospheric plates,
gas desorption from coal. As dewatering progresses, gas production often increases at a typically produce a subduction zone where the relatively denser oceanic plate descends
rate governed by how quickly gas desorbs from coal, the permeability of the cleat and the below the relatively lighter continental plate, as seen on the Pacific coast of South America.
relative permeability of the gas-water system in the cleat. Eventually, the rate and amount
Convection
of gas desorption decreases as the coal seam is depleted of its gas, and production
declines. The density- and heat-driven cycling, transfer or circulation of energy through which
material initially warms up and becomes relatively less dense, then rises, cools and
Coal seams with no water (dry coal) have been discovered and commercially exploited. In
becomes relatively more dense, and finally sinks. As a consequence of convection, material
these reservoirs, the adsorbed gas is held in place by free gas in the cleats. Consequently,
can turn over repeatedly in a convection cell. Within the Earth, radiogenic heating results
gas production consists of both free gas from the cleat system and desorbed gas from the
in convection appearing in the mantle and might drive plate tectonic motions. Convection
matrix.
also occurs in the ocean waters and in the Earth's atmosphere.
cubic packing Replacement dolomite that forms soon after deposition is typically fine-grained and
preserves original sedimentary structures. Recrystallization late in diagenesis produces
The arrangement in space of uniform spheres (atoms and molecules in mineral crystals, or
coarser grained dolomite, destroys sedimentary structures and results in higher porosity.
grains in clastic sedimentary rocks) that results in a cubic material structure. Cubic packing
is mechanically unstable, but it is the most porous packing arrangement, with about 47% Decollement
porosity in the ideal situation. Most sediments are not uniform spheres of the same size,
A fault surface parallel to a mechanically weak horizon or layer, or parallel to bedding, that
nor can they be arranged in a cubic structure naturally, so most sediments have much less
detaches or separates deformed rocks above from undeformed or differently deformed
than 47% porosity.
rocks below. Decollements, or decollement surfaces, are typical of regions of thrust
chronostratigraphic chart faulting such as the Alps.

A graphic display, with geologic time along the vertical axis and distance along the Detrital
horizontal axis, to demonstrate the relative ages and geographic extent of strata or
Pertaining to particles of rock derived from the mechanical breakdown of preexisting rocks
stratigraphic units in a given area, also known as a Wheeler diagram. In addition,
by weathering and erosion. Detrital fragments can be transported to recombine and,
information from seismic data, well logs and rock samples, and biostratigraphic and
through the process of lithification, become sedimentary rocks. Detrital is usually used
lithostratigraphic information can be shown within each chronostratigraphic unit. A
synonymously with clastic, although a few authors differentiate between weathering of
chronostratigraphic chart can concisely illustrate sequence stratigraphic interpretations.
particles, which forms detrital sediments, and mechanical breakage, which produces
dead oil clastic sediments.

Oil at sufficiently low pressure that it contains no dissolved gas or a relatively thick oil or differential compaction
residue that has lost its volatile components.
A phenomenon that occurs after the deposition of some sediments such that different
depositional system parts of the sedimentary accumulation develop different degrees of porosity or settle
unevenly during burial beneath successive layers of sediment. This can result from location
The three-dimensional array of sediments or lithofacies that fills a basin. Depositional
on an uneven surface, such as near and over a reef structure, or near a growth fault, or
systems vary according to the types of sediments available for deposition as well as the
from different susceptibility to compaction. The porosity in a formation that has
depositional processes and environments in which they are deposited. The dominant
experienced differential compaction can vary considerably from one area to another.
depositional systems are alluvial, fluvial, deltaic, marine, lacustrine and eolian systems.
Dome
Diatomite
A type of anticline that is circular or elliptical rather than elongate. The upward migration
A soft, silica-rich sedimentary rock comprising diatom remains that forms most commonly
of salt diapirs can form domes, called salt domes
in lakes and deep marine areas. Diatomite can form an excellent reservoir rock. The
Belridge diatomite in the San Joaquin basin, California, USA, is a prolific oil-producing deepwater play
formation.
Exploration activity located in offshore areas where water depths exceed approximately
Dolostone 600 feet [200 m], the approximate water depth at the edge of the continental shelf. While
deep-water reservoir targets are geologically similar to reservoirs drilled both in shallower
A rock composed chiefly (> 90%) of dolomite. The rock is sometimes called dolomite, but
present-day water depths as well as onshore, the logistics of producing hydrocarbons from
dolostone is preferable to avoid ambiguity between the mineral and rock names.
reservoirs located below such water depths presents a considerable technical challenge.
deep-water play An influx of rapidly moving, sediment-laden water down a slope into a larger body of water;
the suspended sediment causes the current to have a higher density than the clearer water
Exploration activity located in offshore areas where water depths exceed approximately
into which it flows, hence the name. Such currents can occur in lakes and oceans, in some
600 feet [200 m], the approximate water depth at the edge of the continental shelf. While
cases as by-products of earthquakes or mass movements such as slumps. The sedimentary
deep-water reservoir targets are geologically similar to reservoirs drilled both in shallower
deposits that form as the current loses energy are called turbidites and can be preserved
present-day water depths as well as onshore, the logistics of producing hydrocarbons from
as Bouma sequences. Density currents are characteristic of trench slopes of convergent
reservoirs located below such water depths presents a considerable technical challenge.
plate margins and continental slopes of passive margins.
Delta
Depocenter
An area of deposition or the deposit formed by a flowing sediment-laden current as it
The area of thickest deposition in a basin.
enters an open or standing body of water, such as a river spilling into a gulf. As a river
enters a body of water, its velocity drops and its ability to carry sediment diminishes, Deposit
leading to deposition. The term has origins in Greek because the shape of deltas in map
1. n. [Geology]
view can be similar to the Greek letter delta. The shapes of deltas are subsequently
modified by rivers, tides and waves. There is a characteristic coarsening upward of Sediments that have accumulated, usually after being moved by wind, water or ice.
sediments in a delta. The three main classes of deltas are river-dominated (Mississippi
River), wave-dominated (Nile River), and tide-dominated (Ganges River). Ancient deltas 2. vt. [Geology]
contain some of the largest and most productive petroleum systems. The action of moving sediments and laying them down.
Deltaic depositional energy
Pertaining to an area of deposition or the deposit formed by a flowing sediment-laden The relative kinetic energy of the environment. A high-energy environment might consist
current as it enters an open or standing body of water, such as a river spilling into a gulf. of a rapidly flowing stream that is capable of carrying coarse-grained sediments, such as
As a river enters a body of water, its velocity drops and its ability to carry sediment gravel and sand. Sedimentation in a low-energy environment, such as an abyssal plain,
diminishes, leading to deposition. The term has origins in Greek because the shape of usually involves very fine-grained clay or mud. Depositional energy is not simply velocity.
deltas in map view can be similar to the Greek letter delta. The shapes of deltas are For example, although glaciers do not move quickly, they are capable of carrying large
subsequently modified by rivers, tides and waves. There is a characteristic coarsening boulders.
upward of sediments in a delta. The three main classes of deltas are river-dominated
(Mississippi River), wave-dominated (Nile River), and tide-dominated (Ganges River). depositional environment
Ancient deltas contain some of the largest and most productive petroleum systems. The area in which and physical conditions under which sediments are deposited, including
Density sediment source; depositional processes such as deposition by wind, water or ice; and
location and climate, such as desert, swamp or river.
Mass per unit of volume. Density is typically reported in g/cm3 (for example, rocks) or
pounds per barrel (drilling mud) in the oil field. Detritus

density current Particles of rock derived from the mechanical breakdown of preexisting rocks by
weathering and erosion. Detrital fragments can be transported to recombine and, through
the process of lithification, become sedimentary rocks. Detrital is usually used
synonymously with clastic, although a few authors differentiate between weathering of diagenesis. There is not a clear, accepted distinction between diagenesis and
particles, which forms detrital sediments, and mechanical breakage, which produces metamorphism, although metamorphism occurs at pressures and temperatures higher
clastic sediments. than those of the outer crust, where diagenesis occurs

Development diagenetic porosity

The phase of petroleum operations that occurs after exploration has proven successful, A type of secondary porosity created during diagenesis, commonly through dissolution or
and before full-scale production. The newly discovered oil or gas field is assessed during dolomitization or both. Diagenesis usually destroys porosity, so diagenetic porosity is rare.
an appraisal phase, a plan to fully and efficiently exploit it is created, and additional wells
Diaper
are usually drilled.
A relatively mobile mass that intrudes into preexisting rocks. Diapirs commonly intrude
Dextral
vertically through more dense rocks because of buoyancy forces associated with relatively
Pertaining to a strike-slip fault or right-lateral fault in which the block across the fault low-density rock types, such as salt, shale and hot magma, which form diapirs. The process
moves to the right. If it moves left, the relative motion is described as sinistral. Clockwise is known as diapirism. By pushing upward and piercing overlying rock layers, diapirs can
rotation or spiraling is also described as dextral. form anticlines, salt domes and other structures capable of trapping hydrocarbons.
Igneous intrusions are typically too hot to allow the preservation of preexisting
Diagenesis
hydrocarbons.
The physical, chemical or biological alteration of sediments into sedimentary rock at
Diatom
relatively low temperatures and pressures that can result in changes to the rock's original
mineralogy and texture. After deposition, sediments are compacted as they are buried A microscopic, single-celled, freshwater or saltwater algae that has a silica-rich cell wall
beneath successive layers of sediment and cemented by minerals that precipitate from called a frustule. Diatoms are so abundant that they can form thick layers of sediment
solution. Grains of sediment, rock fragments and fossils can be replaced by other minerals composed of the frustules of the organisms that died and sank to the bottom. Frustules
during diagenesis. Porosity usually decreases during diagenesis, except in rare cases such have been an important component of deep-sea deposits since Cretaceous time. Diatomite
as dissolution of minerals and dolomitization. Diagenesis does not include weathering is the sedimentary rock that forms from diatom frustules.
processes. Hydrocarbon generation begins during diagenesis. There is not a clear, accepted
Diatomaceous
distinction between diagenesis and metamorphism, although metamorphism occurs at
pressures and temperatures higher than those of the outer crust, where diagenesis occurs Pertaining to a diatom, which is a microscopic, single-celled, freshwater or saltwater algae
that has a silica-rich cell wall called a frustule. Diatoms are so abundant that they can form
Diagenetic
thick layers of sediment composed of the frustules of the organisms that died and sank to
Pertaining to diagenesis, which is the physical, chemical or biological alteration of the bottom. Frustules have been an important component of deep-sea deposits since
sediments into sedimentary rock at relatively low temperatures and pressures that can Cretaceous time. Diatomite is the sedimentary rock that forms from diatom frustules.
result in changes to the rock's original mineralogy and texture. After deposition, sediments
Dike
are compacted as they are buried beneath successive layers of sediment and cemented by
minerals that precipitate from solution. Grains of sediment, rock fragments and fossils can An intrusive rock that invades preexisting rocks, commonly in a tabular shape that cuts
be replaced by other minerals during diagenesis. Porosity usually decreases during vertically or nearly vertically across preexisting layers. Dikes form from igneous and
diagenesis, except in rare cases such as dissolution of minerals and dolomitization. sedimentary rocks.
Diagenesis does not include weathering processes. Hydrocarbon generation begins during
Dip Displacement

1. n. [Geology] The offset of segments or points that were once continuous or adjacent. Layers of rock
that have been moved by the action of faults show displacement on either side of the fault
The magnitude of the inclination of a plane from horizontal. True, or maximum, dip is
surface.
measured perpendicular to strike. Apparent dip is measured in a direction other than
perpendicular to strike. Dolomite

2. n. [Reservoir Characterization] [CaMg(CO3)2] A widely-distributed carbonate mineral and chief constituent of dolostone.

The angle between a planar feature, such as a sedimentary bed or a fault, and a horizontal dolomitization
plane. True dip is the angle a plane makes with a horizontal plane, the angle being
The geochemical process in supratidal sabkha areas where magnesium [Mg] ions from the
measured in a direction perpendicular to the strike of the plane. Apparent dip is the angle
evaporation of seawater replace calcium [Ca] ions in calcite, forming the mineral dolomite.
measured in any direction other than perpendicular to the strike of the plane. Given the
The volume of dolomite is less than that of calcite, so the replacement of calcite by
apparent dip and the strike, or two apparent dips, the true dip can be computed.
dolomite in a rock increases the pore space in the rock by 13% and forms an important
dipping bed reservoir rock. Dolomitization can occur during deep burial diagenesis.

A layer of rock or sediment that is not horizontal. down dip

Dirty Located down the slope of a dipping plane or surface. In a dipping (not flat-lying)
hydrocarbon reservoir that contains gas, oil and water, the gas is updip, the gas-oil contact
Describing sedimentary rock that contains clay minerals. Even small amounts of clay
is downdip from the gas, and the oil-water contact is still farther downdip.
minerals in pores can drastically reduce porosity and permeability. Dirty and clean are
qualitative, descriptive terms to describe the relative amount of clay minerals in a rock. down lap

Disconformity The termination of more steeply dipping overlying strata against a surface or underlying
strata that have lower apparent dips; a term used to describe a particular geometry of
A geologic surface that separates younger strata from older strata and represents a time
reflections in seismic data in sequence stratigraphy.
of nondeposition, possibly combined with erosion. Some disconformities are highly
irregular whereas others have no relief and can be difficult to distinguish within a series of Downdip
parallel strata.
Located down the slope of a dipping plane or surface. In a dipping (not flat-lying)
Disharmonic hydrocarbon reservoir that contains gas, oil and water, the gas is updip, the gas-oil contact
is downdip from the gas, and the oil-water contact is still farther downdip.
Pertaining to structures in which the shapes of adjacent layers differ or do not conform to
one another. Folds of rock layers that have different mechanical properties or competence Downlap
tend to be disharmonic, with a change in fold shape, symmetry or wavelength from one
The termination of more steeply dipping overlying strata against a surface or underlying
layer to the next.
strata that have lower apparent dips; a term used to describe a particular geometry of
reflections in seismic data in sequence stratigraphy.
drained test according to the logarithmic Richter scale. An earthquake of magnitude 4.5 can cause
damage, although humans can feel earthquakes as weak as magnitude 2.0. The San
A drained test is one in which the pore fluid in the sample is able to flow and equilibrate
Francisco earthquake of 1906 measured 8.25 on the Richter scale, and the largest ever
to imposed pore pressure conditions; the fluid mass and volume will vary but its pressure
recorded were 8.9 magnitude earthquakes in Colombia and Ecuador (1906) and Japan
will be constant. A drained test could be on a dry sample.
(1933), and 9.5 in Chile (1960).
Drape
effective permeability
A configuration of layers of rock that has the appearance of a fold, but might form simply
The ability to preferentially flow or transmit a particular fluid when other immiscible fluids
through sagging or differential compaction of layers around a preexisting structure (such
are present in the reservoir (e.g., effective permeability of gas in a gas-water reservoir).
as a reef) or on an uneven surface.
The relative saturations of the fluids as well as the nature of the reservoir affect the
dry gas effective permeability. In contrast, absolute permeability is the measurement of the
permeability conducted when a single fluid or phase is present in the rock.
1. n. [Geology]
effective porosity
Natural gas that occurs in the absence of condensate or liquid hydrocarbons, or gas that
has had condensable hydrocarbons removed. Dry gas typically has a gas-to-oil ratio 1. n. [Geology]
exceeding 100,000 scf/STB.
The interconnected pore volume or void space in a rock that contributes to fluid flow or
2. n. [Well Completions] permeability in a reservoir. Effective porosity excludes isolated pores and pore volume
occupied by water adsorbed on clay minerals or other grains. Total porosity is the total
Gas produced from a well that produces little or no condensate or reservoir liquids. The void space in the rock whether or not it contributes to fluid flow. Effective porosity is
production of liquids from gas wells complicates the design and operation of surface typically less than total porosity.
process facilities required to handle and export the produced gas.
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
dry rock
In the original definition of core analysts, the volume of connected pores in a unit volume
A subsurface rock that lacks contact with aquifers or meteoric water within the Earth. of rock. Effective porosity in this sense is the total porosity less the isolated porosity. It is
Dyke the porosity measured by most core analysis techniques that do not involve disaggregating
the sample. In these techniques, the porosity is usually measured on totally dried core
An intrusive rock that invades preexisting rocks, commonly in a tabular shape that cuts samples. Drying removes most of the clay-bound water. In log interpretation, effective
vertically or nearly vertically across preexisting layers. Dikes form from igneous and porosity means the total porosity less the clay-bound water. The definition is based on the
sedimentary rocks. analysis of shaly formations, in which the clay-bound water is considered immobile and
Earthquake hence ineffective. Isolated porosity is rare in such formations and is ignored, being included
in the effective porosity. Effective porosity on dried core samples is therefore greater than
The sudden release of accumulated stress in the Earth by movement or shaking. effective porosity from log analysis, and close to the total porosity from log analysis. In
Earthquakes are caused by tectonic activity, volcanoes and human activity (such as humidity-dried cores, part of the clay-bound water is not removed, and the difference is
explosions). Earthquakes occur in the outer 720 km [445 miles] of the Earth, where rocks reduced. In some usage, the capillary-bound water is not considered part of the effective
tend to break rather than flow under stress. The magnitude of earthquakes is determined
porosity. In this case effective porosity is synonymous with free fluid. Effective porosity is Eolian
measured in volume/volume, percent or porosity units, p.u.
Pertaining to the environment of deposition of sediments by wind, such as the sand dunes
Elastic in a desert. Because fine-grained sediments such as clays are removed easily from wind-
blown deposits, eolian sandstones are typically clean and well-sorted.
Pertaining to a material that can undergo stress, deform, and then recover and return to
its original shape after the stress ceases. Once stress exceeds the yield stress or elastic limit Erode
of a material, permanent deformation occurs and the material will not return to its original
To cause or undergo erosion, the process of denudation of rocks, including physical,
shape once the stress is removed. In some materials, including rocks, elastic behavior
chemical and biological breakdown and transportation. The material from the rocks can be
depends on the temperature and the duration of the stress as well as its intensity.
transported by wind, water, ice, or abrasive solid particles, or by mass-wasting, as in rock
elastic deformation falls and landslides.

1. n. [Geology] Erosion

The deformation that can be recovered when an applied stress has been removed. When The process of denudation of rocks, including physical, chemical and biological breakdown
the elastic limit of a material has been exceeded, nonrecoverable, permanent deformation and transportation.
occurs.
Evaporate
2. n. [Geophysics]
A class of sedimentary minerals and sedimentary rocks that form by precipitation from
A temporary change in shape caused by applied stress. The change in shape is not evaporating aqueous fluid. Common evaporite minerals are halite, gypsum and anhydrite,
permanent and the initial shape is completely recovered once the stress is removed. which can form as seawater evaporates, and the rocks limestone and dolostone. Certain
evaporite minerals, particularly halite, can form excellent cap rocks or seals for
elastic limit
hydrocarbon traps because they have minimal porosity and they tend to deform plastically
The yield point, or the point at which a material can no longer deform elastically. When (as opposed to brittle fracturing that would facilitate leakage).
the elastic limit is exceeded by an applied stress, permanent deformation occurs.
Evaporitic
Elasticity
Pertaining to evaporite, a class of sedimentary minerals and sedimentary rocks that form
Ability of a material to undergo stress, deform, and then recover and return to its original by precipitation from evaporating aqueous fluid. Common evaporite minerals are halite,
shape after the stress ceases. Once stress exceeds the yield stress or elastic limit of a gypsum and anhydrite, which can form as seawater evaporates, and the rocks limestone
material, permanent deformation occurs and the material will not return to its original and dolostone. Certain evaporite minerals, particularly halite, can form excellent cap rocks
shape when the stress is removed. In some materials, including rocks, elastic behavior or seals for hydrocarbon traps because they have minimal porosity and they tend to
depends on the temperature and the duration of the stress as well as its intensity. deform plastically (as opposed to brittle fracturing that would facilitate leakage).

en echelon

Describing parallel or subparallel, closely-spaced, overlapping or step-like minor structural Estuarine


features in rock, such as faults and tension fractures, that are oblique to the overall
Pertaining to an estuary, a semi-enclosed coastal environment of deposition in which a
structural trend.
river mouth permits freshwater to contact and mix with seawater.
Estuary Fabric

A semi-enclosed coastal environment of deposition in which a river mouth permits Rock fabric: Fabric refers to the spacing, arrangement, distribution, size, shape and
freshwater to contact and mix with seawater. orientation of the constituents of rocks such as minerals, grains, porosity, layering, bed
boundaries, lithology contacts and fractures.
Exploration
Facies
The initial phase in petroleum operations that includes generation of a prospect or play or
both, and drilling of an exploration well. Appraisal, development and production phases 1. n. [Geology]
follow successful exploration.
The overall characteristics of a rock unit that reflect its origin and differentiate the unit
exploration play from others around it. Mineralogy and sedimentary source, fossil content, sedimentary
structures and texture distinguish one facies from another.
An area in which hydrocarbon accumulations or prospects of a given type occur. For
example the shale gas plays in North America include the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, 2. n. [Reservoir Characterization]
Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford, among many others. Outside North America, shale
The characteristics of a rock unit that reflect its origin and permit its differentiation from
gas potential is being pursued in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.
other rock units around it. Facies usually are characterized using all the geological
Eustasy characteristics known for that rock unit. In reservoir characterization and reservoir
simulation, the facies properties that are most important are the petrophysical
Global sea level variations. Changes in sea level can result from movement of tectonic
characteristics that control the fluid behavior in the facies. Electrofacies and other
plates altering the volume of ocean basins, or when changes in climate affect the volume
multivariate techniques are often used to determine these characteristics. Rock types
of water stored in glaciers and in polar icecaps. Eustasy affects positions of shorelines and
rather than facies are more likely to be used in reservoir simulation.
processes of sedimentation, so interpretation of eustasy is an important aspect of
sequence stratigraphy. Fairway

Eustatic The trend along which a particular geological feature is likely, such as a sand fairway or a
hydrocarbon fairway. Prediction of conceptual fairways helps explorationists develop
Pertaining to eustasy, a term for global sea level and its variations. Changes in sea level can
prospects. Along a sand fairway, for example, sand was transported and, presumably, was
result from movement of tectonic plates altering the volume of ocean basins, or when
deposited, allowing an interpretation of the presence of reservoir rock in the fairway.
changes in climate affect the volume of water stored in glaciers and in polar icecaps.
Eustasy affects positions of shorelines and processes of sedimentation, so interpretation Fault
of eustasy is an important aspect of sequence stratigraphy.
A break or planar surface in brittle rock across which there is observable displacement.
Exploratory Depending on the relative direction of displacement between the rocks, or fault blocks, on
either side of the fault, its movement is described as normal, reverse or strike-slip.
Pertaining to exploration, the initial phase in petroleum operations that includes
According to terminology derived from the mining industry, the fault block above the fault
generation of a prospect or play or both, and drilling of an exploration well. Appraisal,
surface is called the hanging wall, while the fault block below the fault is the footwall. Given
development and production phases follow successful exploration.
the geological complexity of some faulted rocks and rocks that have undergone more than
one episode of deformation, it can be difficult to distinguish between the various types of
faults. Also, areas deformed more than once or that have undergone continual
deformation might have fault surfaces that are rotated from their original orientations, so Felsic
interpretation is not straightforward. In a normal fault, the hanging wall moves down
Pertaining to minerals or igneous rocks composed of minerals such as quartz and feldspar
relative to the footwall along the dip of the fault surface, which is steep, from 45o to 90o.
that are relatively light in color and density. The word comes from the terms feldspar and
A growth fault is a type of normal fault that forms during sedimentation and typically has
silica. Granite is a felsic igneous rock. (Compare with mafic.)
thicker strata on the downthrown hanging wall than the footwall. A reverse fault forms
when the hanging wall moves up relative to the footwall parallel to the dip of the fault fence diagram
surface. A thrust fault, sometimes called an overthrust, is a reverse fault in which the fault
plane has a shallow dip, typically much less than 45o. Movement of normal and reverse A graphical display of three-dimensional data and interpretations in two-dimensional
faults can also be oblique as opposed to purely parallel to the dip direction of the fault perspective view. Geologic cross sections can be displayed in a network to form a fence
plane. The motion along a strike-slip fault, also known as a transcurrent or wrench fault, is diagram. Stratigraphic changes can be displayed clearly in fence diagrams.
parallel to the strike of the fault surface, and the fault blocks move sideways past each Field
other. The fault surfaces of strike-slip faults are usually nearly vertical. A strike-slip fault in
which the block across the fault moves to the right is described as a dextral strike-slip fault. 1. n. [Geology]
If it moves left, the relative motion is described as sinistral. A transform fault is a particular An accumulation, pool, or group of pools of hydrocarbons or other mineral resources in
type of strike-slip fault that is a boundary of an oceanic tectonic plate. The actual the subsurface. A hydrocarbon field consists of a reservoir in a shape that will trap
movement of a transform fault is opposite to its apparent displacement. The presence of hydrocarbons and that is covered by an impermeable, sealing rock. Typically, the term
a fault can be detected by observing characteristics of rocks such as changes in lithology implies an economic size.
from one fault block to the next, breaks and offsets between strata or seismic events, and
changes in formation pressure in wells that penetrate both sides of a fault. Some fault 2. n. [Geology]
surfaces contain relatively coarse rubble that can act as a conduit for migrating oil or gas,
The surface area above a subsurface hydrocarbon accumulation.
whereas the surfaces of other faults are smeared with impermeable clays or broken grains
that can act as a fault seal. flower structure

fault trap Folded structures associated with strike-slip faults. In areas where strike-slip faults occur
in converging crust, or transpression, rocks are faulted upward in a positive flower
A type of structural hydrocarbon trap in which closure is controlled by the presence of at
structure. In areas of strike-slip faulting in diverging crust, or transtension, rocks drop down
least one fault surface.
to form a negative flower structure. Flower structures can form hydrocarbon traps. The
Feldspar term "flower structure" reflects the resemblance of the structure to the petals of a flower
in cross section.
[alkalifeldspar(K,Na)AlSi3O8]
[plagioclase feldspar NaAlSi3O8 - CaAl2Si2O8] fluid contact

A group of rock-forming silicate minerals that are essential constituents of igneous rocks The interface that separates fluids of different densities in a reservoir. Horizontal contacts
and are common in sandstones. Feldspar can weather to form clay minerals. Feldspar can are usually assumed, although tilted contacts occur in some reservoirs. The contact
occur in all three major rock types and forms approximately 60% of the crust of the Earth. between fluids is usually gradual rather than sharp, forming a transition zone of mixed
fluid. A mixed-fluid reservoir will stratify according to fluid density, with gas at the top, oil
in the middle, and water below. Production of fluids often perturbs the fluid contacts in a
reservoir.
Fluvial 2. n. [Geology]

Pertaining to an environment of deposition by a river or running water. Fluvial deposits A surface land form.
tend to be well sorted, especially in comparison with alluvial deposits, because of the
3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
relatively steady transport provided by rivers.
A general term for the rock around the borehole. In the context of formation evaluation,
Fold
the term refers to the volume of rock seen by a measurement made in the borehole, as in
1. n. [Geology] a log or a well test. These measurements indicate the physical properties of this volume.
Extrapolation of the properties beyond the measurement volume requires a geological
A wave-like geologic structure that forms when rocks deform by bending instead of
model.
breaking under compressional stress. Anticlines are arch-shaped folds in which rock layers
are upwardly convex. The oldest rock layers form the core of the fold, and outward from formation pressure
the core progressively younger rocks occur. A syncline is the opposite type of fold, having
1. n. [Geology]
downwardly convex layers with young rocks in the core. Folds typically occur in anticline-
syncline pairs. The hinge is the point of maximum curvature in a fold. The limbs occur on The pressure of fluids within the pores of a reservoir, usually hydrostatic pressure, or the
either side of the fold hinge. The imaginary surface bisecting the limbs of the fold is called pressure exerted by a column of water from the formation's depth to sea level. When
the axial surface. The axial surface is called the axial plane in cases where the fold is impermeable rocks such as shales form as sediments are compacted, their pore fluids
symmetrical and the lines containing the points of maximum curvature of the folded layers, cannot always escape and must then support the total overlying rock column, leading to
or hinge lines, are coplanar. Concentric folding preserves the thickness of each bed as anomalously high formation pressures. Because reservoir pressure changes as fluids are
measured perpendicular to original bedding. Similar folds have the same wave shape, but produced from a reservoir, the pressure should be described as measured at a specific
bed thickness changes throughout each layer, with thicker hinges and thinner limbs. time, such as initial reservoir pressure.
2. n. [Geophysics] 2. n. [Drilling]
The pressure of the subsurface formation fluids, commonly expressed as the density of
A measure of the redundancy of common midpoint seismic data, equal to the number of
fluid required in the wellbore to balance that pore pressure. A normal pressure gradient
offset receivers that record a given data point or in a given bin and are added during might require 9 lbm/galUS [1.08 kg/m3], while an extremely high gradient may need 18
stacking to produce a single trace. Typical values of fold for modern seismic data range lbm/galUS [2.16 kg/m3] or higher.
from 60 to 240 for 2D seismic data, and 10 to 120 for 3D seismic data. The fold of 2D seismic
data can be calculated by dividing the number of seismometer groups by twice the number formation water
of group intervals between shotpoints.
1. n. [Geology]
Formation
Water that occurs naturally within the pores of rock. Water from fluids introduced to a
1. n. [Geology] formation through drilling or other interference, such as mud and seawater, does not
constitute formation water. Formation water, or interstitial water, might not have been
The fundamental unit of lithostratigraphy. A body of rock that is sufficiently distinctive and
the water present when the rock originally formed. In contrast, connate water is the water
continuous that it can be mapped. In stratigraphy, a formation is a body of strata of
trapped in the pores of a rock during its formation, and may be called fossil water.
predominantly one type or combination of types; multiple formations form groups, and
subdivisions of formations are members. 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
Water in the undisturbed zone around a borehole. The resistivity and other properties of free gas
this water are used in the interpretation of measurements made in the borehole or from
The gaseous phase present in a reservoir or other contained area. Gas may be found either
the surface. Although formation water normally is the same as the geological formation
dissolved in reservoir fluids or as free gas that tends to form a gas cap beneath the top seal
water, or interstitial water, it may be different because of the influx of injection water.
on the reservoir trap. Both free gas and dissolved gas play important roles in the reservoir-
Fossil drive mechanism

Preserved remnants of plants or animals, such as skeletons, shells, casts or molds, tracks free water
or borings, and feces.
1. n. [Geology]
Fracture
Water that is mobile, available to flow, and not bound to surfaces of grains or minerals in
A crack or surface of breakage within rock not related to foliation or cleavage in rock.
metamorphic rock along which there has been no movement. A fracture along which there
2. n. [Drilling]
has been displacement is a fault. When walls of a fracture have moved only normal to each
other, the fracture is called a joint. Fractures can enhance permeability of rocks greatly by In cementing, any water in the slurry that is in excess of what is required to fully hydrate
connecting pores together, and for that reason, fractures are induced mechanically in the Portland cement and other additives. Free water can physically separate as a cement
some reservoirs in order to boost hydrocarbon flow. Fractures may also be referred to as slurry sets. This separation tendency, especially in the presence of a high-pressure gas-
natural fractures to distinguish them from fractures induced as part of a reservoir bearing formation, can impair zonal isolation, the primary job of the cement. For that
stimulation or drilling operation. In some shale reservoirs, natural fractures improve reason, the well designer usually specifies a maximum free-water content for the slurry.
production by enhancing effective permeability. In other cases, natural fractures can
complicate reservoir stimulation. 3. n. [Well Completions]

fracture gradient The aqueous phase that separates from a slurry or mixture of fluids. In cementing
operations, free water is undesirable since channels tend to form through the set cement,
The pressure required to induce fractures in rock at a given depth. providing potential gas migration paths. When processing reservoir fluids, the water that
separates easily under gravity separation is known as free water. In some cases, additional
fracture permeability
water may be locked in an emulsion, contributing to the aqueous phase but not available
That portion of a dual-porosity reservoirs permeability that is associated with the as free water.
secondary porosity created by open, natural fractures. In many of these reservoirs, fracture
4. n. [Formation Evaluation]
permeability can be the major controlling factor of the flow of fluids.
Water in the pore space that can flow under normal reservoir conditions. When used in
fracture porosity
connection with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements, free water is all the
A type of secondary porosity produced by the tectonic fracturing of rock. Fractures water that is not clay bound, capillary bound or in mineral hydrates. The latter is in any
themselves typically do not have much volume, but by joining preexisting pores, they case excluded as it relaxes too fast to be measured by NMR. When used in connection with
enhance permeability significantly. In exceedingly rare cases, nonreservoir rocks such as the dual-water model, the term means the far water.
granite can become reservoir rocks if sufficient fracturing occurs.
fresh water

1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
Formation water with low salinity. Water is considered fresh when its low conductivity gas oil contact
makes the interpretation of resistivity logs difficult. The salinity at which this becomes
A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly gas occurs and below which
important depends on temperature and clay content, among other factors, but is generally
predominantly oil occurs. Gas and oil are miscible, so the contact between gas and oil is
somewhere less than 10 ppk.
transitional, forming a zone containing a mix of gas and oil.
2. n. [Geology]
gas prone
Water that is low in dissolved salt (< 2000 ppm).
The quality of a source rock that makes it more likely to generate gas than oil. The nature
gas hydrate of the organic matter or kerogen in source rocks varies from coaly, plant-like material
commonly found in terrestrial source rocks to algal or other marine material that makes
1. n. [Geology]
up marine source rocks. Terrestrial source rocks are commonly gas-prone.
An unusual occurrence of hydrocarbon in which molecules of natural gas,
gas sand
typically methane, are trapped in ice molecules. More generally, hydrates are compounds
in which gas molecules are trapped within a crystal structure. Hydrates form in cold A porous sand layer or sand body charged with natural gas.
climates, such as permafrost zones and in deep water. To date, economic liberation of
gas water contact
hydrocarbon gases from hydrates has not occurred, but hydrates contain quantities of
hydrocarbons that could be of great economic significance. Hydrates can A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly gas occurs and below which
affect seismic data by creating a reflection or multiple. predominantly water occurs. Gas and water are somewhat miscible, so the contact
between gas and water is not necessarily sharp and there is typically a transition zone
2. n. [Drilling Fluids]
between 100% gas and 100% water in reservoirs.
A crystalline solid consisting of water with gas molecules in an ice-like cage structure. The
gas-oil contact
general term for this type of solid is clathrate. Water molecules form a lattice structure
into which many types of gas molecules can fit. Most gases, except hydrogen and helium, A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly gas occurs and below which
can form hydrates. C1 to nC5 hydrocarbons, H2S and CO2 readily form hydrates at low predominantly oil occurs. Gas and oil are miscible, so the contact between gas and oil is
temperature and high pressure. Heavier hydrocarbons may also enter the structure but do transitional, forming a zone containing a mix of gas and oil.
not form hydrates by themselves. Gas-cut muds can form hydrates in deepwater drilling
operations, plugging BOP lines, risers and subsea wellheads, causing a well-control risk. gas-prone
Gas hydrates are thermodynamically suppressed by adding antifreeze materials such as The quality of a source rock that makes it more likely to generate gas than oil. The nature
salts or glycols. A common practice is to use 20 to 23 wt.% NaCl. Nucleation and growth of of the organic matter or kerogen in source rocks varies from coaly, plant-like material
hydrates can be dynamically inhibited by certain polymers or surfactants. Gas hydrates are commonly found in terrestrial source rocks to algal or other marine material that makes
found in nature, on the bottom of cold seas and in arctic permafrost regions. Drilling into up marine source rocks. Terrestrial source rocks are commonly gas-prone.
these can be hazardous, but they offer another source of hydrocarbons for future
exploitation. gas-water contact

gas in solution A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly gas occurs and below which
predominantly water occurs. Gas and water are somewhat miscible, so the contact
Gas that is dissolved in a liquid, such as water or oil.
between gas and water is not necessarily sharp and there is typically a transition zone geologic time scale
between 100% gas and 100% water in reservoirs.
A chronological chart of the stages and ages of events in the history of the Earth, from its
Generation initial formation to present, that has been constructed on the basis of the rock record. As
is the typical natural position of rocks, the oldest event is at the bottom of the chart and
The formation of hydrocarbons from a source rock as bitumen forms from kerogen and
the youngest is at the top. Both absolute and relative ages of rocks and fossils supplement
accumulates as oil or gas. Generation depends on three main factors: the presence of
interpretations from rocks. The vastness of geologic time and the slowness of geological
organic matter rich enough to yield hydrocarbons, adequate temperature, and sufficient
processes are difficult to capture in a simple chart.
time to bring the source rock to maturity. Pressure and the presence of bacteria and
catalysts also affect generation. Generation is a critical phase in the development of a Geological
petroleum system.
Pertaining to geology, the study of the Earth-its history, structure, composition, life forms
Geochemistry and the processes that continue to change it.

The study of the chemistry of the Earth and within solid bodies of the solar system, Geologist
including the distribution, circulation and abundance of elements (and their ions and
A scientist trained in the study of the Earth. In the petroleum industry, geologists perform
isotopes), molecules, minerals, rocks and fluids. For geochemists in the petroleum
a wide variety of functions, but typically generate prospects and interpret data such as
industry, source rock geochemistry is a major focus. Geochemical techniques can
maps, well logs, outcrops, cuttings, core samples and seismic data.
determine whether a given source rock is rich enough in organic matter to generate
hydrocarbons, whether the source rock has generated hydrocarbons, and whether a
particular oil sample was generated by a given source rock.
Geology
Geochronology
The study of the Earth-its history, structure, composition, life forms and the processes that
The study of the relative or absolute age of rocks, minerals and fossils. Absolute age is the continue to change it.
measurement of age in years, but "absolute" ages typically have some amount of error and
are inexact. Relative age, in contrast, is the approximate age of rocks, fossils or minerals geomagnetic polarity reversal
made by determining the age of the material relative to other surrounding material. The periodic switching of the magnetic north and south poles of the Earth throughout time,
Geologic probably as a result of movement of fluid within the Earth's core. The onset and duration
of the many episodes of reversed polarity have been documented by examining the
Pertaining to geology, the study of the Earth-its history, structure, composition, life forms polarity of magnetic minerals within rocks of different ages from around the world,
and the processes that continue to change it. particularly in basalts or igneous rocks of the oceanic crust. Oceanic basalts record the
Earth's magnetic field as they solidify from molten lava symmetrically on each side of the
geologic map
midoceanic ridges. These data have been compiled to create a time scale known as the
A map showing the type and spatial distribution of rocks at the surface of the Earth. Rock geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS). In the oil field, borehole recordings allow direct
formations are color-coded and symbols for geological structures are annotated, so age correlation to GPTS and well-to-well correlations.
relationships are evident. Topographic contours and cultural features can also appear on
geologic maps.
geomagnetic polarity time scale geostatic pressure

A record of the onset and duration of the multitude of episodes of reversal of the Earth's The pressure of the weight of overburden, or overlying rock, on a formation; also called
magnetic polarity, or geomagnetic polarity reversals. The GPTS was developed by thorough lithostatic pressure.
study of rocks from around the world, during which it was observed that rocks from specific
time periods contained magnetic minerals whose orientation was opposite to that of the
geothermal gradient
current magnetic field. By comparing the patterns of magnetic reversals with those of rocks
of known age, the approximate ages of rocks can be established. This is particularly useful The rate of increase in temperature per unit depth in the Earth. Although the geothermal
for basalts of the oceanic crust, which record the Earth's magnetic field as they solidify gradient varies from place to place, it averages 25 to 30 °C/km [15 °F/1000 ft].
Temperature gradients sometimes increase dramatically around volcanic areas. It is
from molten lava symmetrically about the midocean ridges. The time scale has been
particularly important for drilling fluids engineers to know the geothermal gradient in an
accurately extended back to the Upper Jurassic, the age of oldest existing oceanic crust.
area when they are designing a deep well. The downhole temperature can be calculated
Geopressure by adding the surface temperature to the product of the depth and the geothermal
gradient.
The pressure within the Earth, or formation pressure. The common oilfield usage,
however, is to indicate anomalous subsurface pore pressure that is higher or lower than
the normal, predicted hydrostatic pressure for a given depth, or the pressure exerted per Glacial
unit area by a column of fresh water from sea level to a given depth. Abnormally low pore Pertaining to the environment of deposition by glaciers.
pressure might occur in areas where fluids have been drained, such as a depleted
hydrocarbon reservoir. Abnormally high pore pressure might occur in areas where burial glauconite
of water-filled sediments by an impermeable sediment such as clay was so rapid that fluids
could not escape and the pore pressure increased with deeper burial. [(K,Na,Ca) 1.2-2.0(Fe+3,Al,Fe+2,Mg)4(Si7-7.6Al1-0.4O20)(OH)47nH20] A green silicate
mineral found in sedimentary rocks and formed on continental shelves characterized by
geopressure gradient slow sedimentation and organic matter, such as fecal pellets, present in an oxidizing
The change in pore pressure per unit depth, typically in units of pounds per square inch environment. In sufficient quantity, it can form a sandy, green deposit such as the
Cretaceous greensands of the US and UK.
per foot (psi/ft) or kilopascals per meter (kPa/m). The geopressure gradient might be
described as high or low if it deviates from the normal hydrostatic pressure gradient of
Global Positioning System
0.433 psi/ft [9.8 kPa/m].

Geopressured A system of numerous Earth-orbiting satellites that can be used to determine the
location (latitude, longitude and elevation) of a receiver or station on the Earth within
Subject to the pressure within the Earth, or formation pressure. The common oilfield about 2 m [6 ft]. Fixed receivers on Earth can be used to determine the relative motions
usage, however, is to indicate anomalous subsurface pore pressure that is higher or of fault blocks and lithospheric plates. Hand-held receivers can be used for producing
lower than the normal, predicted hydrostatic pressure for a given depth, or the pressure accurate geologic maps, acquiring navigation data for 3D seismic surveys, and positioning
exerted per unit area by a column of fresh waterfrom sea level to a given depth. wells in the field.
Abnormally low pore pressure might occur in areas where fluids have been drained, such
as a depleted hydrocarbonreservoir. Abnormally high pore pressure might occur in areas
where burial of water-filled sediments by an impermeable sediment such as clay was so
rapid that fluids could not escape and the pore pressure increased with deeper burial.
GOC grain density

Abbreviation for gas-oil contact, a bounding surface in a reservoir above which 1. n. [Geology]
predominantly gas occurs and below which predominantly oil occurs. Gas and oil are
miscible, so the contact between gas and oil is transitional, forming a zone containing a The density of a rock or mineral with no porosity, also known as matrix density,
mix of gas and oil. commonly in units of g/cm3.

GPS 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]

A system of numerous Earth-orbiting satellites that can be used to determine the The density of the grains in a formation or core sample. As used in log and core analysis,
location (latitude, longitude and elevation) of a receiver or station on the Earth within the term 'grain' refers to all the solid material in the rock, since, when interpreting the
about 2 m [6 ft]. Fixed receivers on Earth can be used to determine the relative motions measurements, no effort is made to distinguish grains from other solid material. The
of fault blocks and lithospheric plates. Hand-held receivers can be used for producing grain density of core samples is calculated from the measured dry weight divided by the
accurate geologic maps, acquiring navigation data for 3D seismic surveys, and positioning grain volume. In logs, grain density is calculated from the density log, using an estimate
wells in the field. of porosity and knowledge of the fluid content.

GPTS granite

A record of the onset and duration of the multitude of episodes of reversal of the Earth's A coarse-grained, plutonic or intrusive igneous rock of felsic composition having large
magnetic polarity, or geomagnetic polarity reversals. The GPTS was developed by crystals of quartz, feldspar and mica. In the oil field, "granite" is sometimes used
thorough study of rocks from around the world, during which it was observed that rocks incorrectly to indicate any type of hard rock.’
from specific time periods contained magnetic minerals whose orientation was opposite
to that of the current magnetic field. By comparing the patterns of magnetic reversals groundwater
with those of rocks of known age, the approximate ages of rocks can be established. This
is particularly useful for basalts of the oceanic crust, which record the Earth's magnetic Water in the subsurface below the water table. Groundwater is held in the pores of
field as they solidify from molten lava symmetrically about the midocean ridges. The time rocks, and can be connate, from meteoric sources, or associated with igneous intrusions.
scale has been accurately extended back to the Upper Jurassic, the age of oldest existing
oceanic crust. growth fault

graben A type of normal fault that develops and continues to move during sedimentation and
typically has thicker strata on the downthrown, hanging wall side of the fault than in the
A relatively low-standing fault block bounded by opposing normal faults. Graben (used as footwall. Growth faults are common in the Gulf of Mexico and in other areas where the
both singular and plural) can form in areas of rifting or extension, where normal faults crust is subsiding rapidly or being pulled apart.
are the most common type of fault. Between graben are relatively high-standing blocks
called horsts. A half-graben is a downdropped block bounded by a normal fault on only GWC
one side.
Abbreviation for gas-water contact, a bounding surface in a reservoir above which
predominantly gas occurs and below which predominantly water occurs. Gas and water
are somewhat miscible, so the contact between gas and water is not necessarily sharp 1. adj. [Geology]
and there is typically a transition zonebetween 100% gas and 100% water in reservoirs.
Pertaining to structures in which the shapes of adjacent layers resemble or conform to one
gypsum another. Folds of rock layers that have similar mechanical properties or competence tend
to be harmonic, with little change in fold shape, symmetry or wavelength from one layer
[CaSO472H2O] A highly insoluble sulfate mineral that is the first to precipitatefrom to the next.
evaporating seawater. Dehydration of gypsum can produce anhydrite. Fine-grained
2. n. [Reservoir Characterization]
gypsum is called alabaster.
A set of data values related by some function of frequencies and capable of being
Hade represented by sine and cosine functions.

The angle that a fault plane, or other stratigraphic and structural surfaces, makes with 3. n. [Reservoir Characterization]
the vertical, as measured perpendicular to the strike of that plane or surface. The hade
A particular frequency at which a data set has a resonance, or the frequency has special
angle is the complementary angle to the dip angle, that is, hade = 90°−dip.
significance.
Halite
Heterogeneity
[NaCl] A soft, soluble evaporite mineral commonly known as salt or rock salt. Because salt
is less dense than many sedimentary rocks, it is relatively buoyant and can form salt domes, The quality of variation in rock properties with location in a reservoir or formation. Shale
pillars or curtains by flowing and breaking through or piercing overlying sediments, as seen gas reservoirs are heterogeneous formations whose mineralogy, organic content, natural
in the Gulf of Mexico and the Zagros fold belt. Halite can be critical in forming hydrocarbon fractures, and other properties vary from place to place. This heterogeneity makes
traps and seals because it tends to flow rather than fracture during deformation, thus petroleum system modeling, formation evaluation, and reservoir simulation critical to
preventing hydrocarbons from leaking out of a trap even during and after some types of maximizing production from shale reservoirs.
deformation. Heterogeneous
hard rock Possessing the quality of variation in rock properties with location in a reservoir or
A term applied to hard rocks, or igneous and metamorphic rocks that are distinguished formation. Shale gas reservoirs are heterogeneous formations whose mineralogy, organic
from sedimentary rocks because they are typically more difficult to disaggregate. Well content, natural fractures, and other properties vary from place to place. This
cemented sedimentary rocks are sometimes described as being hard, but are usually called heterogeneity makes petroleum system modeling, formation evaluation, and reservoir
soft rock. The term can be used to differentiate between rocks of interest to the petroleum simulation critical to maximizing production from shale reservoirs.
industry (soft rocks) and rocks of interest to the mining industry (hard rocks). Hiatal
Hardground Pertaining to a hiatus, a cessation in deposition of sediments during which no strata form
A horizon cemented by precipitation of calcite just below the sea floor. Local concretions or an erosional surface forms on the underlying strata; a gap in the rock record. This period
form first in a hardground and can be surrounded by burrows of organisms until the might be marked by development of a lithified sediment (hardground) or burrowed surface
cement is well developed. characteristic of periods when sea level was relatively low. A disconformity can result from
a hiatus.
Harmonic
Hiatus Hydrate

A cessation in deposition of sediments during which no strata form or an erosional surface 1. vb. [Drilling Fluids]
forms on the underlying strata; a gap in the rock record. This period might be marked by
For a hygroscopic material such as a clay or polymer to absorb water. Hydration is the first
development of a lithified sediment (hardground) or burrowed surface characteristic of
stage of clay-water (or polymer-water) interaction. When dry bentonite is stirred into
periods when sea level was relatively low. A disconformity can result from a hiatus.
water, hydration is observed as swelling.
Homogeneity
2. n. [Geology]
The quality of uniformity of a material. If irregularities are distributed evenly in a mixture
An unusual occurrence of hydrocarbon in which molecules of natural gas, typically
of material, the material is homogeneous. (Compare with heterogeneity.)
methane, are trapped in ice molecules. More generally, hydrates are compounds in which
Homogeneous gas molecules are trapped within a crystal structure. Hydrates form in cold climates, such
as permafrost zones and in deep water. To date, economic liberation of hydrocarbon gases
Possessing the quality of uniformity. If irregularities are distributed evenly in a material,
from hydrates has not occurred, but hydrates contain quantities of hydrocarbons that
the material is homogeneous. (Compare with heterogeneous.)
could be of great economic significance. Hydrates can affect seismic data by creating a
Horizon reflection or multiple.

1. n. [Geology] 3. vt. [Geology]

An informal term used to denote a surface in or of rock, or a distinctive layer of rock that To cause the incorporation of water into the atomic structure of a mineral.
might be represented by a reflection in seismic data. The term is often used incorrectly to
4. n. [Production Testing]
describe a zone from which hydrocarbons are produced.
Compounds or complex ions that are formed by the union of water with other substances.
. n. [Geophysics]
Hydrates can form in pipelines and in gas gathering, compression and transmission
An interface that might be represented by a seismic reflection, such as the contact facilities at reduced temperatures and high pressures. Once hydrates are formed, they can
between two bodies of rock having different seismic velocity, density, porosity, fluid plug the pipelines and significantly affect production operations.
content or all of those.
5. n. [Geology]
Horst
A chemical combination of water and another substance. Gypsum is a hydrate mineral. Its
A relatively high-standing area formed by the movement of normal faults that dip away anhydrous equivalent is anhydrite.
from each other. Horsts occur between low-standing fault blocks called graben. Horsts can
Hydration
form in areas of rifting or extension, where normal faults are the most abundant variety of
fault. 1. n. [Geology]

Incorporation of water into the atomic structure of a mineral, i.e., the chemical
combination of water and another substance. Gypsum is a hydrate mineral. Its anhydrous
equivalent is anhydrite.
2. n. [Drilling Fluids] Hydrothermal

Absorption of water by a hygroscopic material such as a clay or polymer. Hydration is the Pertaining to hot fluids, particularly hot water, or the activity of hot water, or precipitates
first stage of clay-water (or polymer-water) interaction. When dry bentonite is stirred into thereof. Hydrothermal alteration can change the mineralogy of rock, producing different
water, hydration is observed as swelling. minerals, including quartz, calcite and chlorite. Hydrothermal activity is commonly
associated with hot water that accompanies, or is heated by, magma.
hydraulic head
hydrothermal alteration
The force per unit area exerted by a column of liquid at a height above a depth (and
pressure) of interest. Fluids flow down a hydraulic gradient, from points of higher to lower A change of preexisting rocks or minerals caused by the activity of hot solutions, such as
hydraulic head. The term is sometimes used synonymously with hydrostatic head. fluids accompanying or heated by magma. Quartz, serpentine and chlorite are minerals
commonly associated with hydrothermal alteration. Ore deposits, such as lead (as the
Hydrocarbon
mineral galena), zinc (sphalerite), and copper (malachite), can occur in areas of
A naturally occurring organic compound comprising hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons hydrothermal alteration.
can be as simple as methane [CH4], but many are highly complex molecules, and can occur
Igneous
as gases, liquids or solids. The molecules can have the shape of chains, branching chains,
rings or other structures. Petroleum is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. The most Pertaining to one of three main classes of rocks (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary).
common hydrocarbons are natural gas, oil and coal. Igneous rocks crystallize from molten rock, or magma, with interlocking mineral crystals.
Igneous rocks that crystallize slowly, typically below the surface of the Earth, are plutonic
hydrocarbon kitchen
igneous rocks and have large crystals (large enough to see with the naked eye). Volcanic
An area of the subsurface where source rock has reached appropriate conditions of igneous rocks crystallize quickly at the Earth's surface and have small crystals (usually too
pressure and temperature to generate hydrocarbons; also known as source kitchen, oil small to see without magnification). Common examples include granite (plutonic) and
kitchen or gas kitchen. rhyolite (volcanic), diorite (plutonic) and andesite (volcanic), and gabbro (plutonic) and
basalt (volcanic). Igneous rocks typically comprise the minerals quartz, mica, feldspar,
hydrostatic head amphibole, pyroxene and olivine.
The height of a column of freshwater that exerts pressure at a given depth. Some authors Illite
use the term synonymously with hydrostatic pressure.
[K1-1.5Al4(Si7-6.5Al1-1.5O20)(OH)4] A group of clay minerals formed during the alteration
hydrostatic pressure of silicate minerals such as mica and feldspar and commonly found in marine shales.
The normal, predicted pressure for a given depth, or the pressure exerted per unit area by Immature
a column of freshwater from sea level to a given depth. Abnormally low pressure might
occur in areas where fluids have been drained, such as a depleted hydrocarbon reservoir. Pertaining to a hydrocarbon source rock that has not fully entered optimal conditions for
Abnormally high pressure might occur in areas where burial of water-filled sediments by generation.
an impermeable sediment such as clay was so rapid that fluids could not escape and the
pore pressure increased with deeper burial.
Immiscible interstitial water

Pertaining to a condition in which two fluids are incapable of forming molecularly Water that occurs naturally within the pores of rock. Water from fluids introduced to a
distributed mixtures or attaining homogeneity at that scale. The fluids separate into two formation through drilling or other interference, such as mud and seawater, does not
phases with an interface between them. For example, oil and water are immiscible. constitute interstitial water. Interstitial water, or formation water, might not have been
the water present when the rock originally formed. In contrast, connate water is the water
Impermeable
trapped in the pores of a rock during its formation, also called fossil water.
Pertaining to a rock that is incapable of transmitting fluids because of low permeability.
Inversion
Shale has a high porosity, but its pores are small and disconnected, so it is relatively
impermeable. Impermeable rocks are desirable sealing rocks or cap rocks for reservoirs 1. n. [Geology]
because hydrocarbons cannot pass through them readily.
The reversal of features, particularly structural features such as faults, by reactivation. For
in situ example, a normal fault might move in a direction opposite to its initial movement.

In the original location or position, such as a large outcrop that has not been disturbed by 2. n. [Geology]
faults or landslides. Tests can be performed in situ in a reservoir to determine its pressure
The atypical appearance of structural and topographic features, such as an anticline being
and temperature and fluid properties.
exposed in a valley instead of as a hill; also called inverted relief.
Incompetent
3. n. [Geophysics]
Pertaining to strata that are relatively ductile and tend to flow under stress rather than
A mathematical process by which data are used to generate a model that is consistent with
deform by brittle faulting or fracturing. The bed thickness of incompetent beds tends to
the data, the process of solving the inverse problem. In seismology, surface seismic data,
change during deformation.
vertical seismic profiles and well log data can be used to perform inversion, the result of
Injectite which is a model of Earth layers and their thickness, density and P- and S-wave velocities.
Successful seismic inversion usually requires a high signal-to-noise ratio and a large
Structures formed by sediment injection. Because they resemble intrusive and extrusive
bandwidth.
igneous features, much of the vocabulary for describing injectites, or clastic intrusions,
comes from igneous geology. Sills are emplaced parallel to bedding, whereas dikes cut Isochore
through bedding. The strata containing the intrusion are called host strata and the layers
A contour connecting points of equal true vertical thickness of strata, formations,
that feed the intrusion are the parent beds. Sand-injection features exhibit size scales from
reservoirs or other rock units. A map that displays isochores is an isochore map. The terms
millimeters to kilometers, and have been seen in cores, borehole image logs, seismic
isopach and isopach map are incorrectly used interchangeably to describe isochores and
sections, outcrops, aerial photographs and satellite images.
isochore maps. Isopachs and isochores are equivalent only if the rock layer is horizontal.
in-situ
Isopach
In the original location or position, such as a large outcrop that has not been disturbed by
A contour that connects points of equal thickness. Commonly, the isopachs, or contours
faults or landslides. Tests can be performed in situ in a reservoir to determine its pressure
that make up an isopach map, display the stratigraphic thickness of a rock unit as opposed
and temperature and fluid properties.
to the true vertical thickness. Isopachs are true stratigraphic thicknesses; i.e.,
perpendicular to bedding surfaces.
Isostasy When walls of a fracture have moved only normal to each other, the fracture is called a
joint.
The state of gravitational equilibrium between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere of
the Earth such that lithospheric plates "float" at a given elevation depending on their 2. n. [Drilling]
thickness. The balance between the elevation of the lithospheric plates and the
A length of pipe, usually referring to drillpipe, casing or tubing. While there are different
asthenosphere is achieved by the flowage of the denser asthenosphere. Various
standard lengths, the most common drillpipe joint length is around 30 ft [9 m]. For casing,
hypotheses about isostasy take into account density (Pratt hypothesis), thickness (Airy
the most common length of a joint is 40 ft [12 m].
hypothesis), and pressure variations to explain topographic variations among lithospheric
plates. The current model consists of several layers of different density. Kaolinite
Isostatic [Al4Si4O10(OH)8]
Pertaining to isostasy, the state of gravitational equilibrium between the lithosphere and A type of clay mineral from the kaolin group that forms through the weathering of feldspar
the asthenosphere of the Earth such that lithospheric plates "float" at a given elevation and mica group minerals. Unlike some clay minerals like montmorillonite, kaolinite is not
depending on their thickness. The balance between the elevation of the lithospheric plates prone to shrinking or swelling with changes in water content.
and the asthenosphere is achieved by the flowage of the denser asthenosphere. Various
hypotheses about isostasy take into account density (Pratt hypothesis), thickness (Airy
hypothesis), and pressure variations to explain topographic variations among lithospheric Karst
plates. The current model consists of several layers of different density.
A type of topography formed in areas of widespread carbonate rocks through dissolution.
Isotropic Sink holes, caves and pock-marked surfaces are typical features of a karst topography.
Directionally uniform, such that the physical properties of the material do not vary in Kerogen
different directions. In rocks, changes in physical properties in different directions, such as
the alignment of mineral grains or the seismic velocity measured parallel or perpendicular The naturally occurring, solid, insoluble organic matter that occurs in source rocks and can
to bedding surfaces, are forms of anisotropy. (Compare with homogeneity). yield oil upon heating. Kerogen is the portion of naturally occurring organic matter that is
nonextractable using organic solvents. Typical organic constituents of kerogen are algae
Isotropy and woody plant material. Kerogens have a high molecular weight relative to bitumen, or
A quality of directional uniformity in material such that physical properties do not vary in soluble organic matter. Bitumen forms from kerogen during petroleum generation.
different directions. In rocks, changes in physical properties in different directions, such as Kerogens are described as Type I, consisting of mainly algal and amorphous (but
the alignment of mineral grains or the seismic velocity measured parallel or perpendicular presumably algal) kerogen and highly likely to generate oil; Type II, mixed terrestrial and
to bedding surfaces, are forms of anisotropy. (Compare with homogeneity.) marine source material that can generate waxy oil; and Type III, woody terrestrial source
material that typically generates gas.
Joint
Lacustrine
1. n. [Geology]
Pertaining to an environment of deposition in lakes, or an area having lakes. Because
A surface of breakage, cracking or separation within a rock along which there has been no deposition of sediment in lakes can occur slowly and in relatively calm conditions, organic-
movement parallel to the defining plane. The usage by some authors can be more specific: rich source rocks can form in lacustrine environments.
Lamination Lithofacies

A fine layer (~ 1 mm thick) in strata, also called a lamina, common in fine-grained A mappable subdivision of a stratigraphic unit that can be distinguished by its facies or
sedimentary rocks such as shale, siltstone and fine sandstone. A sedimentary bed lithology-the texture, mineralogy, grain size, and the depositional environment that
comprises multiple laminations, or laminae. produced it.

Lease Lithologic

1. vt. [Geology] Pertaining to lithology, the macroscopic nature of the mineral content, grain size, texture
and color of rocks
The act of acquiring acreage for exploration or production activity.
lithologic contact
2. n. [Geology]
The surface that separates rock bodies of different lithologies, or rock types. A contact can
An area of surface land on which exploration or production activity occurs.
be conformable or unconformable depending upon the types of rock, their relative ages
Limestone and their attitudes. A fault surface can also serve as a contact.

A carbonate sedimentary rock predominantly composed of calcite of organic, chemical or Lithology


detrital origin. Minor amounts of dolomite, chert and clay are common in limestones. Chalk
The macroscopic nature of the mineral content, grain size, texture and color of rocks.
is a form of fine-grained limestone
Lithosphere
Lineament
The brittle outer layer of the Earth that includes the crust and uppermost mantle. It is made
A long linear or gently curving feature on the surface of a terrestrial planet or moon that is
up of six major and several minor tectonic plates that move around on the softer
suggestive of an underlying geologic structure or contact. Most lineaments are identified
asthenosphere. The lithosphere of the oceans tends to be thinner (in some oceanic areas,
through remote sensing, such as satellite imagery or topographic, gravimetric and
less than 50 km [30 miles] thick) and more dense than that of the continents (more than
magnetic data.
120 km [70 miles] thick in places like the Himalayas) because of isostasy. The movement
listric fault of the plates of the lithosphere results in convergence, or collisions, that can form
mountain belts and subduction zones, and divergence of the plates and the creation of
A normal fault that flattens with depth and typically found in extensional regimes. This new crust as material wells up from below separating plates. The lithosphere and
flattening manifests itself as a curving, concave-up fault plane whose dip decreases with asthenosphere are distinguished from the crust, mantle and core of the Earth on the basis
depth. of their mechanical behavior and not their composition.
Lithification lithostatic pressure
The process by which unconsolidated sediments become sedimentary rock. Sediments The pressure of the weight of overburden, or overlying rock, on a formation; also called
typically are derived from preexisting rocks by weathering, transported and redeposited, geostatic pressure.
and then buried and compacted by overlying sediments. Cementation causes the
sediments to harden, or lithify, into rock.
Lithostratigraphic Magma

Pertaining to lithostratigraphy, the study and correlation of strata to elucidate Earth The molten rock in the Earth that can either rise to the surface as lava and form extrusive
history on the basis of their lithology, or the nature of the well log response, mineral igneous rock or cool within the Earth to form plutonic igneous rock.
content, grain size, texture and color of rocks.
magnetic reversal sequence
Lithostratigraphy
The periodic switching of the magnetic north and south poles of the Earth throughout time,
The study and correlation of strata to elucidate Earth history on the basis of their lithology, probably as a result of movement of fluid within the Earth's core. The onset and duration
or the nature of the well log response, mineral content, grain size, texture and color of of the many episodes of reversed polarity have been documented by examining the
rocks. polarity of magnetic minerals within rocks of different ages from around the world,
particularly in basalts or igneous rocks of the oceanic crust. Oceanic basalts record the
Littoral
Earth's magnetic field as they solidify from molten lava symmetrically on each side of the
Pertaining to an environment of deposition affected by tides, the area between high tide midoceanic ridges. These data have been compiled to create a time scale known as the
and low tide. Given the variation of tides and land forms from place to place, geologists geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS). In the oil field, borehole recordings allow direct
describe littoral zones locally according to the fauna capable of surviving periodic exposure correlation to GPTS and well-to-well correlations.
and submersion.
Mantle
low velocity layer
The intermediate layer of the Earth beneath the crust that is about 2900 km thick [1820
Also known as weathered layer, a near-surface, possibly unconsolidated layer of low miles] and overlies the core of the Earth. The mantle consists of dense igneous rocks like
seismic velocity. The base of the weathered layer commonly coincides with the water table pyroxenite and dunite, composed of the minerals pyroxene and olivine. The crust, mantle
and a sharp increase in seismic velocity. The weathered layer typically has air-filled pores and core of the Earth are distinguished from the lithosphere and asthenosphere on the
basis of their composition and not their mechanical behavior. The Mohorovicic
low-velocity layer discontinuity abruptly separates the crust from the mantle, where the velocity of
Also known as weathered layer, a near-surface, possibly unconsolidated layer of low compressional waves is significantly higher.
seismic velocity. The base of the weathered layer commonly coincides with the water table Marine
and a sharp increase in seismic velocity. The weathered layer typically has air-filled pores.
Pertaining to sediments or environments in seas or ocean waters, between the depth of
Ma low tide and the ocean bottom.
Mega annum. The abbreviation for million years that is most commonly used in the Marl
geologic literature.
A sedimentary rock containing a mix of clay and calcium carbonate. Compositionally, marls
Mafic comprise 35% to 65% clay and 65% to 35% calcium carbonate. Thus, marl encompasses a
Pertaining to minerals or igneous rocks composed of minerals that are rich in iron and spectrum that ranges from calcareous shale to muddy or shaly limestone.
magnesium, dense, and typically dark in color. The term comes from the words magnesium
and ferric. Common mafic minerals are olivine and pyroxene. Basalt is a mafic igneous rock.
(Compare with felsic.)
Marsh Metamorphism

An environment from which water rarely drains that supports primarily grassy vegetation The process by which the characteristics of rocks are altered or the rock is recrystallized.
and does not form peat. Metamorphism of igneous, sedimentary, or preexisting metamorphic rock can produce
new metamorphic rock. Such alteration occurs as rocks respond to changes in
Massif
temperatures, pressures and fluids, commonly along the edges of colliding lithospheric
A block of rock that forms a structural or topographic feature, such as a block of igneous plates. The pressures and temperatures at which metamorphism occurs are higher than
of metamorphic rock within an area of mountain building, or orogeny. A massif can be as those of diagenesis, but no clear boundary between the two has been established.
large as a mountain and is typically more rigid than the rocks that surround it.
methane
Matrix
The lightest and most abundant of the hydrocarbon gases and the principal component
The finer grained, interstitial particles that lie between larger particles or in which larger of natural gas. Methane is a colorless, odorless gas that is stable under a wide range of
particles are embedded in sedimentary rocks such as sandstones and conglomerates. pressure and temperature conditions in the absence of other compounds.

Maturity methane hydrate

The state of a source rock with respect to its ability to generate oil or gas. As a source rock 1. n. [Geology]
begins to mature, it generates gas. As an oil-prone source rock matures, the generation of
An unusual occurrence of hydrocarbon in which molecules of methane are trapped in ice
heavy oils is succeeded by medium and light oils. Above a temperature of approximately
molecules. More generally, hydrates are compounds in which gas molecules are trapped
100 oC [212 oF], only dry gas is generated, and incipient metamorphism is imminent. The
within a crystal structure. Hydrates form in cold climates, such as permafrost zones and in
maturity of a source rock reflects the ambient pressure and temperature as well as the
deep water. To date, economic liberation of hydrocarbon gases from hydrates has not
duration of conditions favorable for hydrocarbon generation.
occurred, but hydrates contain quantities of hydrocarbons that could be of great economic
Metamorphic significance. Hydrates can affect seismic data by creating a reflection or multiple.

One of three main classes of rock (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary). Metamorphic 2. n. [Production Testing]
rocks form from the alteration of preexisting rocks by changes in ambient temperature,
A compound or complex ion that is formed by the union of water with methane. Hydrates
pressure, volatile content, or all of these. Such changes can occur through the activity of
can form in pipelines and in gas gathering, compression and transmission facilities at
fluids in the Earth and movement of igneous bodies or regional tectonic activity. The
reduced temperatures and high pressures. Once hydrates are formed, they can plug the
texture of metamorphic rocks can vary from almost homogeneous, or nonfoliated, to
pipelines and significantly affect production operations.
foliated rocks with a strong planar fabric or foliation produced by alignment of minerals
during recrystallization or by reorientation. Common foliated metamorphic rocks include 3. n. [Drilling Fluids]
gneiss, schist and slate. Marble, or metamorphosed limestone, can be foliated or non-
A crystalline solid consisting of water with methane molecules in an ice-like cage structure.
foliated. Hornfels is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock. Graphite, chlorite, talc, mica, garnet
The general term for this type of solid is clathrate. Water molecules form a lattice structure
and staurolite are distinctive metamorphic minerals.
into which many types of gas molecules can fit. Most gases, except hydrogen and helium,
can form hydrates. C1 to nC5 hydrocarbons, H2S and CO2 readily form hydrates at low
temperature and high pressure. Heavier hydrocarbons may also enter the structure but do
not form hydrates by themselves. Gas-cut muds can form hydrates in deepwater drilling
operations, plugging BOP lines, risers and subsea wellheads, causing a well-control risk. For hydrocarbons to move from their source into reservoir rocks. The movement of newly
Gas hydrates are thermodynamically suppressed by adding antifreeze materials such as generated hydrocarbons out of their source rock is primary migration, also called
salts or glycols. A common practice is to use 20 to 23 wt.% NaCl. Nucleation and growth of expulsion. The further movement of the hydrocarbons into reservoir rock in a hydrocarbon
hydrates can be dynamically inhibited by certain polymers or surfactants. Gas hydrates are trap or other area of accumulation is secondary migration. Migration typically occurs from
found in nature, on the bottom of cold seas and in arctic permafrost regions. Drilling into a structurally low area to a higher area because of the relative buoyancy of hydrocarbons
these can be hazardous, but they offer another source of hydrocarbons for future in comparison to the surrounding rock. Migration can be local or can occur along distances
exploitation. of hundreds of kilometers in large sedimentary basins, and is critical to the formation of a
viable petroleum system.
Mica
2. vb. [Geophysics]
A group of sheet silicates characterized by a platy appearance and basal cleavage most
common in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Several clay minerals, such as chlorite and To execute a step in seismic processing in which reflections in seismic data are moved to
glauconite, are closely related to the mica group. their correct locations in x-y-time space of seismic data. Migration improves seismic
interpretation and mapping because the locations of geological structures, especially
Micrite
faults, are more accurate in migrated seismic data. Proper migration collapses diffractions
Dense, fine-grained carbonate mud or rocks composed of mud that forms by erosion of from secondary sources such as reflector terminations against faults and corrects bow ties
larger carbonate grains, organic precipitation (such as from algae), or inorganic to form synclines. There are numerous methods of migration, such as dip moveout (DMO),
precipitation. The grains in micrite are generally less than 4 microns in size. frequency domain, ray-trace and wave-equation migration.

Micropaleontology Milankovitch cycles

The study of microfossils too small to be seen without the use of a microscope. Marine The variation of the Earth's exposure to the sun's rays, or insolation, that results from
microfossils such as foraminifera are important for stratigraphic correlation. variations in the orbit of the Earth and the tilt of its axis, and that might affect climate, sea
level and sedimentation. Such variations are thought to occur in distinct time periods on
midoceanic ridge the order of thousands of years. Ice ages might be a consequence of Milankovitch cycles.
The mountainous, linear axis of ocean basins along which rifting occurs and new oceanic Milutin Milankovitch (1879 to 1958) was a Yugoslavian mathematician and physicist who
crust forms as magma wells up and solidifies. The most prominent midoceanic ridges are specialized in studies of solar radiation and the orbit of the Earth.
those of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The new crust is made of mafic igneous rock called Migration
basalt, commonly referred to as midocean ridge basalt, or MORB, whose composition
reflects that of the deeper mantle of the Earth. The presence of the spreading plate 1. n. [Geology]
boundaries of the midoceanic ridges; their symmetrically spreading, successively older
The movement of hydrocarbons from their source into reservoir rocks. The movement of
crust outward from the ridge; and the lack of oceanic crust older than approximately 200
newly generated hydrocarbons out of their source rock is primary migration, also called
Ma support the theory of plate tectonics and the recycling of oceanic crust through the
expulsion. The further movement of the hydrocarbons into reservoir rock in a hydrocarbon
process of subduction.
trap or other area of accumulation is secondary migration. Migration typically occurs from
Migrate a structurally low area to a higher area because of the relative buoyancy of hydrocarbons
in comparison to the surrounding rock. Migration can be local or can occur along distances
1. vb. [Geology]
of hundreds of kilometers in large sedimentary basins, and is critical to the formation of a Croatian seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic on the basis of its abruptly higher
viable petroleum system. compressional wave (P-wave) velocity.

2. n. [Geophysics] Mohorovicic discontinuity

A step in seismic processing in which reflections in seismic data are moved to their correct The boundary between the crust and the mantle of the Earth, which varies from
locations in the x-y-time space of seismic data, including two-way traveltime and position approximately 5 km [3 miles] under the midoceanic ridges to 75 km [46 miles] deep under
relative to shotpoints. Migration improves seismic interpretation and mapping because the continents. This boundary, commonly called "the Moho," was recognized in 1909 by
the locations of geological structures, especially faults, are more accurate in migrated Croatian seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic on the basis of its abruptly higher
seismic data. Proper migration collapses diffractions from secondary sources such as compressional wave (P-wave) velocity.
reflector terminations against faults and corrects bow ties to form synclines. There are
numerous methods of migration, such as dip moveout (DMO), frequency domain, ray-trace
and wave-equation migration. moldic porosity
Mineral A type of secondary porosity created through the dissolution of a preexisting constituent
of a rock, such as a shell, rock fragment or grain. The pore space preserves the shape, or
A crystalline substance that is naturally occurring, inorganic, and has a unique or limited
mold, of the dissolved material.
range of chemical compositions. Minerals are homogeneous, having a definite atomic
structure. Rocks are composed of minerals, except for rare exceptions like coal, which is a Montmorillonite
rock but not a mineral because of its organic origin. Minerals are distinguished from one
another by careful observation or measurement of physical properties such as density, A type of smectite clay mineral that tends to swell when exposed to water.
crystal form, cleavage (tendency to break along specific surfaces because of atomic Montmorillonite forms through the alteration of silicate minerals in alkaline conditions in
structure), fracture (appearance of broken surfaces), hardness, luster and color. basic igneous rocks, such as volcanic ash that can accumulate in the oceans.
Magnetism, taste and smell are useful ways to identify only a few minerals. Montmorillonite is a component of bentonite commonly used in drilling fluids.

Mineralogy A hydratable, dispersible clay mineral of the smectite group. Montmorillonite is a three-
layer, expanding clay with a large surface area and high cation-exchange capacity. Na+ and
Mineralogy is the science and study of minerals with regard to their chemical Ca+2 are the typical exchangeable cations. Sodium montmorillonite, also called sodium
composition, structure, formation and properties. bentonite, is a premium clay mud additive. Natural deposits are found in Wyoming, North
Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, USA. Calcium montmorillonite is a low-yield bentonite
Miscible
that is more widely distributed and used in many commercial applications, including
Pertaining to a condition in which two or more fluids can mix in all proportions and form a drilling fluid.
single homogeneous phase.
MRS
Moho
Abbreviation for magnetic reversal sequence, the periodic switching of the magnetic north
The boundary between the crust and the mantle of the Earth, which varies from and south poles of the Earth throughout time, probably as a result of movement of fluid
approximately 5 km [3 miles] under the midoceanic ridges to 75 km [46 miles] deep under within the Earth's core. The onset and duration of the many episodes of reversed polarity
the continents. This boundary, commonly called "the Moho," was recognized in 1909 by have been documented by examining the polarity of magnetic minerals within rocks of
different ages from around the world, particularly in basalts or igneous rocks of the oceanic
crust. Oceanic basalts record the Earth's magnetic field as they solidify from molten lava components. Overmature reservoirs typically contain appreciable quantities of carbon
symmetrically on each side of the midoceanic ridges. These data have been compiled to dioxide [CO2].
create a time scale known as the geomagnetic polarity time scale (GPTS). In the oil field,
Neritic
borehole recordings allow direct correlation to GPTS and well-to-well correlations.
Describing the environment and conditions of the marine zone between low tide and the
My
edge of the continental shelf, a depth of roughly 200 m [656 ft]. A neritic environment
Abbreviation for million years. The preferred abbreviation is Ma. supports marine organisms, also described as neritic, that are capable of surviving in
shallow water with moderate exposure to sunlight.
MYBP
Nonconformity
Abbreviation for millions of years before present. The preferred abbreviation is Ma.
A geological surface that separates younger overlying sedimentary strata from eroded
natural fracture
igneous or metamorphic rocks and represents a large gap in the geologic record.
A crack or surface of breakage within rock not related to foliation or cleavage in
normal fault
metamorphic rock along which there has been no movement. A fracture along which there
has been displacement is a fault. When walls of a fracture have moved only normal to each A type of fault in which the hanging wall moves down relative to the footwall, and the fault
other, the fracture is called a joint. Fractures can enhance permeability of rocks greatly by surface dips steeply, commonly from 50o to 90o. Groups of normal faults can produce
connecting pores together, and for that reason, fractures are induced mechanically in horst and graben topography, or a series of relatively high- and low-standing fault blocks,
some reservoirs in order to boost hydrocarbon flow. Fractures may also be referred to as as seen in areas where the crust is rifting or being pulled apart by plate tectonic activity. A
natural fractures to distinguish them from fractures induced as part of a reservoir growth fault is a type of normal fault that forms during sedimentation and typically has
stimulation or drilling operation. In some shale reservoirs, natural fractures improve thicker strata on the downthrown hanging wall than the footwall.
production by enhancing effective permeability. In other cases, natural fractures can
normal pressure
complicate reservoir stimulation.
The pore pressure of rocks that is considered normal in areas in which the change in
natural gas
pressure per unit of depth is equivalent to hydrostatic pressure. The normal hydrostatic
1. n. [Geology] pressure gradient for freshwater is 0.433 pounds per square inch per foot (psi/ft), or 9.792
kilopascals per meter (kPa/m), and 0.465 psi/ft for water with 100,000 ppm total dissolved
A naturally occurring mixture of hydrocarbon gases that is highly compressible and
solids (a typical Gulf Coast water), or 10.516 kPa/m.
expansible. Methane [CH4] is the chief constituent of most natural gas (constituting as
much as 85% of some natural gases), with lesser amounts of ethane [C2H6], propane [C3H8], Offset
butane [C4H10] and pentane [C5H12]. Impurities can also be present in large proportions,
The horizontal displacement between points on either side of a fault, which can range from
including carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide.
millimeters to kilometers. Perhaps the most readily visible examples of offset are features
2. n. [Shale Gas] such as fences or roads that have been displaced by strike-slip faults, such as the San
Andreas fault of California, USA.
Natural gas produced from shale reservoirs is known as shale gas. The composition of the
gas stream is a function of the thermal maturity of the rock. Thermally immature rocks will oil field
contain heavier hydrocarbon components, possibly even liquid
1. n. [Geology]
An accumulation, pool or group of pools of oil in the subsurface. An oil field consists of a are used to extract the resource, with surface mining used for extracting deposits of extra
reservoir in a shape that will trap hydrocarbons and that is covered by an impermeable or heavy oil at shallow depths of less than 100 m [328 ft].
sealing rock. Typically, industry professionals use the term with an implied assumption of
oil water contact
economic size.
A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly oil occurs and below which
2. n. [Geology]
predominantly water occurs. Although oil and water are immiscible, the contact between
The surface area above a subsurface oil accumulation is called an oil field. oil and water is commonly a transition zone and there is usually irreducible water adsorbed
by the grains in the rock and immovable oil that cannot be produced. The oil-water contact
oil kitchen
is not always a flat horizontal surface, but instead might be tilted or irregular.
An area of the subsurface where source rock has reached appropriate conditions of
Oilfield
pressure and temperature to generate liquid hydrocarbons as opposed to gas.
1. adj. [Geology]
oil pool
Pertaining to an oil field, an accumulation, pool or group of pools of oil in the subsurface.
A subsurface oil accumulation. An oil field can consist of one or more oil pools or distinct
An oil field consists of a reservoir in a shape that will trap hydrocarbons and that is covered
reservoirs within a single large trap. The term "pool" can create the erroneous impression
by an impermeable or sealing rock. Typically, industry professionals use the term with an
that oil fields are immense caverns filled with oil, instead of rock filled with small oil-filled
implied assumption of economic size.
pores.
2. adj. [Geology]
oil prone
Pertaining to the surface area above a subsurface oil accumulation.
The quality of a source rock that makes it more likely to generate oil than gas. The nature
of the organic matter (kerogen) in source rocks varies from coaly, plant-like material oil-prone
commonly found in terrestrial source rocks to algal or other marine material that makes
The quality of a source rock that makes it more likely to generate oil than gas. The nature
up marine source rocks. Marine source rocks are commonly oil-prone.
of the organic matter (kerogen) in source rocks varies from coaly, plant-like material
oil sand commonly found in terrestrial source rocks to algal or other marine material that makes
up marine source rocks. Marine source rocks are commonly oil-prone.
1. n. [Geology]
oil-water contact
A porous sand layer or sand body filled with oil.
A bounding surface in a reservoir above which predominantly oil occurs and below which
2. n. [Heavy Oil]
predominantly water occurs. Although oil and water are immiscible, the contact between
In the context of heavy oil, an oil sand is a porous rock layer, often considered to be a oil and water is commonly a transition zone and there is usually irreducible water adsorbed
mixture of sand, clay, water, and bitumen. The term is predominantly used in Canada, by the grains in the rock and immovable oil that cannot be produced. The oil-water contact
where over 170 billion barrels of bitumen are estimated to be held by large oil sand is not always a flat horizontal surface, but instead might be tilted or irregular.
deposits in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River regions of Alberta. Oils from such
sands may have a gravity of less than 10° API. Both in-situ recovery and mining methods
Onlap overpressured fluids escape rapidly, so careful preparation is made in areas of known
overpressure.
The termination of shallowly dipping, younger strata against more steeply dipping, older
strata, or the termination of low-angle reflections in seismic data against steeper Overthrust
reflections. Onlap is a particular pattern of reflections in seismic data that, according to
A thrust fault having a relatively large lateral displacement.
principles of sequence stratigraphy, occurs during periods of transgression.
OWC
Orogenic
Abbreviation for oil-water contact, a bounding surface in a reservoir above which
Pertaining to a major episode of plate tectonic activity in which lithospheric plates collide
predominantly oil occurs and below which predominantly water occurs. Although oil and
and produce mountain belts, in some cases including the formation of subduction zones
water are immiscible, the contact between oil and water is commonly a transition zone
and igneous activity. Thrust faults and folds are typical geological structures seen in areas
and there is usually irreducible water adsorbed by the grains in the rock and immovable oil
of orogeny.
that cannot be produced. The oil-water contact is not always a flat horizontal surface, but
Orogeny instead might be tilted or irregular.

A major episode of plate tectonic activity in which lithospheric plates collide and produce Paleontology
mountain belts, in some cases including the formation of subduction zones and igneous
The study of fossilized, or preserved, remnants of plant and animal life. Changes in the
activity. Thrust faults and folds are typical geological structures seen in areas of orogeny.
Earth through time can be documented by observing changes in the fossils in successive
Outcrop strata and the environments in which they formed or were preserved. Fossils can also be
compared with their extant relatives to assess evolutionary changes. Correlations of strata
A body of rock exposed at the surface of the Earth. Construction of highways and other
can be aided by studying their fossil content, a discipline called biostratigraphy.
man-made facilities and resultant removal of soil and rock has created spectacular
outcrops in some regions. Paludal

Overburden Pertaining to a depositional environment or organisms from a marsh. It also refers to the
type of environment in which palustrine sediments can accumulate.
Rock overlying an area or point of interest in the subsurface.
Palustrine
Overmature
Describing material deposited in or growing in a marsh.
Pertaining to a hydrocarbon source rock that has generated as much hydrocarbon as
possible and is becoming thermally altered. Palynology

Overpressure The study of fossilized remnants of microscopic entities having organic walls, such as
pollen, spores and cysts from algae. Changes in the Earth through time can be documented
Subsurface pressure that is abnormally high, exceeding hydrostatic pressure at a given
by studying the distribution of spores and pollen. Well log and other correlations are
depth. The term geopressure is commonly, and incorrectly, used synonymously.
enhanced by incorporating palynology. Palynology also has utility in forensics.
Abnormally high pore pressure can occur in areas where burial of fluid-filled sediments is
so rapid that pore fluids cannot escape, so the pressure of the pore fluids increases as
overburden increases. Drilling into overpressured strata can be hazardous because
parallel fold fluid through a rock when other immiscible fluids are present in the reservoir (for example,
effective permeability of gas in a gas-water reservoir). The relative saturations of the fluids
The deformation of rock layers in which the thickness of each layer, measured
as well as the nature of the reservoir affect the effective permeability. Relative
perpendicular to initial (undeformed) layering, is maintained after the rock layers have
permeability is the ratio of effective permeability of a particular fluid at a particular
been folded.
saturation to absolute permeability of that fluid at total saturation. If a single fluid is
Parasequence present in a rock, its relative permeability is 1.0. Calculation of relative permeability allows
for comparison of the different abilities of fluids to flow in the presence of each other,
Relatively conformable depositional units bounded by surfaces of marine flooding, since the presence of more than one fluid generally inhibits flow.
surfaces that separate older strata from younger and show an increase in water depth in
successively younger strata. Parasequences are usually too thin to discern on seismic data, Permeable
but when added together, they form sets called parasequence sets that are visible on
Pertaining to a rock's ability to transmit fluids. Permeability is typically measured in darcies
seismic data.
or millidarcies. The term was defined by Henry Darcy, who showed that the common
passive margin mathematics of heat transfer could be modified to adequately describe fluid flow in porous
media. Formations that transmit fluids readily, such as sandstones, are described as
The margin of a continent and ocean that does not coincide with the boundary of a permeable and tend to have many large, well-connected pores. Impermeable formations,
lithospheric plate and along which collision is not occurring. Passive margins are such as shales and siltstones, tend to be finer grained or of a mixed grain size, with smaller,
characterized by rifted, rotated fault blocks of thick sediment, such as the present-day Gulf fewer, or less interconnected pores. Absolute permeability is the measurement of the
of Mexico and Atlantic margins of North America. permeability conducted when a single fluid, or phase, is present in the rock. Effective
Pay permeability is the ability to preferentially flow or transmit a particular fluid through a rock
when other immiscible fluids are present in the reservoir (for example, effective
A reservoir or portion of a reservoir that contains economically producible hydrocarbons. permeability of gas in a gas-water reservoir). The relative saturations of the fluids as well
The term derives from the fact that it is capable of "paying" an income. Pay is also called as the nature of the reservoir affect the effective permeability. Relative permeability is the
pay sand or pay zone. The overall interval in which pay sections occur is the gross pay; the ratio of effective permeability of a particular fluid at a particular saturation to absolute
smaller portions of the gross pay that meet local criteria for pay (such as minimum permeability of that fluid at total saturation. If a single fluid is present in a rock, its relative
porosity, permeability and hydrocarbon saturation) are net pay. permeability is 1.0. Calculation of relative permeability allows for comparison of the
Permeability different abilities of fluids to flow in the presence of each other, since the presence of more
than one fluid generally inhibits flow.
The ability, or measurement of a rock's ability, to transmit fluids, typically measured in
darcies or millidarcies. The term was basically defined by Henry Darcy, who showed that Petrographic
the common mathematics of heat transfer could be modified to adequately describe fluid Pertaining to petrography, The examination of rocks in thin section. Rock samples can be
flow in porous media. Formations that transmit fluids readily, such as sandstones, are glued to a glass slide and the rock ground to 0.03-mm thickness in order to observe
described as permeable and tend to have many large, well-connected pores. Impermeable mineralogy and texture using a microscope. (A petrographic microscope is a transmitted-
formations, such as shales and siltstones, tend to be finer grained or of a mixed grain size, light polarizing microscope.) Samples of sedimentary rock can be impregnated with blue
with smaller, fewer, or less interconnected pores. Absolute permeability is the epoxy to highlight porosity.
measurement of the permeability conducted when a single fluid, or phase, is present in
the rock. Effective permeability is the ability to preferentially flow or transmit a particular
Petrography pinch out

The examination of rocks in thin section. Rock samples can be glued to a glass slide and the To taper to a zero edge.
rock ground to 0.03-mm thickness in order to observe mineralogy and texture using a
pinch-out
microscope. (A petrographic microscope is a transmitted-light polarizing microscope.)
Samples of sedimentary rock can be impregnated with blue epoxy to highlight porosity. 1. n. [Geology]
Petroleum A type of stratigraphic trap. The termination by thinning or tapering out ("pinching out")
of a reservoir against a nonporous sealing rock creates a favorable geometry to trap
A complex mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbon compounds found in rock.
hydrocarbons, particularly if the adjacent sealing rock is a source rock such as a shale.
Petroleum can range from solid to gas, but the term is generally used to refer to liquid
crude oil. Impurities such as sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen are common in petroleum. There 2. n. [Geology]
is considerable variation in color, gravity, odor, sulfur content and viscosity in petroleum
from different areas. A reduction in bed thickness resulting from onlapping stratigraphic sequences.

petroleum system plane table

Geologic components and processes necessary to generate and store hydrocarbons, A flat drawing board mounted on a tripod used in combination with an alidade to construct
including a mature source rock, migration pathway, reservoir rock, trap and seal. topographic or geologic maps in the field. A sheet of paper or mylar covering the plane
Appropriate relative timing of formation of these elements and the processes of table is annotated during map construction.
generation, migration and accumulation are necessary for hydrocarbons to accumulate Plankton
and be preserved. The components and critical timing relationships of a petroleum system
can be displayed in a chart that shows geologic time along the horizontal axis and the Minute organisms that float or drift passively near the surface of oceans and seas. Plant-
petroleum system elements along the vertical axis. Exploration plays and prospects are like plankton, or phytoplankton, include diatoms. Zooplankton are animals that have a
typically developed in basins or regions in which a complete petroleum system has some limited ability to move themselves. The changes in plankton over time are useful for
likelihood of existing. estimation of relative ages of rocks that contain the fossilized remains of plankton.

Petrologic Plastic

Pertaining to the macroscopic features of rocks, such as their occurrence, origin and Pertaining to a material that can deform permanently without rupturing.
history, structure (usually by examining outcrops in the field), and their texture and plastic deformation
composition (by studying smaller samples more closely).
Permanent mechanical or physical alteration that does not include rupture. Plastic
Petrology deformation of rocks typically occurs at high temperatures and pressures, conditions
The study of macroscopic features of rocks, such as their occurrence, origin and history, under which rocks become relatively viscous.
and structure (usually by examining outcrops in the field) and their texture and plate tectonics
composition (by studying smaller samples more closely).
The unifying geologic theory developed to explain observations that interactions of the
brittle plates of the lithosphere with each other and with the softer underlying
asthenosphere result in large-scale changes in the Earth. The theory of plate tectonics Plunge
initially stemmed from observations of the shapes of the continents, particularly South
The angle between a linear feature and a horizontal line in a vertical plane containing both
America and Africa, which fit together like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle and have similar rocks
lines.
and fossils despite being separated by a modern ocean. As lithospheric plates heat up or
cool down depending on their position, or their tectonic environment, relative to each point bar
other and to warmer areas deeper within the Earth, they become relatively more or less
dense than the asthenosphere and thus tend to rise as molten magma or sink in cold, An arcuate deposit of sediment, usually sand, that occurs along the convex inner edges of
brittle slabs or slide past each other. Mountain belts can form during plate collisions or an the meanders of channels and builds outward as the stream channel migrates.
orogeny; diverging plates or rifts can create new midoceanic ridges; plates that slide past Pore
one another create transform fault zones (such as the San Andreas fault); and zones of
subduction occur where one lithospheric plate moves beneath another. Plate tectonic A discrete void within a rock, which can contain air, water, hydrocarbons or other fluids. In
theory can explain such phenomena as earthquakes, volcanic or other igneous activity, a body of rock, the percentage of pore space is the porosity.
midoceanic ridges and the relative youth of the oceanic crust, and the formation of pore pressure
sedimentary basins on the basis of their relationships to lithospheric plate boundaries.
Convection of the mantle is postulated to be the driving mechanism for the movement of The pressure of fluids within the pores of a reservoir, usually hydrostatic pressure, or the
lithospheric plates. Measurements of the continents using the Global Positioning System pressure exerted by a column of water from the formation's depth to sea level. When
confirm the relative motions of plates. Age determinations of the oceanic crust confirm impermeable rocks such as shales form as sediments are compacted, their pore fluids
that such crust is much younger than that of the continents and has been recycled by the cannot always escape and must then support the total overlying rock column, leading to
process of subduction and regenerated at midoceanic ridges. anomalously high formation pressures. Because reservoir pressure changes as fluids are
produced from a reservoir, the pressure should be described as measured at a specific
Plateau time, such as initial reservoir pressure.
A topographic feature consisting of a large flat area at a relatively high elevation with steep pore pressure gradient
sides.
The change in pore pressure per unit of depth, typically in units of psi/ft or kPa/m. Pressure
Platform increases predictably with depth in areas of normal pressure. The normal hydrostatic
A relatively flat, nearly level area of sedimentary rocks in a continent that overlies or abuts pressure gradient for freshwater is 0.433 psi/ft, or 9.792 kPa/m, and 0.465 psi/ft for water
the basement rocks of a craton. with 100,000 ppm total dissolved solids (a typical Gulf Coast water), or 10.516 kPa/m.
Deviations from normal pressure are described as high or low pressure.
Play
pore-pressure gradient
An area in which hydrocarbon accumulations or prospects of a given type occur. For
example the shale gas plays in North America include the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, The change in pore pressure per unit of depth, typically in units of psi/ft or kPa/m. Pressure
Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford, among many others. Outside North America, shale increases predictably with depth in areas of normal pressure. The normal hydrostatic
gas potential is being pursued in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. pressure gradient for freshwater is 0.433 psi/ft, or 9.792 kPa/m, and 0.465 psi/ft for water
with 100,000 ppm total dissolved solids (a typical Gulf Coast water), or 10.516 kPa/m.
Deviations from normal pressure are described as high or low pressure.

Porosity
The percentage of pore volume or void space, or that volume within rock that can contain pressure gradient
fluids. Porosity can be a relic of deposition (primary porosity, such as space between grains
The change in pressure per unit of depth, typically in units of psi/ft or kPa/m. Pressure
that were not compacted together completely) or can develop through alteration of the
increases predictably with depth in areas of normal pressure. The normal hydrostatic
rock (secondary porosity, such as when feldspar grains or fossils are preferentially
pressure gradient for freshwater is 0.433 psi/ft, or 9.792 kPa/m, and 0.465 psi/ft for water
dissolved from sandstones). Porosity can be generated by the development of fractures,
with 100,000 ppm total dissolved solids (a typical Gulf Coast water), or 10.516 kPa/m.
in which case it is called fracture porosity. Effective porosity is the interconnected pore
Deviations from normal pressure are described as high or low pressure.
volume in a rock that contributes to fluid flow in a reservoir. It excludes isolated pores.
Total porosity is the total void space in the rock whether or not it contributes to fluid flow. primary migration
Thus, effective porosity is typically less than total porosity. Shale gas reservoirs tend to
have relatively high porosity, but the alignment of platy grains such as clays makes their The expulsion of newly generated hydrocarbons from a source rock. The further
permeability very low. movement of the hydrocarbons into reservoir rock in a hydrocarbon trap or other area of
accumulation is secondary migration.
Porous
primary porosity
Pertaining to rocks that incorporate pores or void spaces, which can contain air, water,
hydrocarbons or other fluids. In a body of rock, the percentage of pore space is the The porosity preserved from deposition through lithification.
porosity. Porosity can be a relic of deposition (primary porosity, such as space between Production
grains that were not compacted together completely) or can develop through alteration of
the rock (secondary porosity, such as when feldspar grains or fossils are preferentially 1. n. [Geology]
dissolved from sandstones). Porosity can be generated by the development of fractures, The phase that occurs after successful exploration and development and during which
in which case it is called fracture porosity. Effective porosity is the interconnected pore hydrocarbons are drained from an oil or gas field.
volume in a rock that contributes to fluid flow in a reservoir. It excludes isolated pores.
Total porosity is the total void space in the rock whether or not it contributes to fluid flow. 2. n. [Geophysics]
Thus, effective porosity is typically less than total porosity. Shale gas reservoirs tend to
A measure of the efficiency of seismic acquisition. Production can be expressed in terms
have relatively high porosity, but the alignment of platy grains such as clays makes their
of the number of lines, shots or lengths (km or miles) of data acquired in a given time.
permeability very low.
Progradation
post mature
The accumulation of sequences by deposition in which beds are deposited successively
Pertaining to a hydrocarbon source rock that has generated as much hydrocarbon as
basinward because sediment supply exceeds accommodation. Thus, the position of the
possible and is becoming thermally altered.
shoreline migrates into the basin during episodes of progradation, a process called
Preservation regression.

The phase of a petroleum system after hydrocarbons accumulate in a trap and are subject Prospect
to degradation, remigration, tectonism or other unfavorable or destructive processes.
An area of exploration in which hydrocarbons have been predicted to exist in economic
quantity. A prospect is commonly an anomaly, such as a geologic structure or a seismic
amplitude anomaly, that is recommended by explorationists for drilling a well. Justification
for drilling a prospect is made by assembling evidence for an active petroleum system, or Reefal
reasonable probability of encountering reservoir-quality rock, a trap of sufficient size,
Pertaining to reef, a mound, ridge, or buildup of sediment or sedimentary rock, most
adequate sealing rock, and appropriate conditions for generation and migration of
commonly produced by organisms that secrete shells such as corals. Reefs are typically
hydrocarbons to fill the trap. A single drilling location is also called a prospect, but the term
taller than the sediment that surrounds them, resistant to weathering and wave action,
is more properly used in the context of exploration. A group of prospects of a similar nature
and preserved within sediment of a different composition. Carbonate reefs form in a
constitutes a play.
limited range of temperatures, water depths, salinities and wave activities, so their
Pyrolysis occurrence can be used to interpret past environmental conditions. Because the rocks that
surround reefs can differ in composition and permeability, porous reefs can form
A type of geochemical analysis in which a rock sample is subject to controlled heating in an
stratigraphic traps for hydrocarbons. Porosity of reefal limestones depends on post-
inert gas to or past the point of generating hydrocarbons in order to assess its quality as a
depositional diagenetic changes.
source rock, the abundance of organic material in it, its thermal maturity, and the quality
of hydrocarbons it might generate or have generated. Pyrolysis breaks large hydrocarbon Regression
molecules into smaller molecules. This process is used to determine the quality of shale as
The migration of shoreline into a basin during progradation due to a fall in relative sea
a source rock and is instrumental in evaluating shale gas plays.
level. Deposition during a regression can juxtapose shallow-water sediments atop deep-
Quartz water sediments.

An abundant rock-forming mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, also called silica. The statistical fitting of trend lines to a data set. Many regression methods are available,
Quartz sand grains are a major constituent of sandstone and other clastic sedimentary including linear, iterative, multiple and polynomial. If there is a 'good' fit to the data, then
rocks. the variables are often assumed to be dependent.

radial faulting Regressive

Multiple faults whose fault planes strike outward from a common center. Such faults 1. adj. [Geology]
typically are associated with salt domes, impact craters or volcanoes.
Pertaining to regression, the migration of shoreline into a basin during progradation due
Reef to a fall in relative sea level. Deposition during a regression can juxtapose shallow-water
sediments atop deep-water sediments.
A mound, ridge, or buildup of sediment or sedimentary rock, most commonly produced by
organisms that secrete shells such as corals. Reefs are typically taller than the sediment 2. adj. [Reservoir Characterization]
that surrounds them, resistant to weathering and wave action, and preserved within
Pertaining to regression, the statistical fitting of trend lines to a data set. Many regression
sediment of a different composition. Carbonate reefs form in a limited range of
methods are available, including linear, iterative, multiple and polynomial. If there is a
temperatures, water depths, salinities and wave activities, so their occurrence can be used
'good' fit to the data, then the variables are often assumed to be dependent.
to interpret past environmental conditions. Because the rocks that surround reefs can
differ in composition and permeability, porous reefs can form stratigraphic traps for relative age
hydrocarbons. Porosity of reefal limestones depends on post-depositional diagenetic
changes. The approximate age determination of rocks, fossils or minerals made by comparing
whether the material is younger or older than other surrounding material. Relative age is
estimated according to stratigraphic and structural relationships, such as superposition,
and by fossil content, since the relative ages and successions of fossils have been anomalously high formation pressures. Because reservoir pressure changes as fluids are
established by paleontologists. The measurement of the decay of radioactive isotopes, produced from a reservoir, the pressure should be described as measured at a specific
especially uranium, rubidium, argon and carbon, has allowed geologists to more precisely time, such as initial reservoir pressure.
determine the age in years of rock formations, known as the absolute age. Tree rings and
Retrogradation
seasonal sedimentary deposits called varves can be counted to determine absolute age.
Although the term implies otherwise, "absolute" ages typically have some amount of The accumulation of sequences by deposition in which beds are deposited successively
potential error and are inexact. landward because sediment supply is limited and cannot fill the available accommodation.
Thus, the position of the shoreline migrates backward onto land, a process called
relative permeability
transgression, during episodes of retrogradation.
1. n. [Geology]
reverse fault
A dimensionless term devised to adapt the Darcy equation to multiphase flow conditions.
A type of fault formed when the hanging wall fault block moves up along a fault surface
Relative permeability is the ratio of effective permeability of a particular fluid at a
relative to the footwall. Such movement can occur in areas where the Earth's crust is
particular saturation to absolute permeability of that fluid at total saturation. If a single
compressed. A thrust fault, sometimes called an overthrust if the displacement is
fluid is present in a rock, its relative permeability is 1.0. Calculation of relative permeability
particularly great, is a reverse fault in which the fault plane has a shallow dip, typically
allows comparison of the different abilities of fluids to flow in the presence of each other,
much less than 45o.
since the presence of more than one fluid generally inhibits flow.
Rheologic
2. n. [Well Completions]
Pertaining to rheology, generally, the study of how matter deforms and flows, including its
A measurement of the ability of two or more fluid phases to pass through a formation
elasticity, plasticity and viscosity. In geology, rheology is particularly important in studies
matrix. The relative permeability reflects the capability of a specific formation to produce
of moving ice, water, salt and magma, as well as in studies of deforming rocks.
a combination of oil, water or gas more accurately than the absolute permeability of a
formation sample, which is measured with a single-phase fluid, usually water. Rheological
Reservoir 1. adj. [Geology]
A subsurface body of rock having sufficient porosity and permeability to store and transmit Pertaining to rheology, generally, the study of how matter deforms and flows, including its
fluids. Sedimentary rocks are the most common reservoir rocks because they have more elasticity, plasticity and viscosity. In geology, rheology is particularly important in studies
porosity than most igneous and metamorphic rocks and form under temperature of moving ice, water, salt and magma, as well as in studies of deforming rocks.
conditions at which hydrocarbons can be preserved. A reservoir is a critical component of
a complete petroleum system. 2. adj. [Drilling Fluids]

reservoir pressure Pertaining to rheology, the science and study of the deformation and flow of matter. The
term rheology is also used to indicate the properties of a given fluid, as in mud rheology.
The pressure of fluids within the pores of a reservoir, usually hydrostatic pressure, or the Rheology is an extremely important property of drilling muds, drill-in fluids, workover and
pressure exerted by a column of water from the formation's depth to sea level. When completion fluids, cements and specialty fluids and pills. Mud rheology is measured on a
impermeable rocks such as shales form as sediments are compacted, their pore fluids continual basis while drilling and adjusted with additives or dilution to meet the needs of
cannot always escape and must then support the total overlying rock column, leading to the operation. In water-base fluids, water quality plays an important role in how additives
perform. Temperature affects behavior and interactions of the water, clay, polymers and Rock
solids in a mud. Downhole pressure must be taken into account in evaluating the rheology
An aggregate of minerals or organic matter (in the case of coal, which is not composed of
of oil muds.
minerals because of its organic origin), or volcanic glass (obsidian, which forms a rock but
Rheology is not considered a mineral because of its amorphous, noncrystalline nature). Rocks can
contain a single mineral, such as rock salt (halite) and certain limestones (calcite), or many
1. n. [Geology]
minerals, such as granite (quartz, feldspar, mica and other minerals). There are three main
Generally, the study of how matter deforms and flows, including its elasticity, plasticity and types of rocks. Sedimentary rocks like sandstone and limestone form at the Earth's surface
viscosity. In geology, rheology is particularly important in studies of moving ice, water, salt through deposition of sediments derived from weathered rocks, biogenic activity or
and magma, as well as in studies of deforming rocks. precipitation from solution. Igneous rocks originate deeper within the Earth, where the
temperature is high enough to melt rocks, to form magma that can crystallize within the
2. n. [Drilling Fluids] Earth or at the surface by volcanic activity. Metamorphic rocks form from other preexisting
The science and study of the deformation and flow of matter. The term is also used to rocks during episodes of deformation of the Earth at temperatures and pressures high
indicate the properties of a given fluid, as in mud rheology. Rheology is an extremely enough to alter minerals but inadequate to melt them. Such changes can occur by the
important property of drilling muds, drill-in fluids, workover and completion fluids, activity of fluids in the Earth and movement of igneous bodies or regional tectonic activity.
cements and specialty fluids and pills. Mud rheology is measured on a continual basis while Rocks are recycled from one type to another by the constant changes in the Earth.
drilling and adjusted with additives or dilution to meet the needs of the operation. In s.g.
water-base fluids, water quality plays an important role in how additives perform.
Temperature affects behavior and interactions of the water, clay, polymers and solids in a The dimensionless ratio of the density of a material to that of the same volume of water.
mud. Downhole pressure must be taken into account in evaluating the rheology of oil Most common minerals have specific gravities between 2 and 7.
muds.
Sabkha
rhombohedral packing
An environment of coastal sedimentation characterized by arid or semiarid conditions
The most compact arrangement in space of uniform spheres (atoms and molecules in above the level of high tide and by the absence of vegetation. Evaporites, eolian deposits
mineral crystals, or grains in sedimentary rocks) that results in a structure having no more and tidal-flood deposits are common in sabkhas.
than 26% porosity. Rhombohedral packing is more stable mechanically than cubic packing.
Salt
Cubic packing is the most porous packing arrangement, with about 47% porosity in the
ideal situation. Most sediments, however, are not uniform spheres of the same size, nor 1. n. [Geology]
can they be arranged in a cubic structure naturally, so most sediments have much less than
[NaCl] A soft, soluble evaporite mineral also known as halite or rock salt. Because salt is
47% porosity of ideal cubic packing and commonly less than the 26% porosity of ideal
less dense than many sedimentary rocks, it is relatively buoyant and can form salt domes,
rhombohedral packing.
pillars or curtains by flowing and breaking through or piercing overlying sediments, as seen
Rift in the Gulf of Mexico and the Zagros fold belt. Halite can be critical in forming hydrocarbon
traps and seals because it tends to flow rather than fracture during deformation, thus
Region in which the Earth's crust is pulling apart and creating normal faults and down-
preventing hydrocarbons from leaking out of a trap even during and after some types of
dropped areas or subsidence.
deformation.
2. n. [Drilling Fluids]

The product formed by neutralization of an acid and a base. The term is more specifically
applied to sodium chloride. Neutralization is an important reaction in many aspects of mud
control and treatment.

salt dome

A mushroom-shaped or plug-shaped diapir made of salt, commonly having an overlying


cap rock. Salt domes form as a consequence of the relative buoyancy of salt when buried
beneath other types of sediment. The salt flows upward to form salt domes, sheets, pillars
and other structures. Hydrocarbons are commonly found around salt domes because of
the abundance and variety of traps created by salt movement and the association with
evaporite minerals that can provide excellent sealing capabilities.

Sand

1. n. [Geology]

A detrital grain between 0.0625 mm and 2 mm in diameter. Sand is larger than silt but
smaller than a granule according to the Udden-Wentworth scale. Sand is also a term used
for quartz grains or for sandstone.

2. n. [Drilling Fluids]

A category of size used to describe particles in a mud that will not pass through a 200-mesh
screen (74 micrometers and larger).

3. n. [Well Completions]

A generic term used to describe small formation particles known as fines that may be
produced with the reservoir fluid. Sand production generally is undesirable and, if severe,
may require some remedial action to control or prevent production, such a gravel packing
GEOCHEMISTRY
or sand consolidation.
Geochemistry

The study of the chemistry of the Earth and within solid bodies of the solar system,
including the distribution, circulation and abundance of elements (and their ions and
isotopes), molecules, minerals, rocks and fluids. For geochemists in the petroleum
industry, source rock geochemistry is a major focus. Geochemical techniques can
determine whether a given source rock is rich enough in organic matter to generate
hydrocarbons, whether the source rock has generated hydrocarbons, and whether a
particular oil sample was generated by a given source rock.

Kerogen

The naturally occurring, solid, insoluble organic matter that occurs in source rocks and can
yield oil upon heating. Kerogen is the portion of naturally occurring organic matter that is
nonextractable using organic solvents. Typical organic constituents of kerogen are algae
and woody plant material. Kerogens have a high molecular weight relative to bitumen, or
soluble organic matter. Bitumen forms from kerogen during petroleum generation.
Kerogens are described as Type I, consisting of mainly algal and amorphous (but
presumably algal) kerogen and highly likely to generate oil; Type II, mixed terrestrial and
marine source material that can generate waxy oil; and Type III, woody terrestrial source
material that typically generates gas.

Pyrolysis

A type of geochemical analysis in which a rock sample is subject to controlled heating in an


inert gas to or past the point of generating hydrocarbons in order to assess its quality as a
source rock, the abundance of organic material in it, its thermal maturity, and the quality
of hydrocarbons it might generate or have generated. Pyrolysis breaks large hydrocarbon
molecules into smaller molecules. This process is used to determine the quality of shale as
a source rock and is instrumental in evaluating shale gas plays.

source rock

A rock rich in organic matter which, if heated sufficiently, will generate oil or gas. Typical
source rocks, usually shales or limestones, contain about 1% organic matter and at least
0.5% total organic carbon (TOC), although a rich source rock might have as much as 10%
organic matter. Rocks of marine origin tend to be oil-prone, whereas terrestrial source
rocks (such as coal) tend to be gas-prone. Preservation of organic matter without
degradation is critical to creating a good source rock, and necessary for a complete
petroleum system. Under the right conditions, source rocks may also be reservoir rocks, as
in the case of shale gas reservoirs.
Sandstone The movement of generated hydrocarbons into a reservoir after their expulsion, or primary
migration, from a source rock.
A clastic sedimentary rock whose grains are predominantly sand-sized. The term is
commonly used to imply consolidated sand or a rock made of predominantly quartz sand, secondary porosity
although sandstones often contain feldspar, rock fragments, mica and numerous
The porosity created through alteration of rock, commonly by processes such as
additional mineral grains held together with silica or another type of cement. The relatively
dolomitization, dissolution and fracturing.
high porosity and permeability of sandstones make them good reservoir rocks.
Sediment
saturation
The unconsolidated grains of minerals, organic matter or preexisting rocks, that can be
The relative amount of water, oil and gas in the pores of a rock, usually as a percentage of
transported by water, ice or wind, and deposited. The processes by which sediment forms
volume.
and is transported occur at or near the surface of the Earth and at relatively low pressures
Scout and temperatures. Sedimentary rocks form from the accumulation and lithification of
sediment. Sediments are classified according to size by the Udden-Wentworth scale.
1. vt. [Geology]
Sedimentary
To inspect an area or to monitor activity.
One of the three main classes of rock (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary).
2. n. [Geology]
Sedimentary rocks are formed at the Earth's surface through deposition of sediments
A petroleum industry worker who tracks competitive exploration and production activity, derived from weathered rocks, biogenic activity or precipitation from solution. Clastic
either for a company or on a free-lance basis. Scouts can facilitate trading of technical data sedimentary rocks such as conglomerates, sandstones, siltstones and shales form as older
such as well logs among companies before such data enter the public domain unless the rocks weather and erode, and their particles accumulate and lithify, or harden, as they are
operations or data are held "tight." compacted and cemented. Biogenic sedimentary rocks form as a result of activity by
organisms, including coral reefs that become limestone. Precipitates, such as the evaporite
scout ticket minerals halite (salt) and gypsum can form vast thicknesses of rock as seawater
A brief report about a well from the time it is permitted through drilling and completion. evaporates. Sedimentary rocks can include a wide variety of minerals, but quartz, feldspar,
A scout ticket typically includes the location, total depth, logs run, production status and calcite, dolomite and evaporite group and clay group minerals are most common because
formation tops. of their greater stability at the Earth's surface than many minerals that comprise igneous
and metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks, unlike most igneous and metamorphic rocks,
Seal can contain fossils because they form at temperatures and pressures that do not obliterate
A relatively impermeable rock, commonly shale, anhydrite or salt, that forms a barrier or fossil remnants.
cap above and around reservoir rock such that fluids cannot migrate beyond the reservoir. sedimentary basin
A seal is a critical component of a complete petroleum system. The permeability of a seal
capable of retaining fluids through geologic time is ~ 10-6 to 10-8 darcies. A depression in the crust of the Earth formed by plate tectonic activity in which sediments
accumulate. Continued deposition can cause further depression or subsidence.
secondary migration Sedimentary basins, or simply basins, vary from bowl-shaped to elongated troughs. If rich
hydrocarbon source rocks occur in combination with appropriate depth and duration of
burial, hydrocarbon generation can occur within the basin.
Sedimentation unconformities, processes of sedimentation and sources of sediments, climate and
tectonic activity over time. Sequence stratigraphic study promotes thorough
1. n. [Geology]
understanding of the evolution of basins, but also allows for interpretations of potential
The process of creation, transportation and deposition of sediments. source rocks and reservoir rocks in both frontier areas (having seismic data but little well
data) and in more mature hydrocarbon provinces. Prediction of reservoir continuity is
2. n. [Drilling Fluids] currently a key question in mature hydrocarbon provinces where sequence stratigraphy is
The process of separation of the components of a cement slurry during which the solids being applied.
settle. Sedimentation is one of the characterizations used to define slurry stability. Shale

A fine-grained, fissile, detrital sedimentary rock formed by consolidation of clay- and silt-
Seep sized particles into thin, relatively impermeable layers. It is the most abundant
sedimentary rock. Shale can include relatively large amounts of organic material compared
A naturally occurring, typically slow leakage of fluid—water, oil or gas—at the Earth’s with other rock types and thus has potential to become a rich hydrocarbon source rock,
surface. A seep results from migration of the fluid from its source or reservoir formation even though a typical shale contains just 1% organic matter. Its typical fine grain size and
because the formation pressure exceeds the formation’s seal capacity such as during lack of permeability, a consequence of the alignment of its platy or flaky grains, allow shale
rapid loading of the overburden by sedimentation or during fluid expansion or from to form a good cap rock for hydrocarbon traps. Gas shows from shales during drilling have
damage to the seal such as by faulting or tectonism. led some shales to be targeted as potential gas reservoirs. Various clay types and volumes
Seismite influence the quality of the reservoir from a petrophysical and geomechanical perspective.
The quality of shale reservoirs depends on their thickness and extent, organic content,
An injectite attributable to earthquake or seismic shaking. thermal maturity, depth and pressure, fluid saturations, and permeability, among other
factors.
Sequence
2. n. [Drilling Fluids]
A group of relatively conformable strata that represents a cycle of deposition and is
bounded by unconformities or correlative conformities. Sequences are the fundamental A fine-grained, impermeable, sedimentary rock composed of clays and other minerals,
unit of interpretation in sequence stratigraphy. Sequences comprise systems tracts. usually with a high percentage of quartz. Shale is the most common, and certainly the most
troublesome, rock type that must be drilled in order to reach oil and gas deposits. The
sequence boundary
characteristic that makes shales most troublesome to drillers is its water sensitivity, due in
A surface that separates older sequences from younger ones, commonly an unconformity part to its clay content and the ionic composition of the clay. For this reason, oil-base
(indicating subaerial exposure), but in limited cases a correlative conformable surface. A drilling fluids are the mud of choice to drill the most water-sensitive shales.
sequence boundary is an erosional surface that separates cycles of deposition.
shale oil
sequence stratigraphy
Oil obtained by artificial maturation of oil shale. The process of artificial maturation uses
A field of study in which basin-filling sedimentary deposits, called sequences, are controlled heating, or pyrolysis, of kerogen to release the shale oil.
interpreted in a framework of eustasy, sedimentation and subsidence through time in
order to correlate strata and predict the stratigraphy of relatively unknown areas.
Sequences tend to show cyclicity of changes in relative sea level and widespread
Shaly siliciclastic sediment

Containing shale, a fine-grained, fissile, detrital sedimentary rock formed by consolidation Silica-based, noncarbonaceous sediments that are broken from preexisting rocks,
of clay- and silt-sized particles into thin, relatively impermeable layers. It is the most transported elsewhere, and redeposited before forming another rock. Examples of
abundant sedimentary rock. Shale can include relatively large amounts of organic material common siliciclastic sedimentary rocks include conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and
compared with other rock types and thus has potential to become a rich hydrocarbon shale. Carbonate rocks can also be broken and reworked to form other types of clastic
source rock, even though a typical shale contains just 1% organic matter. Its typical fine sedimentary rocks.
grain size and lack of permeability, a consequence of the alignment of its platy or flaky
similar fold
grains, allow shale to form a good cap rock for hydrocarbon traps. Gas shows from shales
during drilling have led some shales to be targeted as potential gas reservoirs. Various clay A type of fold in which the thickness of the layers remains constant when measured parallel
types and volumes influence the quality of the reservoir from a petrophysical and to the axial surface and the layers have the same wave shape, but the thickness along each
geomechanical perspective. The quality of shale reservoirs depends on their thickness and layer varies. The folded layers tend to be thicker in the hinge of the fold and thinner along
extent, organic content, thermal maturity, depth and pressure, fluid saturations, and the limbs of the fold.
permeability, among other factors.
Sinistral
shear strain
Pertaining to a strike-slip or left-lateral fault in which the block across the fault moves to
The amount of deformation by shearing, in which parallel lines slide past each other in the left; also called a sinistral strike-slip fault. If it moves to the right, the relative motion is
differing amounts. The measurement is expressed as the tangent of the change in angle described as dextral. Counterclockwise rotation or spiraling is also described as sinistral.
between lines that were initially perpendicular.
Slip
Shelf
1. n. [Production Logging]
Continental shelf, or the area at the edges of a continent from the shoreline to a depth of
200 m [660 ft], where the continental slope begins. The shelf is commonly a wide, flat area The phenomenon in multiphase flow when one phase flows faster than another phase, in
with a slight seaward slope. The term is sometimes used as a for platform. other words slips past it. Because of this phenomenon, there is a difference between the
holdups and cuts of the phases.
Silica
2. n. [Geology]
A chemically resistant dioxide of silicon that occurs in crystalline (quartz), amorphous
(opal) and cryptocrystalline (chert) forms. Relative displacement of two formerly adjacent points that have been separated by
faulting. Slip is used to describe motion along a fault with respect to the distance and
silicate mineral direction that one side of the fault has moved relative to the other. Slip is a vector,
expressed in terms of distance and direction.
A group of rock-forming minerals in which SiO4 tetrahedra combine with cations. Silicate
minerals are the most abundant type of mineral. Olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, mica, Smectite
quartz and feldspar are types of silicate minerals.
A group of clay minerals that includes montmorillonite. This type of mineral tends to swell
when exposed to water. Bentonite includes minerals of the smectite group.
spill point

soft rock The structurally lowest point in a hydrocarbon trap that can retain hydrocarbons. Once a
trap has been filled to its spill point, further storage or retention of hydrocarbons will not
A general term for sedimentary rocks, although it can imply a distinction between rocks of
occur for lack of reservoir space within that trap. The hydrocarbons spill or leak out, and
interest to the petroleum industry and rocks of interest to the mining industry.
they continue to migrate until they are trapped elsewhere.
Sorting
Strain
The range of sedimentary grain sizes that occurs in sediment or sedimentary rock. The term
The permanent deformation evident in rocks and other solid bodies that have experienced
also refers to the process by which sediments of similar size are naturally segregated during
a sufficiently high applied stress. A change in shape, such as folding, faulting, fracturing, or
transport and deposition according to the velocity and transporting medium. Well-sorted
change, generally a reduction, in volume are common examples of strain seen in rocks.
sediments are of similar size (such as desert sand), while poorly-sorted sediments have a
Strain can be described in terms of normal and shear components, and is the ratio of the
wide range of grain sizes (as in a glacial till). A well-sorted sandstone tends to have greater
change in length or volume to the initial length or volume. For more on strain: Means WD:
porosity than a poorly sorted sandstone because of the lack of grains small enough to fill
Stress and Strain. New York, New York, Springer-Verlag, 1976.
its pores. Conglomerates tend to be poorly sorted rocks, with particles ranging from
boulder size to clay size. Strata

Sour Layers of sedimentary rock. The singular form is stratum.

Contaminated with sulfur or sulfur compounds, especially hydrogen sulfide. Crude oil and stratigraphic analysis
gas that are sour typically have an odor of rotten eggs if the concentration of sulfur is low.
An analysis of the history, composition, relative ages and distribution of strata, and the
At high concentrations, sulfur is odorless and deadly.
interpretation of strata to elucidate Earth history. The comparison, or correlation, of
source rock separated strata can include study of their lithology, fossil content, and relative or absolute
age, or lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chronostratigraphy.
A rock rich in organic matter which, if heated sufficiently, will generate oil or gas. Typical
source rocks, usually shales or limestones, contain about 1% organic matter and at least stratigraphic trap
0.5% total organic carbon (TOC), although a rich source rock might have as much as 10%
A variety of sealed geologic container capable of retaining hydrocarbons, formed by
organic matter. Rocks of marine origin tend to be oil-prone, whereas terrestrial source
changes in rock type or pinch-outs, unconformities, or sedimentary features such as reefs.
rocks (such as coal) tend to be gas-prone. Preservation of organic matter without
Structural traps, in contrast, consist of geologic structures in deformed strata such as faults
degradation is critical to creating a good source rock, and necessary for a complete
and folds whose geometries permit retention of hydrocarbons.
petroleum system. Under the right conditions, source rocks may also be reservoir rocks, as
in the case of shale gas reservoirs. Stratigraphy
specific gravity The study of the history, composition, relative ages and distribution of strata, and the
interpretation of strata to elucidate Earth history. The comparison, or correlation, of
The dimensionless ratio of the density of a material to that of the same volume of water.
separated strata can include study of their lithology, fossil content, and relative or absolute
Most common minerals have specific gravities between 2 and 7.
age, or lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chronostratigraphy.
Stratum structure map

A layer of sedimentary rock. The plural form is strata. A type of subsurface map whose contours represent the elevation of a particular
formation, reservoir or geologic marker in space, such that folds, faults and other geologic
Stress
structures are clearly displayed. Its appearance is similar to that of a topographic map, but
The force applied to a body that can result in deformation, or strain, usually described in a topographic map displays elevations of the Earth's surface and a structure map displays
terms of magnitude per unit of area, or intensity. the elevation of a particular rock layer, generally beneath the surface.

Strike Stylolite

The azimuth of the intersection of a plane, such as a dipping bed, with a horizontal surface. Wave-like or tooth-like, serrated, interlocking surfaces most commonly seen in carbonate
and quartz-rich rocks that contain concentrated insoluble residue such as clay minerals and
strike-slip fault iron oxides. Stylolites are thought to form by pressure solution, a dissolution process that
A type of fault whose surface is typically vertical or nearly so. The motion along a strike- reduces pore space under pressure during diagenesis.
slip fault is parallel to the strike of the fault surface, and the fault blocks move sideways Subduction
past each other. A strike-slip fault in which the block across the fault moves to the right is
described as a dextral strike-slip fault. If it moves left, the relative motion is described as A plate tectonic process in which one lithospheric plate descends beneath another into the
sinistral. Local deformation near bends in strike-slip faults can produce pull-apart basins asthenosphere during a collision at a convergent plate margin. Because of the relatively
and grabens. Flower structures are another by-product of strike-slip faults. A wrench fault higher density of oceanic lithosphere, it will typically descend beneath the lighter
is a type of strike-slip fault in which the fault surface is nearly vertical. continental lithosphere during a collision. In a collision of plates of continental lithosphere,
the density of the two plates is so similar that neither tends to be subducted and mountains
Structural form. As a subducted plate descends into the asthenosphere, Earthquakes can occur,
Pertaining to structure, the geometry and spatial arrangement of rocks. The structure or especially in the Wadati-Benioff zone, but, if the plate descends deeply into the mantle, it
deformation can include many mechanisms, such as folding, faulting and fracturing. will eventually be heated to the point of melting. Volcanoes can form above a descending
Structure can usually be interpreted in terms of the deformation of the crust of the Earth plate.
as continents and tectonic plates move and collide. Subsalt
structural trap An exploration and production play type in which prospects exist below salt layers. Until
A variety of sealed geologic structure capable of retaining hydrocarbons, such as a fault or relatively recently, many explorationists did not seek prospects below salt because seismic
a fold. Stratigraphic traps form where changes in rock type can retain hydrocarbons. data had been of poor quality below salt (i.e., it was not possible to map traps accurately)
or because they believed that reservoir-quality rock or hydrocarbons did not exist below
Structure salt layers. Advances in seismic processing and compelling drilling results from exploration
A geological feature produced by deformation of the Earth's crust, such as a fold or a fault; wells encouraged companies to generate and drill prospects below salt layers, salt sheets
a feature within a rock, such as a fracture or bedding surface; or, more generally, the spatial and other previously disregarded potential traps. The offshore Gulf of Mexico contains
arrangement of rocks. numerous subsalt-producing fields, and similar areas are being explored internationally.
Subsidence synthetic fault

The relative sinking of the Earth's surface. Plate tectonic activity (particularly extension of A type of minor fault whose sense of displacement is similar to its associated major fault.
the crust, which promotes thinning and sinking), sediment loading and removal of fluid Antithetic-synthetic fault sets are typical in areas of normal faulting.
from reservoirs are processes by which the crust can be depressed. Subsidence can
systems tract
produce areas in which sediments accumulate and, ultimately, form sedimentary basins.
Subdivisions of sequences that consist of discrete depositional units that differ in geometry
Superposition
from other systems tracts and have distinct boundaries on seismic data. Different systems
1. n. [Geology] tracts are considered to represent different phases of eustatic changes. A lowstand
systems tract develops during times of relatively low sea level; a highstand systems tract
The stratigraphic principle that, in the case of undeformed, flat-lying strata, younger layers
at times of high sea level; and a transgressive systems tract at times of changing sea level.
are deposited atop older ones, such that the top layer is youngest and underlying layers
increase in age with depth. Nicolaus Steno articulated the law of superposition of strata in Tadpole
the 17th century.
A symbol plotted on a dipmeter log used to indicate dip angle and direction. The symbol,
2. n. [Well Testing] named for its resemblance to a tadpole (a toad in its larval stage of development) consists
of a circle with a short line (or tail) extending from it. A solid black dot shows good data,
A mathematical technique based on the property that solutions to linear partial equations
while an open circle indicates a less reliable measurement. The circular part of the tadpole
can be added to provide yet another solution. This permits constructions of mathematical
is plotted against depth on the y-axis and dip magnitude is on the x-axis. The tail extends
solutions to situations with complex boundary conditions, especially drawdown and
in the azimuthal direction of dip; the azimuth measurement is displayed with north or 0°
buildup tests, and in settings where flow rates change with time.
being up, east or 90° at right, south or 180°is down and west or 270° is left.
Swamp
tectonic environment
A wetland depositional environment in which water is present either permanently or
Location relative to the boundary of a tectonic plate, particularly a boundary along which
intermittently and in which trees and large woody plants can grow but peat does not form.
plate tectonic activity is occurring or has occurred.
Swamps can contain considerable quantities of organic matter.
Tectonics
Sweet
Also known as plate tectonics, the unifying geologic theory developed to explain
Pertaining to crude oil or natural gas lacking appreciable amounts of sulfur or sulfur
observations that interactions of the brittle plates of the lithosphere with each other and
compounds.
with the softer underlying asthenosphere result in large-scale changes in the Earth. The
Syncline theory of plate tectonics initially stemmed from observations of the shapes of the
continents, particularly South America and Africa, which fit together like pieces in a jigsaw
Basin- or trough-shaped fold in rock in which rock layers are downwardly convex. The puzzle and have similar rocks and fossils despite being separated by a modern ocean. As
youngest rock layers form the core of the fold and outward from the core progressively lithospheric plates heat up or cool down depending on their position, or their tectonic
older rocks occur. Synclines typically do not trap hydrocarbons because fluids tend to leak environment, relative to each other and to warmer areas deeper within the Earth, they
up the limbs of the fold. An anticline is the opposite type of fold, having upwardly-convex become relatively more or less dense than the asthenosphere and thus tend to rise as
layers with old rocks in the core. molten magma or sink in cold, brittle slabs or slide past each other. Mountain belts can
form during plate collisions or an orogeny; diverging plates or rifts can create new temperature can be calculated by adding the surface temperature to the product of the
midoceanic ridges; plates that slide past one another create transform fault zones (such as depth and the geothermal gradient.
the San Andreas fault); and zones of subduction occur where one lithospheric plate moves
thrust fault
beneath another. Plate tectonic theory can explain such phenomena as earthquakes,
volcanic or other igneous activity, midoceanic ridges and the relative youth of the oceanic A type of reverse fault in which the fault plane has a very shallow dip, typically much less
crust, and the formation of sedimentary basins on the basis of their relationships to than 45o. The hanging wall fault block moves up the fault surface relative to the footwall.
lithospheric plate boundaries. Convection of the mantle is postulated to be the driving In cases of considerable lateral movement, the fault is described as an overthrust fault.
mechanism for the movement of lithospheric plates. Measurements of the continents Thrust faults can occur in areas of compression of the Earth's crust.
using the Global Positioning System confirm the relative motions of plates. Age
determinations of the oceanic crust confirm that such crust is much younger than that of
the continents and has been recycled by the process of subduction and regenerated at Tight
midoceanic ridges.
1. adj. [Geology, Shale Gas]
Tectonism
Describing a relatively impermeable reservoir rock from which hydrocarbon production is
Plate tectonic activity. difficult. Reservoirs can be tight because of smaller grains or matrix between larger grains,
temperature gradient or they might be tight because they consist predominantly of silt- or clay-sized grains, as is
the case for shale reservoirs. Stimulation of tight formations can result in increased
Also known as geothermal gradient, the rate of increase in temperature per unit depth in production from formations that previously would have been abandoned or produced
the Earth. Although the geothermal gradient varies from place to place, it averages 25 to uneconomically.
30 °C/km [15 °F/1000 ft]. Temperature gradients sometimes increase dramatically around
volcanic areas. It is particularly important for drilling fluids engineers to know the 2. adj. [Geology]
geothermal gradient in an area when they are designing a deep well. The downhole Secrecy or confidentiality of information. Operators typically try to prevent disclosure of
temperature can be calculated by adding the surface temperature to the product of the results from exploration wells and will hold any such information "tight". A tight hole is a
depth and the geothermal gradient. well whose status and data are not widely disseminated by the operator.
Terrestrial tight gas
Pertaining to sediments or depositional environments on land or above the level of high Gas produced from a relatively impermeable reservoir rock. Hydrocarbon production from
tide. tight reservoirs can be difficult without stimulation operations. Stimulation of tight
thermal gradient formations can result in increased production from formations that previously might have
been abandoned or been produced uneconomically. The term is generally used for
Also known as geothermal gradient, the rate of increase in temperature per unit depth in reservoirs other than shales.
the Earth. Although the geothermal gradient varies from place to place, it averages 25 to
30 °C/km [15 °F/1000 ft]. Temperature gradients sometimes increase dramatically around tight oil
volcanic areas. It is particularly important for drilling fluids engineers to know the Oil found in relatively impermeable reservoir rock. Production of tight oil comes from very
geothermal gradient in an area when they are designing a deep well. The downhole low permeability rock that must be stimulated using hydraulic fracturing to create
sufficient permeability to allow the mature oil and/or natural gas liquids to flow at distance. Tortuosity is used by drillers to describe wellbore trajectory, by log analysts to
economic rates. describe electrical current flow through rock and by geologists to describe pore systems in
rock and the meander of rivers
TOC
transform fault
The concentration of organic material in source rocks as represented by the weight percent
of organic carbon. A value of approximately 0.5% total organic carbon by weight percent A particular type of strike-slip fault that is a boundary of an oceanic tectonic plate. The
is considered the minimum for an effective source rock, although values of 2% are actual movement of a transform fault is opposite to its apparent displacement because of
considered the minimum for shale gas reservoirs; values exceeding 10% exist, although the interplay of spreading and faulting between tectonic plates.
some geoscientists assert that high total organic carbon values indicate the possibility of
kerogen filling pore space rather than other forms of hydrocarbons. Total organic carbon
is measured from 1-g samples of pulverized rock that are combusted and converted to CO
or CO2. If a sample appears to contain sufficient total organic carbon to generate
hydrocarbons, it may be subjected to pyrolysis. Transgression

topographic map The migration of shoreline out of a basin and onto land during retrogradation. A
transgression can result in sediments characteristic of shallow water being overlain by
A contour map that displays the elevation of the Earth's surface. A topographic map is deeper water sediments.
commonly used as the base map for surface geological mapping.
Transgressive
Tortuosity
Pertaining to transgression, the migration of shoreline out of a basin and onto land during
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] retrogradation. A transgression can result in sediments characteristic of shallow water
being overlain by deeper water sediments.
A measure of the geometric complexity of a porous medium. Tortuosity is a ratio that
characterizes the convoluted pathways of fluid diffusion and electrical conduction through Transpression
porous media. In the fluid mechanics of porous media, tortuosity is the ratio of the length
of a streamline—a flow line or path—between two points to the straight-line distance The simultaneous occurrence of strike-slip faulting and compression, or convergence, of
between those points. Tortuosity is thus related to the ratio of a fluid's diffusion coefficient the Earth's crust. In areas of transpression, rocks can be faulted upward to form a positive
when it is not confined by a porous medium to its effective diffusion coefficient when flower structure. Areas of strike-slip faulting in rifting or diverging crust are experiencing
confined in a porous medium. Tortuosity is also related to the formation factor, which is transtension, in which rocks can drop down to form a negative flower structure.
the ratio of electrical resistivity of a conductive fluid in a porous medium to the electrical Transtension
resistivity of the fluid itself.
The simultaneous occurrence of strike-slip faulting and extension, rifting, or divergence of
In some literature, tortuosity denotes the square of the ratio defined above, whereas in the Earth's crust. In areas of transtension, rocks can be faulted downward to form a
other literature, the term tortuosity factor is used for the square of the ratio. negative flower structure. Areas of strike-slip faulting in converging crust are experiencing
2. n. [Geology, Drilling, Reservoir Characterization] transpression, in which rocks can be faulted upwards to form a positive flower structure.

A measure of deviation from a straight line. It is the ratio of the actual distance traveled
between two points, including any curves encountered, divided by the straight line
Trap Tuffaceaous

A configuration of rocks suitable for containing hydrocarbons and sealed by a relatively Containing tuff, which is lithified volcanic ash.
impermeable formation through which hydrocarbons will not migrate. Traps are described
Turbidite
as structural traps (in deformed strata such as folds and faults) or stratigraphic traps (in
areas where rock types change, such as unconformities, pinch-outs and reefs). A trap is an Sedimentary deposits formed by turbidity currents in deep water at the base of the
essential component of a petroleum system. continental slope and on the abyssal plain. Turbidites commonly show predictable changes
in bedding from coarse layers at the bottom to finer laminations at the top, known as
Trend
Bouma sequences, that result from different settling velocities of the particle sizes present.
1. n. [Geology] The high energy associated with turbidite deposition can result in destruction of earlier
deposited layers by subsequent turbidity currents.
The azimuth or orientation of a linear feature, such as the axis of a fold, normally expressed
as a compass bearing.

2. n. [Geology]

Used synonymously with the term play to describe an area in which hydrocarbons occur, turbidity current
such as the Wilcox trend of the Gulf Coast.
An influx of rapidly moving, sediment-laden water down a slope into a larger body of water;
true dip also called a density current because the suspended sediment results in the current having
a higher density than the clearer water into which it flows. Such currents can occur in lakes
The maximum angle that a bedding plane, fault plane or other geological surface declines
and oceans, in some cases as by-products of earthquakes or mass movements such as
away from a horizontal plane measured in a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the
slumps. The sedimentary deposits that form as the current loses energy are called
strike of the structure. Any measurement obtained at an angle not perpendicular to strike
turbidites and can be preserved as Bouma sequences. Turbidity currents are characteristic
will yield an apparent dip, which is always less than the maximum angle of declination that
of trench slopes of convergent plate margins and continental slopes of passive margins.
is obtained when measuring perpendicular to formation strike.
UCS
true stratigraphic thickness
Abbreviation for unconfined compressive strength, or uniaxial compressive strength.
The thickness of a bed or rock body after correcting for the dip of the bed or body and the
deviation of the well that penetrates it. The values of true stratigraphic thickness in an area Udden-Wentworth scale
can be plotted and contours drawn to create an isopach map.
A grade scale for classifying the diameters of sediments. Particles larger than 64 mm in
true vertical thickness diameter are classified as cobbles. Smaller particles are pebbles, granules, sand and silt.
Those smaller than 0.0039 mm are clay. Several other grain size scales are in use, but the
The thickness of a bed or rock body measured vertically at a point. The values of true
Udden-Wentworth scale (commonly called the Wentworth scale) is the one that is most
vertical thickness in an area can be plotted and contours drawn to create an isochore map.
frequently used in geology.
Tuff

Lithified volcanic ash.


unconfined compressive strength Underpressure

A measure of a material’s strength. The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) is the Pore pressure less than normal or hydrostatic pressure. Underpressure, or a zone of
maximum axial compressive stress that a right-cylindrical sample of material can withstand underpressure, is common in areas or formations that have had hydrocarbon production.
under unconfined conditions—the confining stress is zero. It is also known as the uniaxial
Underpressured
compressive strength of a material because the application of compressive stress is only
along one axis—the longitudinal axis—of the sample. Referring to pore pressure less than normal or hydrostatic pressure. Underpressure, or a
zone of underpressure, is common in areas or formations that have had hydrocarbon
Unconformity
production.
A geological surface separating older from younger rocks and representing a gap in the
geologic record. Such a surface might result from a hiatus in deposition of sediments,
undrained test
possibly in combination with erosion, or deformation such as faulting. An angular
unconformity separates younger strata from eroded, dipping older strata. A disconformity An undrained test is one in which the fluid in the sample is not able to flow and equilibrate
represents a time of nondeposition, possibly combined with erosion, and can be difficult to imposed pore pressure conditions; the fluid mass remains the same while the fluid
to distinguish within a series of parallel strata. A nonconformity separates overlying strata volume and pressure will vary.
from eroded, older igneous or metamorphic rocks. The study and interpretation of
unconformities locally, regionally and globally is the basis of sequence stratigraphy. uniaxial compressive strength

unconformity trap A measure of a material’s strength. The uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) is the
maximum axial compressive stress that a right-cylindrical sample of material can withstand
A type of hydrocarbon trap whose closure is controlled by the presence of an before failing. It is also known as the unconfined compressive strength of a material
unconformity. There is disagreement about whether unconformity traps are structural or because confining stress is set to zero.
stratigraphic traps.
Uniformitarianism
unconventional resource
The geological principle formulated by James Hutton in 1795 and publicized by Charles
An umbrella term for oil and natural gas that is produced by means that do not meet the Lyell in 1830 that geological processes occurring today have occurred similarly in the past,
criteria for conventional production. What has qualified as unconventional at any often articulated as, "The present is the key to the past."
particular time is a complex function of resource characteristics, the available exploration
and production technologies, the economic environment, and the scale, frequency and Universal Transverse Mercator grid (UTM)
duration of production from the resource. Perceptions of these factors inevitably change A worldwide grid system of rectangular map coordinates that uses metric (SI) units. A
over time and often differ among users of the term. At present, the term is used in location is specified on the basis of its location within one of 60 zones worldwide of 6o of
reference to oil and gas resources whose porosity, permeability, fluid trapping mechanism, longitude and 8o of latitude each that are subdivided into subzones that are 100,000 m
or other characteristics differ from conventional sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. [330,000 ft] on each side. Locations consist of a series of numbers and letters that can be
Coalbed methane, gas hydrates, shale gas, fractured reservoirs, and tight gas sands are accurate to within an area of one square meter. The headquarters of the Geological Society
considered unconventional resources. of America are at 13TDQ8743172 (Merrill, 1986). Information about the UTM grid,
including grid ticks on quadrangle maps, can be found on most maps produced by the US
Geological Survey. Latitude and longitude coordinates, or geographic coordinates, are
another means of locating a point at the Earth's surface, but the accuracy, computer prior to Ordovician time. Also, because vitrinite originated in wood, its occurrence in
compatibility and uniqueness of UTM have resulted in its finding acceptance within the marine rocks might be limited by the depositional processes that act in a given depositional
scientific community. environment.

Updip vitrinite reflectance

Located up the slope of a dipping plane or surface. In a dipping (not flat-lying) hydrocarbon 1. n. [Geology]
reservoir that contains gas, oil and water, the gas is updip, the gas-oil contact is downdip
A measurement of the maturity of organic matter with respect to whether it has generated
from the gas, and the oil-water contact is still farther downdip.
hydrocarbons or could be an effective source rock.
Varve
2. n. [Shale Gas]
A rhythmic sequence of sediments deposited in annual cycles in glacial lakes. Light-colored,
A measure of the thermal maturity of organic matter. This analytical method was
coarse summer grains are deposited by rapid melting of the glacier. The summer layers
developed to rank the maturity of coals and is now used in other rocks to determine
grade upward to layers of finer, dark winter grains of clay minerals or organic material that
whether they have generated hydrocarbons or could be effective source rocks. The
are deposited slowly from suspension in quiet water while streams and lakes are icebound.
reflectivity of at least 30 individual grains of vitrinite from a rock sample is measured under
Varves are useful to the study of geochronology because they can be counted to determine
a microscope. The measurement is given in units of reflectance, % Ro, with typical values
the absolute age of some Pleistocene rocks of glacial origin.
ranging from 0% Ro to 3% Ro, with values for gas-generating source rocks typically
Vesicle exceeding 1.5%. Strictly speaking, the plant material that forms vitrinite did not occur prior
to Ordovician time, although geochemists have established a scale of equivalent vitrinite
Bubble-shaped cavities in volcanic rock formed by expansion of gas dissolved in the
reflectance for rocks older than Ordovician.
precursor magma.
Volcanic
Vesicular
Pertaining to one or more volcanoes, surface features of the Earth that allow magma, ash
Pertaining to vesicles, bubble-shaped cavities in volcanic rock formed by expansion of gas
and gas to erupt. The vent can be a fissure or a conical structure.
dissolved in the precursor magma.
Volcano
vesicular porosity
A surface feature of the Earth that allows magma, ash and gas to erupt. The vent can be a
A type of porosity resulting from the presence of vesicles, or gas bubbles, in igneous rock.
fissure or a conical structure.
virgin pressure
Vug
The original, undisturbed pressure of a reservoir prior to fluid production.
A cavity, void or large pore in a rock that is commonly lined with mineral precipitates.
Vitrinite
Vuggy
A type of woody kerogen that is relatively uniform in composition. Since vitrinite changes
Containing vugs, which are cavities, voids or large pores in a rock that are commonly lined
predictably and consistently upon heating, its reflectance is a useful measurement of
with mineral precipitates.
source rock maturity. Strictly speaking, the plant material that forms vitrinite did not occur
Vugular Natural gas that contains less methane (typically less than 85% methane) and more
ethane and other more complex hydrocarbons.
Referring to vugs, which are cavities, voids or large pores in a rock that are commonly lined
with mineral precipitates. 2. n. [Production Facilities]

vugular porosity Natural gas that contains water

Pore space consisting of cavities or vugs. Vugular porosity can occur in rocks prone to 3. n. [Production Testing]
dissolution, such as limestone, in which case it is secondary porosity.
Natural gas containing significant heavy hydrocarbons. Propane, butane and other liquid
Wadati-Benioff zone hydrocarbons can be liquefied.
A zone of the upper mantle in which earthquakes occur when a lithospheric plate is wrench fault
subducted, named in honor of seismologists Kiyoo Wadati and Hugo Benioff. The dip of
the Wadati-Benioff zone coincides with the dip of the subducting plate. The Wadati- A type of strike-slip fault in which the fault surface is vertical, and the fault blocks move
Benioff zone extends to a depth of about 700 km [435 miles] from the Earth's surface. sideways past each other. Given the geological complexity of some deformed rocks,
including rocks that have experienced more than one episode of deformation, it can be
weathered layer difficult to distinguish a wrench fault from a strike-slip fault. Also, areas can be deformed
A near-surface, possibly unconsolidated layer of low seismic velocity. The base of the more than once or experience ongoing structuring such that fault surfaces can be rotated
weathered layer commonly coincides with the water table and a sharp increase in seismic from their original orientations.
velocity. The weathered layer typically has air-filled pores. yield point
Weathering 1. n. [Geology]
The physical, chemical and biological processes that decompose rock at and below the The elastic limit, or the point at which a material can no longer deform elastically. When
surface of the Earth through low pressures and temperatures and the presence of air and the elastic limit is exceeded by an applied stress, permanent deformation occurs.
water. Weathering includes processes such as dissolution, chemical weathering,
disintegration and hydration. 2. n. [Drilling Fluids]

Wentworth scale A parameter of the Bingham plastic model. YP is the yield stress extrapolated to a shear
rate of zero. (Plastic viscosity, PV, is the other parameter of the Bingham-plastic model.)
Another name for the Udden-Wentworth scale, a grade scale for classifying the A Bingham plastic fluid plots as a straight line on a shear rate (x-axis) versus shear stress
diameters of sediments. Particles larger than 64 mm in diameter are classified as cobbles. (y-axis) plot, in which YP is the zero-shear-rate intercept. (PV is the slope of the line.) YP is
Smaller particles are pebbles, granules, sand and silt. Those smaller than 0.0039 mm are calculated from 300- and 600-rpm viscometer dial readings by subtracting PV from the
clay. Several other grain size scales are in use, but the Udden-Wentworth scale 300-rpm dial reading. YP is used to evaluate the ability of a mud to lift cuttings out of the
(commonly called the Wentworth scale) is the one that is most frequently used in annulus. A high YP implies a non-Newtonian fluid, one that carries cuttings better than a
geology. fluid of similar density but lower YP. YP is lowered by adding deflocculant to a clay-based
wet gas mud and increased by adding freshly dispersed clay or a flocculant, such as lime.

1. n. [Geology]
Zonal resistivity as (a * Rw). It is sometimes claimed that a must be 1 since at phi = 1, F must be
1. However, a material with phi = 1 is not a rock: a is essentially an empirical factor for
Pertaining to a zone, an interval or unit of rock differentiated from surrounding rocks on
rocks and as such can take any value. A wide range of values has been found, from 0.5 to
the basis of its fossil content or other features, such as faults or fractures. For example, a
5.
fracture zone contains numerous fractures. A biostratigraphic zone contains a particular
fossil or fossils. m

Zone The exponent of porosity, m, in the relation of formation factor, F, to porosity, phi. In the
Archie equation, F = 1 / phim, H. Guyod termed m the cementation exponent because m
1. n. [Geology]
was observed to be higher in cemented rock. The more general term is porosity
An interval or unit of rock differentiated from surrounding rocks on the basis of its fossil exponent.
content or other features, such as faults or fractures. For example, a fracture zone
N
contains numerous fractures. A biostratigraphic zone contains a particular fossil or fossils.
The exponent, n, in the relation of water saturation, Sw, to resistivity index, I (I = Sw-n) for
A slab of reservoir rock bounded above and below by impermeable rock.
a sample of rock. It expresses the effect on the resistivity of desaturating the sample, or
replacing water with a non-conductive fluid. In petrophysically simple, water-wet rocks
(Archie rocks), n is constant for different values of Sw, and a single average n can be found
FORMATION EVALUATION for a particular reservoir or formation. A typical value is 2. In more complex rocks, n
Ascertaining the location and properties of subsurface lithological layers requires changes with Sw, although often being about 2 near Sw = 1. In rocks with conductive
acquisition and interpretation of well logs. Logs can be drawn by hand to reflect lithology minerals, such as shaly sands, n becomes increasingly lower as Sw is reduced. This change
as cuttings are pumped to surface; or they can be acquired by wireline logging tools is negligible for high-salinity waters, but increases as the salinity is reduced. In shaly-sand
lowered into the well, or while drilling, using specially instrumented drill collars that make saturation equations, such as Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS and CRMM, n is the intrinsic
up part of the drilling assembly. Interpretation can be carried out by hand, using n, determined with high-salinity water or with the clay effects removed. The variation of I
established log analysis formulae, or by sophisticated computer routines. Formation with Sw is then predicted, with varying success, by the different equations. In carbonates
evaluation is the key to determining whether a well has struck pay, or is just a dry hole. with multiple pore types, such as fractures, vugs, interparticle porosity and microporosity,
Terms in this discipline range from Archie equation to logging, and from permeability to n may change as each pore type is desaturated. A different n may be used for a different
Z/A effect. All definitions have been reviewed by formation-evaluation experts, and many range of Sw. In all cases, n increases if any pores are oil-wet. Values up to 8 have been
are accompanied by high-quality photographs or illustrations. reported in very oil-wet rocks.

Sor Sw

Abbreviation for residual oil saturation. Abbreviation for water saturation.

a 6FF40

The value a in the relation of formation factor (F) to porosity (phi): F = a / phim. The value Referring to an induction log made with a particular array of transmitter and receiver coils.
a is derived empirically from best fits of measured values of F and phi on a group of rock The array was introduced in 1960 and became the industry standard for 30 years. The
samples. It has no clear physical significance, although it has been related to grain shape 6FF40 array has six coils with the main transmitter-receiver pair spaced 40 in. [102 cm]
and tortuosity. In the saturation equation, it always occurs associated with the water apart. The design of the array includes the spacing between the coils, the number of turns
and the polarity of each coil. The three transmitter and the three receiver coils are each acoustic log
connected in series to produce one signal output. FF means focused both radially and
1. n. [Geophysics]
vertically. Unlike in an array tool, the focusing is fixed by the hardware design. The 6FF40
was designed to read deep into the formation while minimizing the signal close to the tool A display of traveltime of acoustic waves versus depth in a well. The term is commonly
and maintaining reasonable vertical resolution. The 6FF40 was combined with a shallow used as a synonym for a sonic log. Some acoustic logs display velocity.
electrode device to form the induction electrical survey. The use of both tools gave a
qualitative indication of invasion. Both the deep induction and the 6FF40 had 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
deconvolution and a skin effect correction applied. The deconvolution was designed to A record of some acoustic property of the formation or borehole. The term is sometimes
reduce the effect of shoulder beds on the readings in high-resistivity beds. It was not used to refer specifically to the sonic log, in the sense of the formation compressional
effective in high-contrast formations. The skin effect correction was a simple exponential slowness. However, it may also refer to any other sonic measurement, for example shear,
fit that would work on an analog computer. flexural and Stoneley slownesses or amplitudes, or to ultrasonic measurements such as the
accelerator source borehole televiewer and other pulse-echo devices, and even to noise logs.

A device for producing high-energy neutrons by using a charged particle accelerator.


Neutron generators are used in various pulsed neutron devices and some neutron porosity
measurements. In a typical device, deuterium (2D) and tritium (3T) ions are accelerated
towards a target also containing the same isotopes. When 2D and 3T collide, they react to acoustic mode
produce a neutron with an energy of about 14.1 MeV. The first neutron generators were A situation in which acoustic energy that propagates in one direction is confined in the
built in the late 1950s and soon led to the first pulsed neutron capture log. other two directions as, for example, a mode confined to an interface between two
Accuracy different materials or within the borehole. The Stoneley wave, tube wave and flexural
mode have important applications in formation evaluation, while most of the others, such
The closeness of the agreement between the result of the measurement and the as the Rayleigh wave and the various guided borehole modes (normal mode, leaky mode
conventional true value of the quantity. Accuracy should not be confused with precision. and hybrid mode), are considered interference that must be filtered out. In y slow
(ISO) Core measurements have well-defined calibration techniques and standards. Logging formations, leaky modes can help determine formation compressional slowness.
measurements are characterized during tool design and construction, and calibrated
regularly to some standard. The quoted accuracy of a log then depends on the initial acoustic transducer
characterization, the reproducibility of the standard, and the stability of the measurement A device for transforming electrical energy into sound, or vice versa. In sonic logging
between calibrations and under downhole conditions. The actual accuracy also depends applications, acoustic transducers are usually made of piezoelectric ceramic or
on the equipment performing and being operated to specification. magnetostrictive materials, and may be used as either receivers or transmitters in a
acid effect frequency range between about 1 and 30 kHz. The transducers are excited as either
monopoles, emitting or receiving sound in all directions, or dipoles, emitting or receiving
The change in a pulsed neutron capture measurement produced by acidizing a carbonate in one plane. In ultrasonic logging applications, acoustic transducers are made of
formation. Acidizing tends to increase the porosity as well as leave chlorides in the piezoelectric ceramic materials, and often are used in alternating transmitter/receiver
formation, thereby increasing the capture cross section. Both of these results affect the (pulse-echo) mode, in a frequency range from a few hundred kilohertz to a few megahertz.
formation thermal decay time and must be taken into account in the interpretation.
acquisition log alpha processing

The log that is actually recorded while taking the measurements. It is distinct from a A technique for combining a measurement that has a high accuracy but low precision with
playback, which is produced later on from digital data. another measurement of the same quantity that has a high precision but low accuracy in
order to produce a result that is better than either alone. Alpha processing is used to
activation log
improve the vertical resolution of neutron porosity and other dual-detector nuclear logs.
A log of elemental concentrations derived from the characteristic energy levels of gamma The detector near the source has better precision than the far detector in the sense that it
rays emitted by a nucleus that has been activated by neutron bombardment. The carbon- responds more precisely to vertical changes. However, the near detector is less accurate
oxygen log, elemental capture spectroscopy log, pulsed neutron spectroscopy log, because it is more affected by the borehole environment. Alpha processing mathematically
aluminum activation log and oxygen activation log are all examples of activation logs. superimposes the rapid changes of the near detector on the slowly changing but accurate
However, the term is most commonly used to refer to the aluminum and oxygen activation far detector to produce an accurate log with high vertical resolution. The technique is also
logs, the latter also being known as a water-flow log. used to improve results from the carbon-oxygen log and other pulsed neutron
spectroscopy measurements. Two methods are used to determine the carbon/oxygen
adjacent bed ratio. The windows method counts the number of gamma rays within energy windows
A formation layer above or below the layer being measured by a logging tool. The term placed at the main peaks for carbon and oxygen. This method has good statistical precision
"surrounding bed" is used in particular to describe the adjacent layers above or below a but poor accuracy, as gamma rays from other elements contaminate these windows. The
horizontal well. In a vertical well, the term "shoulder bed" is more common, and is used in other method, spectral stripping, compares the total spectrum against standards for many
particular in resistivity logging to describe the layers above and below a reservoir. The term elements, inverting the spectrum to obtain the yield for each element. This method is more
"adjacent bed" is used in both cases. accurate but has less statistical precision. Averaging over a number of measurements,
alpha processing adjusts the windows result with the more accurate spectral stripping in
Alford rotation order to obtain a precise and accurate result.
A processing technique to project formation shear data recorded in any two orthogonal altered zone
directions into the fast and slow shear directions in the presence of shear-wave anisotropy.
In the sonic logging application, a dipole transmitter excites a flexural mode that is A near-wellbore formation zone, a few inches thick, whose acoustic velocity has been
recorded at one set of receivers that is in-line with the dipole and other receivers that are affected by impregnation with drilling fluids, stress relief, or both. The acoustic velocity of
90o out of line (the cross-dipole component). A similar recording is made of the wave from the rock in the immediate vicinity of the borehole wall can be much slower than that in the
a second dipole transmitter, mounted orthogonally to the first. The flexural-wave velocity virgin formation. To measure the formation velocity, it may be necessary to use a sonic
is closely related to the formation shear velocity, particularly at low frequencies and in logging tool that has a greater spacing between transmitter and receiver array (about 10
hard formations. Using all four waveforms, the Alford rotation is used to determine the to 15 ft [3 to 4.5 m]) than the standard sonic tool (about 3 to 5 ft [0.9 to 1.5 m]). The altered
speed and direction of the fast and the slow shear wave. Reference: Alford RM: "Shear zone may also give rise to different acoustic modes, for example the hybrid mode or a
Data in the Presence of Azimuthal Anisotropy: Dilley, Texas," Expanded Abstracts, 56th SEG second Stoneley wave.
Annual International Meeting and Exposition, Houston, Texas, USA, November 2-6, 1986, Aluminum activation log
Paper S9.6
A wireline log of the concentration by weight of aluminum in the formation, based on the
principle of neutron activation. Aluminum (27Al) can be activated by capturing relatively
low-energy neutrons from a chemical source to produce the isotope 28Al, which decays
with a half-life of 2.3 minutes and emits a relatively easily detected 1.78 MeV gamma ray. apparent matrix
A natural gamma ray spectrometer will detect this gamma ray along with the other natural
A calculation of the properties of the solid fraction of a rock from the combination of two
gamma rays. If the natural gamma spectrum has been measured before activation, it can
logs. For example, by combining the density and neutron porosity measurements, it is
be subtracted from the spectrum after activation to give an estimate of Al content. Al is a
possible to compute an apparent matrix density; by combining neutron porosity and sonic
relatively direct indicator of the volume of clay, since clay minerals are alumino-silicates.
measurement, it is possible to compute an apparent matrix traveltime. The computations
Annulus assume a particular fluid, usually fresh water, and particular response equations. The
results are often displayed as quicklook logs for lithology identification. The word matrix is
The space between two concentric objects, such as between the wellbore and casing or
used here in the formation evaluation sense of the term rather than the geological one.
between casing and tubing, where fluid can flow. Pipe may consist of drill collars, drillpipe,
casing or tubing. Archie equation

Antisqueeze A particular relation proposed by G.E. Archie between the formation factor (F) and porosity
(phi), in which F = 1 / phim, where the porosity exponent, m, is a constant for a particular
The effect on a laterolog whereby the current lines are no longer properly focused but
formation or type of rock. In the original work, Archie proposed that m lay between 1.8
spread out at a certain distance into the formation. The effect occurs opposite a high-
and 2.0 for consolidated sandstones, and close to 1.3 for loosely consolidated sandstones.
resistivity bed with low-resistivity shoulders. The result is that laterolog devices, in
m was named the cementation exponent shortly afterwards. This relation is also known as
particular deep devices, tend to read too low and have less depth of investigation. Shoulder
the Archie II equation
bed correction charts correct for these effects in certain well-defined situations, such as
no invasion in horizontal beds with vertical wells. Archie rock

API unit A rock whose petrophysical properties are well described by the Archie equation with
constant values for the porosity exponent and the saturation exponent. Such rocks
The unit of radioactivity used for natural gamma ray logs. This unit is based on an artificially
typically have very little clay, a regular pore structure and high-salinity water. The term
radioactive concrete block at the University of Houston, Texas, USA, that is defined to have
often is used to describe a rock that is petrophysically simple.
a radioactivity of 200 American Petroleum Institute (API) units. This was chosen because it
was considered to be twice the radioactivity of a typical shale. The formation is the primary Armor
standard for calibrating gamma ray logs. However, even when properly calibrated,
The metal strands on the outside of a wireline logging cable. Typical cables have two layers
different gamma ray tools will not necessarily have identical readings downhole because
of metal strands, one wound clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The armor gives
their detectors can have different spectral sensitivities. They will read the same only if the
the cable its strength. It is used as the current return in some electrical measurements.
downhole formation contains the same proportions of thorium, potassium and uranium as
the Houston standard. For example, logging while drilling (LWD) tools have thicker array induction
housings than wireline tools, causing a different spectral response to the three sources of
radioactivity, and therefore a different total gamma ray reading in some formations. The An induction tool or log that consists of several mutually balanced arrays whose signals are
nuclear well log calibration facility at the University of Houston, known as the API pits, was recorded separately and combined in software to produce the response desired. Typically,
opened in 1959 for the calibration of natural gamma ray and neutron logs. A facility for there is one transmitter and five to ten pairs of receivers and bucking coils that are
calibrating natural gamma ray spectroscopy logs was added later. balanced to remove direct coupling. The signals are combined in a wide variety of ways to
produce the responses desired, as for example, deep-reading, high vertical resolution or
some combination of both. There are trade-offs in any response. For example, a deep-
reading log typically will not have high vertical resolution. If it does, it will be more sensitive Azimuthal
to the invasion condition and cave effect.
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
array propagation resistivity
Pertaining to being focused in one direction. An azimuthal, or azimuthally focused,
A resistivity recorded by a measurements-while-drilling propagation tool consisting of an measurement has one or more directions perpendicular to the surface of a logging tool
array of transmitters and receivers whose signals are recorded separately and combined from which it receives most of its signal. Examples are the density, laterolog and
by software to produce the response desired. In a typical design, five transmitters emit a microresistivity logs. A nonazimuthal, or azimuthally symmetric measurement is one which
signal, and the phase shift and attenuation between two receivers are recorded. The phase measures equally in all directions around the tool. Examples are the induction, propagation
shifts and attenuations are combined in different ways to produce borehole-compensated resistivity log and gamma ray.
logs with different depths of investigation and radial resolution.
2. adj. [Geology]
array sonic
Pertaining to the angle between the vertical projection of a line of interest onto a
A type of acoustic logging tool that uses a large number of receivers, typically 4 to 12. horizontal surface and true north or magnetic north measured in a horizontal plane,
Modern acoustic logging tools are designed to measure not only the compressional wave typically measured clockwise from north
but also the shear and other acoustic waves generated by the transmitter. The separation
azimuthal density
and identification of these waves are facilitated by the use of an array of receivers placed
about 6 in. [15 cm] apart, which is close enough to avoid aliasing but far enough to sample A type of logging while drilling density log in which the density is measured at different
a significant moveout in the wave. The waveforms at each receiver are recorded and azimuths around the drill collar. The density measurement is focused, so that when the
processed by signal processing techniques, such as slowness-time coherence, to measure collar rotates, the measurement sees different azimuths around the borehole. An average
the velocities of the different waves. density can be calculated by summing all the azimuthal data. Alternatively, the data can be
summed over different segments, for example in four quadrants, to give an azimuthal
Attenuation
density in four directions. When the hole is overgauge, certain quadrants will be firmly
The loss of energy or amplitude of waves as they pass through media. Seismic waves lose pressed against the borehole wall, while others may have a significant standoff and too
energy through absorption, reflection and refraction at interfaces, mode conversion and high a delta rho. The good quadrants can then be chosen for formation evaluation.
spherical divergence, or spreading of the wave.
azimuthal laterolog
attenuation resistivity
A type of electrode device that is able to measure resistivity in different directions around
The ability of a formation to resist electrical conduction, as derived from the reduction in the sonde. In most laterologs, the electrodes are cylinders that average the resistivity
amplitude of the electromagnetic wave generated in a propagation resistivity azimuthally around the sonde. In azimuthal laterologs, the electrode is segmented radially
measurement. At the frequencies used and within the range of measurement, the in several portions, each of which responds to the resistivity in the direction it is facing.
attenuation depends almost solely on the resistivity, so that the former can be transformed
azimuthal resolution
to the latter with a simple algorithm. The transform also depends on transmitter/receiver
spacings and tool design. For a 2-MHz measurement, a typical measurement range is 0.2 An angle that characterizes the ability of an azimuthal logging measurement to resolve
to 50 ohm-m. Above 50 ohm-m, the dependence of attenuation on resistivity is too small changes in different directions around the tool; alternatively, the smallest angle for which
to measure accurately. a significant change can be detected.
backup curve and membrane potential methods are more direct measurements of the effect of CEC on
formation resistivity and spontaneous potential.
An extra curve on a log, designed to appear when the standard curve goes off track. For
example, if the standard gamma ray curve is presented on a scale of 0 to 200 gAPI units, 2. n. [Drilling Fluids]
the backup curve may be scaled from 200 to 400 gAPI units. Alternatively, if the standard
Quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral (or similar material) can
resistivity log is presented on a scale of 0 to 50 ohm-m, the backup curve might be
accommodate on its negative charged surface, expressed as milliequivalents per 100
presented on a scale of 0 to 500 ohm-m in the same track but be blanked off for readings
grams. CEC of solids in drilling muds is measured on a whole mud sample by a methylene
below 50 ohm-m. The backup curve usually has the same coding as the standard curve but
blue capacity (MBC) test, which is typically performed to specifications established by API.
a different line weight.
CEC for a mud sample is reported as MBC, methylene blue test (MBT) or bentonite
bad hole equivalent, lbm/bbl or kg/m3.

A borehole that is not to gauge or is rugose. The term usually refers to the detrimental base log
effect that such a borehole has on the response of logging measurements, in particular pad
The log used as the reference for depths in the well. Each log may record formation
tools like the density or micro-resistivity. The existence of bad hole is usually determined
features at slightly different depths due to their different response and the difficulty of
by a caliper log and on various secondary measurements such as delta rho.
aligning depths. It is therefore important to select one log to which the other logs are depth
balanced array matched, and which is used as the reference for well-to-well correlation and mechanical
operations such as perforating. The gamma ray is most often used as the base log since it
An array induction whose transmitters and receivers are arranged to produce a null
can be recorded in both open and cased holes.
reading in free space, that is, which has the mutual signal balanced to zero.
BHT
base exchange
The temperature in the borehole at total depth at the time it is measured. In log
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
interpretation, the bottom hole temperature (BHT) is taken as the maximum recorded
The quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral or similar material can temperature during a logging run, or preferably the last of series of runs during the same
accommodate on its negatively charged surface, expressed as milli-ion equivalent per 100 operation. BHT is the temperature used for the interpretation of logs at total depth.
g, or more commonly as milliequivalent (meq) per 100 g. Clays are aluminosilicates in Farther up the hole, the correct temperature is calculated by assuming a certain
which some of the aluminum and silicon ions have been replaced by elements with temperature gradient. The BHT lies between the bottomhole circulating temperature
different valence, or charge. For example, aluminum (Al+++) may be replaced by iron (BHCT) and the bottomhole static temperature (BHST).
(Fe++) or magnesium (Mg++), leading to a net negative charge. This charge attracts cations
Bimetallism
when the clay is immersed in an electrolyte such as salty water and causes an electrical
double layer. The cation-exchange capacity (CEC) is often expressed in terms of its The electromagnetic force created by two different metals in contact with each other. If
contribution per unit pore volume, Qv. In formation evaluation, it is the contribution of two such metals are in contact in a logging tool, and also communicate along a conductive
cation-exchange sites to the formation electrical properties that is important. Various borehole, then a potential drop is generated in the borehole. This potential drop will
techniques are used to measure CEC in the laboratory, such as wet chemistry, multiple appear on the spontaneous potential (SP) log, where it can be confused with the
salinity and membrane potential. Wet chemistry methods, such as conductometric electrochemical potential. Since the magnitude of the drop depends on the formation
titration, usually involve destruction or alteration of the rock. Although quicker and simpler resistivity, the effect of bimetallism is often seen as a resistivity log superimposed on the
to perform, they are less representative of electrical properties in situ. The multiple salinity
normal SP. Under usual circumstances, the effect of bimetallism on the SP is small, and and the bit, which, in turn, depend on the type of bottomhole assembly (BHA) used. The
care is taken to avoid it. depth of investigation is sufficient that the effect of the borehole is normally small. The
measurement is unfocused and usually not borehole-corrected. Since both bit and
Biot theory
drillstring are in physical contact with the formation, it is possible to make the
A theory for acoustic propagation in a porous and elastic medium developed by M.A. Biot. measurement in oil-base muds.
Compressional and shear velocities can be calculated by standard elastic theory from the
borehole compensation
composite density, shear and bulk modulus of the total rock. The problem is how to
determine these from the properties of the constituent parts. Biot showed that the An upgoing and downgoing arrangement of transducers in a logging tool, largely to offset
composite properties could be determined from the porosity and the elastic properties spurious changes in reading caused by variations in borehole size or sonde tilt. The
(density and moduli) of the fluid, the solid material, and the empty rock skeleton, or technique is used for measurements that rely on the propagation of a wave, such as sonic,
framework. To account for different frequencies of propagation, it is also necessary to propagation resistivity and electromagnetic propagation measurement. Propagation logs
know the frequency, the permeability of the rock, the viscosity of the fluid and a coefficient rely on measuring the difference in properties of a wave at two receivers. The borehole
for the inertial drag between skeleton and fluid. Unlike the Gassmann model, the Biot influences this difference if the tool is tilted or if there is a cave opposite one of the
theory takes into account frequency variations, and allows for relative motion between receivers. The effect can be compensated for by using two transmitters that radiate
fluid and rock framework. As a result, it predicts some of the observed changes in velocity sequentially in opposite directions. In ideal conditions, the effect of a tilt or a cave is exactly
with frequency, as well as the critical frequency below which the Gassmann model is valid. opposite for the two transmitters, so that an average gives the correct result. Borehole
It also predicts the existence of a so-called slow wave in addition to the shear wave and compensation is different from borehole correction.
the compressional, or fast wave. The slow wave arises when the fluid and the skeleton
borehole correction
move 1800 out-of-phase with each other. Its velocity is related to fluid mobility, but
unfortunately has been observed only in the laboratory, not on logs. At logging The amount by which a log measurement must be adjusted in order to remove the
frequencies, it degenerates into a diffusion phenomenon rather than a wave, and is contribution of the borehole. Although most log measurements are designed to pick up a
apparently too highly attenuated to be observed in real rocks. However, in permeable minimum of signal from the borehole, some contribution usually remains. This
formations, the Stoneley wave couples into the slow wave, causing the attenuation and contribution may be removed by software or by manual entry into correction charts. In
dispersion that allow the measurement of Stoneley permeability. The full Biot theory is resistivity logging, the correction replaces the borehole with a resistivity equal to that of
used mainly to analyze laboratory data. For practical log interpretation, it is more common the formation. In nuclear logging, the correction adjusts the reading to that which would
to use the simpler Gassmann model. be found in a standard condition, such as an 8-in. [20-cm] borehole filled with fresh water.
bit resistivity borehole gravity
The resistivity measured at the drill bit by a measurements-while-drilling (MWD) tool. The Pertaining to the detection of the Earth's gravitational field within a wellbore. Subtle
bit resistivity measurement responds to resistivity changes as the bit penetrates the vertical variations of the Earth's gravity field may be detected over the length of a
formation, or when the time after bit is zero. It is thus an early indication of formation borehole. These depend on the variations in the formation density not only above and
change. The measurement is similar to a wireline electrode device except that toroids are below the sensor, but also laterally away from the borehole. Thus, borehole gravity
used instead of electrodes. A transmitter toroid induces a low-frequency current in the measurements may be used to detect the following phenomena: - overburden pressure -
drillstring, which flows out of the bit and returns farther up the string. The magnitude of lateral formation density changes arising from porosity changes away from the borehole
the current depends on the resistivity near the bit, and is measured by another toroid. The (fracture fields, vugs) - lateral proximity to lithology changes, such as major faulting or salt
vertical resolution and depth of investigation depend on the distances between the toroids intrusions - time-lapse density measurements to monitor fluid saturation changes during
the life of a reservoir. In borehole gravity measurements, highly accurate formation density bottomhole temperature
measurements, averaged over a large volume, may be made by comparing changes of
The temperature in the borehole at total depth at the time it is measured. In log
gravity between measurement stations.
interpretation, the bottom hole temperature (BHT) is taken as the maximum recorded
borehole gravity meter temperature during a logging run, or preferably the last of series of runs during the same
operation. BHT is the temperature used for the interpretation of logs at total depth.
A logging instrument capable of making relative gravity measurements at stations along
Farther up the hole, the correct temperature is calculated by assuming a certain
the borehole with a sensitivity and repeatability in the microGal range (about 1 part in 10-
temperature gradient. The BHT lies between the bottomhole circulating temperature
9 of the Earth's gravity field) The only commercial measurement device capable of this
(BHCT) and the bottomhole static temperature (BHST).
precision is the LaCoste & Romberg borehole gravimeter, although several research
projects have been proposed to replace this classic technology. -The downhole temperature measured or calculated at a point of interest. The BHT,
without reference to circulating or static conditions, is typically associated with producing
borehole televiewer
conditions.
An ultrasonic logging device with a radially mounted rotating transducer that is used to
bound fluid
scan the borehole wall. The transducer (in transmit mode) emits a high-frequency pulse
that is reflected by the borehole wall back to the transducer (in receive mode). In openhole Fluid in the pore space that does not flow under normal reservoir conditions. This fluid may
applications, it can be used to measure the borehole diameter (by measuring the acoustic include water, oil or gas, but most often refers just to bound water. Bound fluid does not
transit time between transducer and borehole wall) and the amplitude of acoustic signals flow on primary or secondary production, injection or invasion unless the rock wettability
reflected by the borehole wall. The transducer is rotated to produce a cross section of the is altered. When used in connection with a nuclear magnetic resonance measurement, the
borehole size and images of the borehole wall. These are used to identify fractures, term refers to the signal that occurs below a certain cutoff, typically 33 ms in sandstones
breakouts and other borehole features. In cased hole, they are used to identify internal and 100 ms in carbonates. The source of this signal is bound water, but may also include
corrosion. oil with a viscosity above about 60 cp in sandstones or 30 cp in carbonates. Note that,
contrary to the sense of "bound," this oil may or may not be moveable under normal
Born method
reservoir conditions.
A method of analyzing the response of an induction logging tool that considers the
bound water
contribution of each element of the formation as a perturbation from the average
background conductivity. The development of the solution is similar to the Born Water in the pore space that does not flow under normal reservoir conditions. Bound
approximation in quantum mechanics, since the latter also involves a single scattering. The water does not flow on primary or secondary production, injection or invasion unless the
Born response is valid for modest formation contrasts. The zero-conductivity Born rock wettability is altered. When used in connection with a nuclear magnetic resonance
response is identical to the geometrical factor. measurement, the term refers to all the water that is not free to move. This includes
capillary-bound water and clay-bound water. However, water in mineral hydrates is not
bottom log interval
included as it relaxes too fast to be measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In
The bottom of the interval recorded on the log, or the deepest point at which the log practice, bound water is defined as the water signal below a certain cutoff, typically 33 ms
readings are valid. At the bottom of the well, each log will have a valid first reading at a in sandstones and 100 ms in carbonates. When used in connection with the dual water
different depth. The bottom log interval is then either the lowermost first reading or the model, the term refers to the clay-bound water only. In the Hill-Shirley-Klein model, the
first reading of the most important log. term is known as the hydration water.
bound-fluid log surrounded by the conductors that are held in an insulating jacket. The bridle is needed for
most conventional electrical logs and laterologs in which the cable armor is used as a
A type of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) log that is designed to record properly only
current return. To be effective, this return must be at some distance from the logging tool
the bound fluid. Bound fluid is characterized by a fast relaxation time, typically less than
and insulated from it. Typical bridles are 80 ft [24 m] long. Electrodes may be wound on
33 ms in sandstones and 100 ms in carbonate rocks. Therefore, the wait time for a bound
the outside of the bridle and connected to the logging tool for use as measurement
fluid log can be much shorter than for standard NMR logs, with the result that logging
references or for spontaneous potential measurements.
speeds are much faster.
broadside array
Boyle's Law
A particular arrangement of transmitters and receivers used in the electromagnetic
A principle of physics stating that the product of pressure and volume divided by the
propagation measurement in which the dipoles used as sensors are oriented perpendicular
temperature is a constant for an ideal gas. It is a good approximation for many real gases,
to the axis of the tool. The orientation is combined with relatively short spacings to give a
such as helium, over reasonable ranges of temperature and pressure.
significant signal even in the most attenuative environments, such as salty muds.
Boyle's Law Double Cell
bucking coil
A technique for measuring the grain volume of a core sample by observing the change in
A coil in an induction logging tool designed to buck out, or reduce, the direct coupling
pressure of helium introduced into a chamber containing the sample. The rock sample is
between transmitter and receiver coils. The direct coupling signal is far larger than the
placed in a chamber of known volume. Helium is held in a reference chamber at known
formation signal. The bucking coil is wound with the opposite polarity to the main receiver
volume and pressure, typically 100 to 200 psi [689 to 1379 kPa]. The two chambers are
coil, and placed in series with it at a location that minimizes the direct coupling. The
connected, causing the helium to drop in pressure as it fills the sample chamber and the
combination of transmitter, main receiver and bucking coils is known as a mutually
pores in the sample. The only volume not filled is the grain volume and the isolated pores.
balanced array.
Neglecting the latter, the grain volume can then be calculated from Boyle's Law using the
pressure before and after connecting the chambers and the chamber volumes. bucking current

Boyle's Law Single Cell On a laterolog device, the current sent through a guard electrode (A1) with the purpose of
focusing the current sent by the central current emitting electrode (A0). The bucking
A technique for measuring the pore volume of a core sample by observing the change in
current maintains A1 and A0 at the same potential, thereby forcing the current from A0 to
pressure of helium introduced into the pore space. The rock sample is held in a core holder
run approximately perpendicular to the sonde into the formation.
whose internal walls are elastomers, so that the only void space is the internal pore
volume. With a suitable holder, the sample can be held under a confining stress. Helium is bulk relaxation
held in a reference cell at known volume and pressure, typically 100 to 200 psi [689 to 1379
In a nuclear magnetic resonance measurement, the loss of coherent energy by hydrogen
kPa]. The helium is introduced to the core sample, dropping in pressure as it fills the
atoms as they interact with each other in bulk fluids. Bulk relaxation in fluids is caused
connected pore space. The effective pore volume is obtained from Boyle's Law using the
primarily by fluctuating local magnetic fields arising from the random tumbling motion of
pressure before and after introduction of helium, and the reference volume.
neighboring molecules. Local field fluctuations may be high, but the fast movement of
Bridle molecules tends to average these out. Thus the bulk relaxation depends strongly on the
rate of movement and is affected by temperature and viscosity. In water-wet rocks,
A special section of cable that is placed between the logging cable and the head of the
hydrocarbons do not touch the pore walls and are not affected by surface relaxation. Thus
logging tool. Unlike the logging cable, the steel load-bearing element is in the center,
the T1 and T2 of hydrocarbons are the result only of bulk and diffusion relaxation. This is
an important feature of NMR logging. Based on this feature, direct hydrocarbon-typing member, spacers, the outer skin of the cable, and the streamer filler, which is typically
techniques have been developed for the detection and characterization of hydrocarbons. kerosene or a buoyant plastic. The cable relays data to the seismic recording truck or
seismic vessel.
buoyancy method
Cake
A technique for measuring the bulk volume of a core sample by submerging it in a bath of
mercury and observing the increase in weight of the bath, following Archimedes principle. The residue deposited on a permeable medium when a slurry, such as a drilling fluid, is
The bulk volume is calculated from the increase in weight divided by the density of mercury forced against the medium under a pressure. Filtrate is the liquid that passes through the
at the temperature of the bath. The sample must not touch the side of the bath and be medium, leaving the cake on the medium. Drilling muds are tested to determine filtration
only a few millimeters below the surface. Mercury is used because it is so strongly rate and filter-cake properties. Cake properties such as cake thickness, toughness, slickness
nonwetting and therefore does not enter the pore space. Other, less toxic, liquids may be and permeability are important because the cake that forms on permeable zones in the
used in the bath, such as brine, refined oil or toluene. In this case, the sample must be fully wellbore can cause stuck pipe and other drilling problems. Reduced oil and gas production
saturated with the liquid before immersion. In an alternative method, the saturated can result from reservoir damage when a poor filter cake allows deep filtrate invasion. A
sample is weighed in air and then again once immersed. The bulk volume is then the certain degree of cake buildup is desirable to isolate formations from drilling fluids. In
difference in weight divided by the density of the liquid used. openhole completions in high-angle or horizontal holes, the formation of an external filter
cake is preferable to a cake that forms partly inside the formation. The latter has a higher
butterfly chart
potential for formation damage.
A plot representing the effect of invasion on resistivity measurements that have different
Calibration
depths of investigation. The plot assumes a step profile model of invasion and determines
true resistivity, flushed zone resistivity and diameter of invasion from ratios of deep-, 1. n. [Geophysics]
medium- and shallow-resistivity measurements. Strictly speaking, when both resistive and
A method of adjusting a data set against a control that has properties to which the data
conductive invasion are plotted, the chart is called a butterfly chart. When only one is
set should conform.
plotted it is known as a tornado chart.
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
button resistivity
The process of adjusting a measurement to a standard, so that copies of the same type of
The resistivity measured by the buttons of a measurements-while-drilling (MWD) toroid
logging tool or laboratory instrument will read the same. The tool or instrument is placed
device. Typically three buttons, each with a different depth of investigation, are mounted
in the presence of a calibrator or calibrating environment, for example, a source of gamma
on a sleeve attached to the drillstring, and by their nature are azimuthally focused. The
rays for a gamma ray tool, or the air, far from the ground, for an induction tool. Calibration
measurement is similar to a wireline microresistivity log, except that toroids are used
coefficients, typically a gain and an offset, are calculated so that the tool or instrument
instead of electrodes for transmitting and monitoring. The button resistivities are focused
reads correctly in the calibrator. The coefficients are then applied during subsequent
measurements with vertical resolutions and depths of investigation of a few inches. With
measurements. The term master calibration is used for the regular, as for example
three button measurements, it is possible to correct for the presence of invasion, assuming
quarterly, calibration of a logging tool in the workshop. For most wireline tools, a
a step profile.
secondary calibrator is adjusted during the master calibration and taken to the wellsite so
Cable that a wellsite calibration can be done just prior to the logging job. Some tools, such as the
gamma ray, are calibrated only at the wellsite. For most measurements-while-drilling tools,
A bundle of electrical wires that connects geophones, or the entire carrier system for
the environment requires that the calibration be performed at the workshop and only a
marine hydrophones, which includes the hydrophones, the electrical wires, the stress
verification made at the wellsite. For some measurements, there is a primary worldwide cation exchange capacity
standard against which calibrators are calibrated, as for example, the radioactive
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
formations at the University of Houston used to define gamma ray API units.
The quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral or similar material can
Camera
accommodate on its negatively charged surface, expressed as milli-ion equivalent per 100
The device used in early logging to record logging measurements on photographic film. g, or more commonly as milliequivalent (meq) per 100 g. Clays are aluminosilicates in
The camera consisted of a light shining on galvanometers, which reflected the light to which some of the aluminum and silicon ions have been replaced by elements with
produce a trace on one or more films. The galvanometers deflected according to the log different valence, or charge. For example, aluminum (Al+++) may be replaced by iron
measurement to give the log reading. The films were turned by the depth wheel, which (Fe++) or magnesium (Mg++), leading to a net negative charge. This charge attracts cations
gave the depth axis of the log. when the clay is immersed in an electrolyte such as salty water and causes an electrical
double layer. The cation-exchange capacity (CEC) is often expressed in terms of its
capillary pressure curve
contribution per unit pore volume, Qv. In formation evaluation, it is the contribution of
The relationship describing the capillary pressure required to obtain a given nonwetting cation-exchange sites to the formation electrical properties that is important. Various
phase saturation in a rock. Rocks have a distribution of pore throat sizes, so as more techniques are used to measure CEC in the laboratory, such as wet chemistry, multiple
pressure is applied to the nonwetting phase, increasingly smaller pore openings are salinity and membrane potential. Wet chemistry methods, such as conductometric
invaded. The capillary pressure curve is important for understanding saturation titration, usually involve destruction or alteration of the rock. Although quicker and simpler
distribution in the reservoir and affects imbibition and multiphase fluid flow through the to perform, they are less representative of electrical properties in situ. The multiple salinity
rock. and membrane potential methods are more direct measurements of the effect of CEC on
formation resistivity and spontaneous potential.
carbon density
2. n. [Drilling Fluids]
The density of carbon in oil. This density affects the interpretation of the carbon-oxygen
log. The term may also be used for the density of carbon in other materials. Quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral (or similar material) can
accommodate on its negative charged surface, expressed as milliequivalents per 100
carbonate gamma ray grams. CEC of solids in drilling muds is measured on a whole mud sample by a methylene
A gamma ray log from which the uranium contribution has been subtracted. In some rocks, blue capacity (MBC) test, which is typically performed to specifications established by API.
and in particular in carbonate rocks, the contribution from uranium can be large and CEC for a mud sample is reported as MBC, methylene blue test (MBT) or bentonite
erratic, and can cause the carbonate to be mistaken for a shale. The carbonate gamma ray equivalent, lbm/bbl or kg/m3.
is then a better indicator of shaliness. cation-exchange capacity
Cartridge 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
The section of a wireline logging tool that contains the telemetry, the electronics and The quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral or similar material can
power supplies for the measurement, as distinct from the sonde that contains the accommodate on its negatively charged surface, expressed as milli-ion equivalent per 100
measurement sensors. Strictly speaking, the term refers to the package of electronic g, or more commonly as milliequivalent (meq) per 100 g. Clays are aluminosilicates in
hardware inside a steel housing, but it is also used to refer to the complete assembly which some of the aluminum and silicon ions have been replaced by elements with
including housing. different valence, or charge. For example, aluminum (Al+++) may be replaced by iron
(Fe++) or magnesium (Mg++), leading to a net negative charge. This charge attracts cations their processing software, can give detailed, 360-degree representations of the integrity of
when the clay is immersed in an electrolyte such as salty water and causes an electrical the cement job, whereas older versions may display a single line representing the
double layer. The cation-exchange capacity (CEC) is often expressed in terms of its integrated integrity around the casing.
contribution per unit pore volume, Qv. In formation evaluation, it is the contribution of
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
cation-exchange sites to the formation electrical properties that is important. Various
techniques are used to measure CEC in the laboratory, such as wet chemistry, multiple A log that uses the variations in amplitude of an acoustic signal traveling down the casing
salinity and membrane potential. Wet chemistry methods, such as conductometric wall between a transmitter and receiver to determine the quality of cement bond on the
titration, usually involve destruction or alteration of the rock. Although quicker and simpler exterior casing wall. The fundamental principle is that the acoustic signal will be more
to perform, they are less representative of electrical properties in situ. The multiple salinity attenuated in the presence of cement than if the casing were uncemented. The
and membrane potential methods are more direct measurements of the effect of CEC on measurement is largely qualitative, as there is no indication of azimuthal cement variations
formation resistivity and spontaneous potential. such as channeling, and as it is sensitive to the effect of a microannulus.
2. n. [Drilling Fluids] cementation exponent
Quantity of positively charged ions (cations) that a clay mineral (or similar material) can The exponent of porosity, m, in the relation of formation factor, F, to porosity, phi. In the
accommodate on its negative charged surface, expressed as milliequivalents per 100 Archie equation, F = 1 / phim, H. Guyod termed m the cementation exponent because m
grams. CEC of solids in drilling muds is measured on a whole mud sample by a methylene was observed to be higher in cemented rock. The more general term is porosity
blue capacity (MBC) test, which is typically performed to specifications established by API. exponent.
CEC for a mud sample is reported as MBC, methylene blue test (MBT) or bentonite
equivalent, lbm/bbl or kg/m3. Centralizer

cave effect A device fitted with a hinged collar and bowsprings to keep the casing or liner in the center
of the wellbore to help ensure efficient placement of a cement sheath around the casing
The effect of a sharp change in the borehole diameter, such as that caused by a cave or string. If casing strings are cemented off-center, there is a high risk that a channel of drilling
rugose hole, on an induction log. In smooth boreholes of constant diameter, the effect of fluid or contaminated cement will be left where the casing contacts the formation, creating
the borehole is well understood and can be corrected for. However, a sharp increase in an imperfect seal.
diameter over a small depth interval can induce signals on one coil in the array and not in
others. This signal is not handled by the normal borehole correction and may result in a 2. n. [Well Completions]
spike on the log. The spike usually is significant only when the resistivity is high and the A device used to keep a tool string in the center of the tubing, casing or wellbore. Tool
contrast between formation and borehole resistivity is very large. The spike also depends centralization may be required for several reasons: to prevent the tool from hanging up on
on the design of the array or the processing. obstructions on the wellbore wall, to place fluid efficiently and to avoid excessive standoff.
cement bond log 3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
1. n. [Drilling] A device that helps to maintain the logging tool in the center of the borehole. On wireline
A representation of the integrity of the cement job, especially whether the cement is tools such devices typically have three or more flexible bow springs. They may be mounted
adhering solidly to the outside of the casing. The log is typically obtained from one of a on the outside surface of the logging tool or else mounted in-line, between two cartridges
variety of sonic-type tools. The newer versions, called cement evaluation logs, along with or sondes. Some measurements, such as acoustic logs, respond better when the tool is
centralized, while others, including induction logs, are better when eccentralized.
Centrifuge clay bound water

1. n. [Drilling Fluids] Water within the clay lattice or near the surface within the electrical double layer. This
water does not move when fluid is flowed through the rock. In the normal definition used
An item of solids-removal equipment that removes fine and ultrafine solids. It consists of
by a log analyst, clay-bound water is not part of the effective porosity and is the difference
a conical drum that rotates at 2000 to 4000 rpm. Drilling fluid is fed into one end and the
between total porosity and effective porosity. Clay-bound water is understood to include
separated solids are moved up the bowl by a rotating scroll to exit at the other end.
the interlayer water, although the contribution of the latter to the electrical properties of
Centrifuges generally have limited processing capacity (50 to 250 gpm) but are useful for
the clay may be different from the water in the electrical double layer. In the dual-water
processing weighted drilling fluids and can remove finer solids than can a hydrocyclone or
and the Hill-Shirley-Klein models, the volume of clay-bound water is related to the cation-
shaker screens. They can also be used for water clarification or for processing oily cuttings.
exchange capacity per unit volume, Qv, by expressions that depend on the salinity and
2. n. [Formation Evaluation] temperature of the electrolyte in which the clay is immersed. Direct measurement of the
clay-bound water volume in the laboratory is difficult.
A rapidly rotating flywheel on a vertical axle to whose rim is attached a series of tubes at
one end, the other end being free to tilt upwards and outwards. At high speeds, the clay-bound water
centrifugal force in the tubes is far greater than gravity. The centrifuge is used to expel
Water within the clay lattice or near the surface within the electrical double layer. This
fluids from core samples, either to clean them or to desaturate them for measurements of
water does not move when fluid is flowed through the rock. In the normal definition used
irreducible water saturation, resistivity index or nuclear magnetic resonance properties. It
by a log analyst, clay-bound water is not part of the effective porosity and is the difference
can be used at multiple speeds to obtain a capillary pressure curve. Centrifuges are also
between total porosity and effective porosity. Clay-bound water is understood to include
used in studies of clay mineralogy, where micron-scale fractions are extracted from
the interlayer water, although the contribution of the latter to the electrical properties of
suspension and subjected to analysis by X-ray diffraction (XRD).
the clay may be different from the water in the electrical double layer. In the dual-water
Channeling and the Hill-Shirley-Klein models, the volume of clay-bound water is related to the cation-
exchange capacity per unit volume, Qv, by expressions that depend on the salinity and
The condition in which cement flows in a channel only on some sides of the casing or temperature of the electrolyte in which the clay is immersed. Direct measurement of the
borehole annulus, and thus does not provide adequate hydraulic isolation in all radial clay-bound water volume in the laboratory is difficult.
azimuths. The channel frequently manifests itself as an intermediate amplitude signal on
a cement bond log. Pulse-echo tools are able to detect a channel because they measure Coding
the cement bond at different azimuths.
The characteristics of the trace used to display a log. The most common codings are solid,
chemical neutron source long-dashed, short-dashed and dotted. The trace can also have a different line weight or
thickness, from light to heavy.
An encapsulated radioactive material that emits neutrons for use in neutron porosity
measurements. The most common source relies on alpha-beryllium reactions in a 241Am- compatible scales
Be mixture. Beryllium releases a neutron of approximately 4 MeV when struck by an alpha
Scales for different logs that are chosen so that the logs will overlay in certain conditions.
particle. The americium is the source of alpha particles. 253Californium fission is an intense
For example, a sandstone-compatible scale may have the neutron log scaled from 0.45 to
source of 2.3 MeV neutrons but is used only in special applications due to its short half-life
-0.15 vol/vol and the density from 1.9 to 2.9 g/cm3. Then, in a pure quartz sandstone filled
of 2.65 years and special licensing requirements.
with fresh water, the two logs will overlay as the porosity varies.
compensated density log spaced detector, which is only slightly sensitive to it. In a typical two-detector
compensation scheme, the density measured by the longest spacing detector is corrected
A density log that has been corrected for the effect of mud and mudcake by using two or
by an amount, delta rho, which is a function of the difference between long- and short-
more detectors at different spacings from the source. The shorter the spacing, the
spacing densities. The correction is found to depend on the difference between formation
shallower the depth of investigation and the larger the effect of the mudcake. Thus, a short
and mudcake density multiplied by mudcake thickness. Although there are three
spaced detector, which is very sensitive to the mudcake, can be used to correct a long-
unknowns, simple functions are reliable for moderate corrections. Experimental results are
spaced detector, which is only slightly sensitive to it. In a typical two-detector
often presented in the form of a spine and ribs plot. There are other schemes using, for
compensation scheme, the density measured by the longest spacing detector is corrected
example, more detectors. Dual detector density logs were introduced in the mid 1960s.
by an amount, delta rho, which is a function of the difference between long- and short-
spacing densities. The correction is found to depend on the difference between formation composite log
and mudcake density multiplied by mudcake thickness. Although there are three
A single log created by splicing together two logs of the same type run at different times
unknowns, simple functions are reliable for moderate corrections. Experimental results are
in the well; or by splicing two different types of log run at the same time. For example, it is
often presented in the form of a spine and ribs plot. There are other schemes using, for
common practice to splice all the basic logs run over different depth intervals in a well to
example, more detectors. Dual detector density logs were introduced in the mid 1960s.
obtain a single composite record.
compensated neutron log
Compressibility
A neutron porosity log in which the effects of the borehole environment are minimized by
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
using two detectors. In the most common technique, the two source-detector spacings are
chosen so that the ratio of the two count rates is relatively independent of the borehole The ratio of the percent change in volume to the change in pressure applied to a fluid or
environment. This ratio is then calibrated in terms of porosity in a known formation and rock.
borehole environment typically with the tool placed against the side of an 8-in. [20-cm]
borehole in a limestone block, both filled with fresh water at surface temperature and 2. n. [Well Testing]
pressure. The response is also determined at different porosities and in sandstones, The relative change in fluid volume related to a unit change in pressure. This is usually
dolomites and other borehole environments. Correction factors are developed to convert expressed as volume change per unit volume of fluid per psi of pressure change. Gas has
the measured log to the standard conditions. The source and detectors are not azimuthally higher compressibility than liquid (oil or water).
focused. Wireline tools are run eccentralized against the borehole wall. Since the neutrons
emitted into the mud are strongly attenuated, the resulting log is effectively focused into Compton scattering
the formation. Measurements-while-drilling tools will normally be unfocused since they A gamma ray interaction in which the gamma ray collides with an electron, transferring
are centralized unless the borehole is overgauge. The vertical resolution is about 2 ft [0.6 part of its energy to the electron, while itself being scattered at a reduced energy. Compton
m], but can be improved by alpha processing. scattering occurs with high probability at intermediate gamma ray energies, between 75
compensated-density log keV and 10 MeV in sedimentary formations. When a beam of gamma rays traverses a
material, the total reduction due to Compton scattering depends on the electron density
A density log that has been corrected for the effect of mud and mudcake by using two or of the material the higher the density, the larger the reduction. This is the basis for the
more detectors at different spacings from the source. The shorter the spacing, the density log. Compton scattering is also an important mechanism in gamma ray detectors.
shallower the depth of investigation and the larger the effect of the mudcake. Thus, a short
spaced detector, which is very sensitive to the mudcake, can be used to correct a long-
computed tomography a system constant, which in simple cases is the length between the measurement
electrodes divided by the area. In the most general case, the conductivity is the current
A technique for imaging a core by scanning it with a highly focused source of X-rays and
density divided by the electric field and depends on the frequency of the applied signal.
recording the attenuated X-rays on the other side. The source and detector are rotated
and moved along the core. The measurements are combined mathematically to give a full conductometric titration
core image.
A technique for estimating the cation-exchange capacity of a sample by measuring the
conductive invasion conductivity of the sample during titration. The technique includes crushing a core sample
and mixing it for some time in a solution like barium acetate, during which all the cation-
A situation in which the resistivity of the flushed zone is less than the resistivity of the
exchange sites are replaced by barium (Ba++) ions. The solution is then titrated with
undisturbed zone. Such a setting generally favors the use of electrode resistivity devices
another solution, such as MgSO4, while observing the change in conductivity as the
(laterologs, ring resistivity), which respond to resistivity, rather than induction and
magnesium (Mg++) ions replace the Ba++ ions. For several reasons, but mainly because
propagation resistivity devices, which respond to conductivity.
the sample must be crushed, the measured cation-exchange capacity may differ from that
which affects the in situ electrical properties of the rock.

conductive rock matrix model Core

A model, or set of equations, for the resistivity response of formations with conductive 1. vb. [Drilling]
minerals, such as shaly sands. The model is used to analyze core data and to calculate water
To deepen the wellbore by way of collecting a cylindrical sample of rock. A core bit is used
saturation from resistivity and other logs. The conductive rock matrix model (CRMM) was
to accomplish this, in conjunction with a core barrel and core catcher. The bit is usually a
proposed by W. Givens. The model treats the rock as two components in parallel: a
drag bit fitted with either PDC or natural diamond cutting structures, but the core bit is
conductive pore network with fluid that is free to move, and the remainder of the rock,
unusual in that it has a hole in its center. This allows the bit to drill around a central cylinder
which may have conductive minerals or immobile but conductive water. The model is not
of rock, which is taken in through the bit and into the core barrel. The core barrel itself
concerned with the origin of this conductivity, but gives it a resistivity, Rm. The two
may be thought of as a special storage chamber for holding the rock core. The core catcher
components are in parallel as follows: 1 / Rt = 1 / Rp + 1 / Rm where Rp is the resistance of
serves to grip the bottom of the core and, as tension is applied to the drillstring, the rock
the free-fluid pore network and can be expressed in terms of the porosity and formation
under the core breaks away from the undrilled formation below it. The core catcher also
water resistivity by the Archie equation. The model was developed from core data, and
retains the core so that it does not fall out the bottom of the drillstring, which is open in
can explain the observed variations of the porosity exponent with porosity and the
the middle at that point.
saturation exponent with water saturation in shaly sands. For log analysis Rm needs to be
related to parameters that can be measured by logs. Reference: Givens WW: Formation 2. n. [Geology]
Factor, Resistivity Index and Related Equations Based upon a Conductive rock Matrix
Innermost layer of the Earth. Studies of compressional and shear waves indicate that the
Model (CRMM), Transactions of the SPWLA 27th Annual Logging Symposium, Houston,
core makes up nearly 3500 km [2170 miles] of the Earth's radius of 6370 km [3950 miles].
Texas, USA, June 9-13, 1986, paper P.
Such studies also demonstrate that because shear waves do not pass through the outer
Conductivity part of the core (2250 km [1400 miles] thick), it is liquid (only solids can shear). The inner
core is solid and 1220 km [750 miles] thick. The core's iron and nickel composition was
The ability of a material to conduct electricity. It is the inverse of resistivity and is measured
inferred through studies of the Earth's gravitational field and average density. The
in siemens per meter (S/m) or mho/m. The conductivity is a property of the material,
relatively low density of the outer layers of the Earth suggests a dense inner layer.
whereas the conductance also depends on the volume measured. The two are related by
core analysis and vertical plugs, respectively, when cut from a vertical wellbore. The terms horizontal
and vertical are often applied for cores cut from a deviated or horizontal wellbore, even
Laboratory study of a sample of a geologic formation, usually reservoir rock, taken during
though they are not strictly correct unless core orientation is measured and plugs are cut
or after drilling a well. Economic and efficient oil and gas production is highly dependent
to the true in-situ orientation.
on understanding key properties of reservoir rock, such as porosity, permeability, and
wettability. Geoscientists have developed a variety of approaches, including log and core corkscrew hole
analysis techniques, to measure these properties. Core analysis is especially important in
The result of certain drilling conditions that cause the borehole to take the shape of a
shale reservoirs because of the vertical and lateral heterogeneity of the rocks. Core analysis
corkscrew. Most logging tools are much longer than the wavelength of the corkscrew, and
can include evaluation of rock properties and anisotropy; organic matter content,
therefore see it as a change in standoff or a change in hole size. For this reason, the
maturity, and type; fluid content; fluid sensitivity; and geomechanical properties. This
corkscrew is often observed as a wave on the caliper log. A corkscrew hole affects
information can be used to calibrate log and seismic measurements and to help in well and
measurements sensitive to standoff, such as induction and neutron porosity, and may
completion design, well placement, and other aspects of reservoir production.
affect pad tools, if they cannot follow the changes.

core gamma log


corrected gamma ray
A log obtained in the laboratory by moving the core past a gamma ray detector. The log
A gamma ray log from which the uranium contribution has been subtracted. In some rocks,
can be of the total gamma ray in API units, or of the spectral response in weight
and in particular in carbonate rocks, the contribution from uranium can be large and
concentrations of thorium, uranium and potassium. The main purpose is to correlate the
erratic, and can cause the carbonate to be mistaken for a shale. The carbonate gamma ray
depth of each section of core with the depth of a log.
is then a better indicator of shaliness.
core image
Correlate
An image of the external or internal features of a core. External images are photographs
1. vt. [Geology]
taken under natural or ultraviolet light; natural light highlights lithology and sedimentary
structures, while ultraviolet light causes hydrocarbon zones to fluoresce. Internal images To seek a comparison or equivalence. Scientists attempt to compare or match up well log
are obtained using X-rays or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). X-ray techniques measure signatures, chemical signatures, seismic signatures, fossils and rock samples across wide
the attenuation of X-rays passing through the core. The attenuation depends mainly on areas to determine the equivalence, extent, thickness, quality, relative age or other
the density. Hence the image reflects density and lithology changes, internal bedding properties of stratigraphic units and rock bodies.
planes, fractures and nodules. These techniques include, in increasing resolution,
fluoroscopy, X-radiography and computed tomography. Most NMR images measure the 2. vb. [Production Logging, Well Completions, Formation Evaluation, Reservoir
quantity and relaxation time of hydrogen, and therefore give information on fluid Characterization]
distribution. Some NMR techniques examine carbon, sodium and phosphorous. To compare and fix measured depths with known features on baseline logs of the wellbore
core plug tubulars and the surrounding formation.

A plug, or sample, taken from a conventional core for analysis. Core plugs are typically 1 correlation log
in. to 1 1/2 in. [2.5 to 3.8 cm] in diameter and 1 in. to 2 in. [5 cm] long. Core plugs are A log run for the purpose of correlating between wells. The most common logs used for
ordinarily cut perpendicular to the axis of the core or parallel to the axis, called horizontal this purpose are the gamma ray, the resistivity and the acoustic log; the most common
depth scales are 1/500 and 1/1000, or 2 in./100 ft [5 cm/30 m] and 1 in./100 ft [2.5 cm/30 particular response equations. The result is largely independent of lithology and is often a
m]. more reliable estimate of porosity than a single porosity log. It is often displayed as a
quicklook log.
CPMG
crosswell electromagnetic tomography
In a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement, referring to the cycle of radio
frequency pulses designed by Carr, Purcell, Meiboom and Gill to produce pulse echoes and A technique for measuring formation resistivity between two or more wells. This technique
counteract dephasing due to magnetic field inhomogeneities. In the CPMG sequence, an measures the signal between an electromagnetic induction transmitter in one well, and a
initial radio frequency pulse is applied long enough to tip the protons into a plane receiver array located in another well. The transmitting antenna broadcasts a continuous
perpendicular to the static magnetic field (the 90o pulse). Initially the protons precess in sinusoidal signal at programmable frequencies. Tomographic processing creates a map of
unison, producing a large signal in the antenna, but then quickly dephase due to the resistivity of the area between the wells. Measurements acquired by this technique have
inhomogeneities. Another pulse is applied, long enough to reverse their direction of a greater depth of investigation than conventional logging tools and are sensitive to fluid
precession (the 180o pulse), and causing them to come back in phase again after a short content. Crosswell electromagnetic induction surveys fill an intermediate role between
time. Being in phase, they produce another strong signal called an echo. They quickly high-resolution well logs and lower-resolution surface measurements. Asset managers
dephase again but can be rephased by another 180o pulse. Rephasing is repeated many utilize crosswell electromagnetic surveys for a variety of applications, such as monitoring
times, while measuring the magnitude of each echo. This magnitude decreases with time sweep efficiency, identifying bypassed pay, planning infill drilling locations and improving
due to molecular relaxation mechanisms surface, bulk and diffusion. One measurement the effectiveness of reservoir simulations.
typically may comprise many hundreds of echoes, while the time between each echo (the
crosswell reflection tomography
echo spacing) is of the order of 1 ms or less. Carr HY and Purcell EM: ?Effects of Diffusion
on Free Precession in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Experiments,? Physical Review 94, no. A crosswell seismic technique that incorporates reflection traveltimes and direct
3 (1954): 630-638. Meiboom S and Gill D: ?Modified Spin-Echo Method for Measuring traveltimes into a tomographic inversion algorithm to produce images of seismic velocity
Nuclear Relaxation Times,? The Review of Scientific Instruments 29, no. 8 (1958): 688-691. between wells.
cross dipole crosswell seismic tomography
Describing a waveform or a log that has been recorded by a set of dipole receivers oriented A survey technique that measures the seismic signal transmitted from a source, located in
orthogonally (or 900 out of line) with a dipole transmitter. In sonic logging, cross-dipole one well, to a receiver array in a neighboring well. The resulting data are processed to
flexural modes are used to determine shear anisotropy together with in-line flexural create a reflection image or to map the acoustic velocity or other properties (velocities of
modes. The data are processed using the Alford rotation. P- and S-waves, for example) of the area between wells. Placement of the source and
receiver array in adjacent wells not only enables the formation between wells to be
cross section
surveyed, it also avoids seismic signal propagation through attenuative near-surface
A diagram of a vertical section through a volume, as opposed to the surface, "bird's eye," formations. Another advantage is that it places the source and receiver near the reservoir
or plan view of a map. Cross sections are useful for displaying the types and orientations zone of interest, thereby obtaining better resolution than is possible with conventional
of subsurface structures and formations. surface seismic surveys. This technique is often used for high-resolution reservoir
characterization when surface seismic or vertical seismic profile (VSP) data lack resolution,
crossplot porosity
or for time-lapse monitoring of fluid movements in the reservoir.
The porosity obtained by plotting two porosity logs against each other, normally density
and neutron porosity. The computation assumes a particular fluid, usually fresh water, and
crosswell tomography is filtered by the Earth. Deconvolution can also be performed on other types of data, such
as gravity, magnetic or well log data.
A technique for measuring a signal that is broadcast from a transmitter or source located
in one well, to a receiver array placed in a neighboring well. This technique is used to create 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
a display of formation properties such as acoustic velocity and attenuation, seismic
With reference to induction logging, a method of removing shoulder-bed effects from an
reflectivity, or electromagnetic resistivity in the area between wells. The reservoir-scale
induction log. The term refers to early 6FF40 and deep induction logs in which the standard
data acquired with this technique can be used to bridge the gap between wellbore
method of deconvolution was based on three measurements separated by 78 in. [198 cm]
measurements and surface measurements.
in depth. The three measurements were weighted by an amount calculated to reduce the
Curve effect of shoulder beds on the readings in a high-resistivity bed. Originally, the resistivity
of the shoulder beds could be input, but in later usage this resistivity became standardized
The presentation on hard copy of log data from a single measurement versus depth. The
at 1 ohm-m. The deconvolution was not effective in high-contrast formations. In modern
term is also used to refer to the log data themselves, as a synonym for a single log.
tools, the shoulder effect is corrected by using an inverse filter or an automatic inversion.
data rate
3. n. [Well Testing]
The rate at which measurements are transmitted between logging tool and surface. In
A mathematical operation that uses downhole flow-rate measurements to transform
measurement-while-drilling (MWD), if the data rate is low in comparison with the drilling
bottomhole pressure measurements distorted by variable rates to an interpretable
or tripping speed, the sampling interval or the amount of data transmitted must be
transient. Deconvolution also can use surface rates to transform wellhead pressures to an
reduced or else information will be lost. In wireline logging, the data rate can limit the
interpretable form. Deconvolution has the advantage over convolution that it does not
logging speed or the number of tools in the tool string.
assume a particular model for the pressure-transient response. However, the simplest
Dean-Stark extraction form of deconvolution often gives a noisy result, and more complex approaches may be
computing intensive.
A method for the measurement of fluid saturations in a core sample by distillation
extraction. The water in the sample is vaporized by boiling solvent, then condensed and deep induction
collected in a calibrated trap. This gives the volume of water in the sample. The solvent is
A particular type of induction log that was designed to read deep into the formation while
also condensed, then flows back over the sample and extracts the oil. Extraction continues
maintaining reasonable vertical resolution. The deep induction log (ID) is based on the
for a minimum of two days until the extracted solvent is clean or the sample shows no
measurement of a 6FF40 array and was combined with a medium induction array to form
more fluorescence. The weight of the sample is measured before and after extraction.
the dual induction tool. Versions built after 1968 had a small extra transmitter coil to
Then the volume of oil is calculated from the loss in weight of the sample minus the weight
reduce the borehole effect on the medium induction while changing the deep response
of the water removed from it. Saturations are calculated from the volumes.
very little. The midpoint of the ID integrated radial geometrical factor is at 62 in. [157 cm]
Deconvolution radius for high resistivities, reducing to 45 in. [114 cm] at 1 ohm-m. ID receives very little
signal from within 20 in. [50 cm] of the tool. The vertical resolution is about 8 ft [2.4 m] but
1. n. [Geophysics] varies with local conditions.
A step in seismic signal processing to recover high frequencies, attenuate multiples, delta rho
equalize amplitudes, produce a zero-phase wavelet or for other purposes that generally
affect the waveshape. Deconvolution, or inverse filtering, can improve seismic data that A log that shows the magnitude of the correction applied to the long-spacing detector of
were adversely affected by filtering, or convolution that occurs naturally as seismic energy a density measurement. When delta rho is above a certain value, typically +/- 0.15 g/cm3,
the correction may no longer be accurate, and needs to be examined in more detail. Delta density measurement
rho is also used as a qualitative indicator of borehole rugosity.
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
delta t
A measurement of the bulk density of the formation, based on the reduction in gamma ray
Also called interval transit time, the amount of time for a wave to travel a certain distance, flux between a source and a detector due to Compton scattering. The gamma ray source,
proportional to the reciprocal of velocity, typically measured in microseconds per foot by usually 137Cs (cesium), is chosen so that gamma ray energies are high enough to interact
an acoustic log and symbolized by t or DT. P-wave interval transit times for common by Compton scattering but not by pair production. The detectors discriminate against low
sedimentary rock types range from 43 (dolostone) to 160 (unconsolidated shales) gamma ray energies that may have been influenced by photoelectric absorption. Although
microseconds per foot, and can be distinguished from measurements of steel casing, which Compton scattering depends on electron density and not bulk density, density logs are
has a consistent transit time of 57 microseconds per foot. calibrated to give the correct bulk density in the majority of sedimentary rocks. Due to the
Z/A effect there are small differences in some formations. The measurement responds to
delta t stretch
the average density of the material between source and detector. In the wireline
A feature on a sonic log caused by low signal amplitude that results in erroneously long measurement, care is taken to minimize the mud between the sensors and the formation
traveltimes. Sonic logs that do not record waveforms measure the acoustic traveltime by pressing a pad against the borehole wall, with source and detector focused into the
between transmitter and receiver by detecting the first signal at the receiver above a formation. In the logging-while-drilling measurement, a sleeve may be mounted on the
certain threshold (first motion detection). The threshold is small so that the signal is collar around the sensors to exclude the mud. The detectors measure the gamma rays
detected just after it crosses the zero signal baseline. However, if the threshold is set too scattered from the formation. Even then, mudcake or borehole rugosity can affect the
high, or the signal is too small, the system will not trigger at the sharp zero crossing but at measurement. It is common practice to compensate for the mudcake by using two or more
some later point on the waveform. This increases the apparent transmitter-receiver time. detectors at different spacings.
Delta-t stretch is more likely at the far receiver, where signals are weaker, so that the
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
apparent traveltime calculated between receivers is too large. In the extreme case, the
system triggers on the next cycle of the waveform, known as cycle skipping. A measurement of the bulk density of the formation based on borehole-gravity
measurements. As the gravitational attraction between two bodies is dependent upon
delta-t stretch
their masses and their separation, it follows that its measurement also can be used to make
A feature on a sonic log caused by low signal amplitude that results in erroneously long a direct determination of density. The density thus measured is highly accurate but
traveltimes. Sonic logs that do not record waveforms measure the acoustic traveltime averaged over a large volume.
between transmitter and receiver by detecting the first signal at the receiver above a
departure curve
certain threshold (first motion detection). The threshold is small so that the signal is
detected just after it crosses the zero signal baseline. However, if the threshold is set too A graph that shows the effects of environmental factors on the ideal response of a
high, or the signal is too small, the system will not trigger at the sharp zero crossing but at measurement. The name comes from the departure of the actual response from the ideal.
some later point on the waveform. This increases the apparent transmitter-receiver time. The term is used most commonly in relation to the effect of hole size, mud resistivity, bed
Delta-t stretch is more likely at the far receiver, where signals are weaker, so that the thickness, invasion and other factors on electrical logs.
apparent traveltime calculated between receivers is too large. In the extreme case, the
Dephasing
system triggers on the next cycle of the waveform, known as cycle skipping.
In a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement, the loss of synchronization of
hydrogen atoms precessing at different speeds about the static magnetic field. When the
signals from individual atoms are not synchronized, they are out of phase and the total depth mark
signal is reduced. The dephasing occurs either because of inhomogeneities in the static
A magnetic mark placed on a logging cable as a reference for depth measurements. The
magnetic field or through molecular processes. Dephasing due to inhomogeneities is
marks are placed on the cable at regular intervals, usually 100 ft [30 m] or 50 m [164 ft],
known as the free-induction decay and is corrected by the CPMG sequence. Molecular
under a certain tension in a workshop. The intervals may change slightly as a function of
dephasing is known as transverse relaxation.
tension downhole, but this change can be corrected for. During logging operations, the
depth correlation marks are detected by a magnetic mark detector, and then used to check and correct the
depth read by the depth wheel.
The process of comparing and fixing measured depths with known features on baseline
logs of the wellbore tubulars and the surrounding formation. depth matched

depth datum Pertaining to two or more logging curves that have been aligned in depth. Logs recorded
on different runs will not be exactly aligned at all depths because of the difficulty of perfect
Also known as depth reference, the point in a well from which depth is measured.
depth control. If the two logs are offset by the same amount throughout the log, then only
Alternatively, the depth reference is the point at which the depth is defined as being zero.
a simple depth shift is required. If the offset varies, then the logs need to be depth
It is typically the top of the kelly bushing or the level of the drill floor on the rig that is used
matched. Depth matching is simplest if both runs contain the same type of log, such as a
to drill the well. The depth measured from that point is the measured depth (MD) for the
gamma ray. The two gamma rays can then be aligned, either manually or with software,
well. Even when the drilling rig has been removed, all subsequent measurements and
and the other logs shifted by the same amount. Otherwise the alignment is based on two
operations in the well are still tied in to the same depth reference. However, for multiwell
logs that respond in a similar fashion, such as a neutron porosity and a shallow laterolog.
studies, the depths are normally shifted to the permanent datum. The depth reference and
Depth matching also may be needed for logs recorded on the same run. Although there is
its elevation above the permanent datum are recorded on the log heading. In some
a fixed distance between the measure points and the depth reference, the apparent
contexts, the term may refer to any point from which depth is measured.
distance will vary if the tool moves unevenly up the hole, due to stick and slip or yo-yo
depth derived effects. Depth matching is then necessary.

Referring to a borehole-compensation scheme for sonic logs that combines depth of invasion
measurements taken when the logging tool is at two different depths in the borehole. In
The distance from the borehole wall that the mud filtrate has penetrated into the
normal borehole-compensation schemes, the effects of caves and sonde tilt are minimized
formation. The depth of invasion affects whether a log measures the invaded zone, the
by combining measurements from a second transmitter (T2) above a pair of receivers with
undisturbed zone or part of each zone. The term is closely related to the diameter of
those from the first transmitter (T1) below the receivers. This arrangement makes the
invasion, the latter being twice the depth of invasion plus the borehole diameter. Depth of
logging tool unacceptably long for the long-spacing sonic log. In the depth-derived system,
invasion is a more appropriate parameter for describing the response of pad and
T2 is located below T1, at a distance equal to the receiver spacing. T1 is fired and the transit
azimuthally focused measurements such as density and microresistivity logs. The term is
time between the receivers at depth z (TT1z) is recorded as usual. Then when T1 and T2
well-defined in the case of a step profile of invasion. In the case of an annulus or a
are at depth z, both are fired sequentially and the difference in time for their signals to
transition zone, two depths must be defined, corresponding to the inner and outer limits
reach one of the receivers is recorded (TT2z). The average of TT1z and TT2z is borehole-
of the annulus or transition zone. When the invasion model is not specified, the term
compensated since the acoustic signals traveled in opposite directions for the two
usually refers to the outer limit of invasion.
measurements.
depth of investigation also referred to as a depth encoder. Modern encoders have two wheels so that slippage
can be detected by differences between the two measurements.
A distance that characterizes how far a logging tool measures into the formation from the
face of the tool or the borehole wall. The depth of investigation summarizes the radial depth-derived
response of the measurement in one or more directions. For nuclear and resistivity
Referring to a borehole-compensation scheme for sonic logs that combines
measurements, the depth of investigation should be associated with the percentage of
measurements taken when the logging tool is at two different depths in the borehole. In
signal received from within that depth, typically either 50% or 90%. Most quoted depths
normal borehole-compensation schemes, the effects of caves and sonde tilt are minimized
of investigation assume a homogeneous formation with certain properties, such as a given
by combining measurements from a second transmitter (T2) above a pair of receivers with
resistivity or fluid content. The depths of investigation can vary considerably in
those from the first transmitter (T1) below the receivers. This arrangement makes the
inhomogeneous conditions, and at different values of the properties concerned. They
logging tool unacceptably long for the long-spacing sonic log. In the depth-derived system,
should be considered only a qualitative guide to tool response. For other measurements,
T2 is located below T1, at a distance equal to the receiver spacing. T1 is fired and the transit
the depth of investigation is either well-defined by the tool physics (in the case of nuclear
time between the receivers at depth z (TT1z) is recorded as usual. Then when T1 and T2
magnetic resonance), or else can be given only approximately, an accurate value being too
are at depth z, both are fired sequentially and the difference in time for their signals to
dependent on formation properties (in the case of acoustic and electromagnetic
reach one of the receivers is recorded (TT2z). The average of TT1z and TT2z is borehole-
propagation). The term is used for all measurements but is most appropriate for
compensated since the acoustic signals traveled in opposite directions for the two
azimuthally focused devices such as nuclear logs. For azimuthally symmetric devices such
measurements.
as resistivity logs, the term radius of investigation is more appropriate.
detail log
depth reference
A log with a depth scale chosen to show sufficient detail of the formation. The most
The point in a well from which depth is measured. Alternatively, the depth reference is the
common scales are 1/200 or 5 in./100 ft.
point at which the depth is defined as being zero. It is typically the top of the kelly bushing
or the level of the drill floor on the rig that is used to drill the well. The depth measured diameter of invasion
from that point is the measured depth (MD) for the well. Even when the drilling rig has
been removed, all subsequent measurements and operations in the well are still tied in to The distance from the borehole wall into the formation that the mud filtrate has
the same depth reference. However, for multiwell studies, the depths are normally shifted penetrated. The term assumes equal invasion on all sides of the borehole. It is the diameter
to the permanent datum. The depth reference and its elevation above the permanent of the circle thus formed, with the center being the center of the borehole. The diameter
datum are recorded on the log heading. In some contexts, the term may refer to any point of invasion affects whether a log measures the invaded zone, the undisturbed zone, or part
from which depth is measured. of each zone. The term is closely related to the depth of invasion, being twice the depth of
invasion plus the borehole diameter. Diameter of invasion is a more appropriate
depth wheel parameter for describing the response of azimuthally symmetric measurements such as
induction, laterolog and propagation resistivity. The term is well-defined in the case of a
A calibrated wheel used to drive the depth recording system in wireline logging. The wheel
step profile of invasion. In the case of an annulus or a transition zone, two diameters must
is pressed against the logging cable as the cable is spooled onto the drum and therefore
be defined, corresponding to the inner and outer limits of the annulus or transition zone.
turns as the cable is run in and out of the borehole. After zeroing the depth on surface, the
When the invasion model is not specified, the term usually refers to the outer limit of
depth wheel provides the depth input to the recording system. Small errors in calibration
invasion.
and slippage can cause the wheel to introduce systematic errors in the depth recorded.
For this reason, the depth is checked and corrected using depth marks. The depth wheel is
diameter of investigation differential SP

A distance that characterizes how far a logging tool measures into the formation from the The spontaneous potential (SP) measured between two electrodes placed close together
axis of the tool or borehole. The term is similar to depth of investigation but is appropriate in the borehole, as opposed to the normal SP, which is measured with one electrode in the
only for azimuthally symmetric measurements such as resistivity. borehole and one at surface.

dielectric constant differential spectrum

The degree to which a medium resists the flow of electric charge, defined as the ratio of A technique in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging that is based on the difference
the electric displacement to the electric field strength. It is more common to use the between the T2 distributions, or spectra, acquired at different polarization times. The
relative dielectric constant. technique often is used to detect gas or light oil. These fluids have long T1that exceed 1 s.
A measurement made with a long polarization time will polarize much of these fluids and
dielectric permittivity
give significant signalat the appropriate T2. A measurement made with a short polarization
The degree to which a medium resists the flow of electric charge, defined as the ratio of time will polarize little of these fluids and will give a much smaller signal. Other fluids, with
the electric displacement to the electric field strength. It is more common to use the shorter T1, will be polarized in both cases, so that a difference in signal at the appropriate
relative dielectric permittivity. T2identifies gas or light oil.

dielectric propagation log Diffusion

A log of the high-frequency (on the order of 25 MHz) dielectric properties of the formation. 1. n. [Geophysics]
The log usually includes two curves the relative dielectric permittivity, symbolized by
The movement of ions or molecules from regions of high concentration to low
epsilon which is unitless, and the resistivity in ohm-m. At the frequency used, water
concentration within a solution.
molecules have a strong effect on the dielectric properties, so that both relative dielectric
permittivity and conductivity increase with the volume of water present. Relative dielectric 2. n. [Geophysics]
permittivity can be used to distinguish hydrocarbons from water of any salinity. However,
The conduction of heat by the movement of molecules.
the effect of salinity is more important than the salinity effect with the high-frequency
electromagnetic propagation log, and the interpretation is more complex. The advantage 3. n. [Formation Evaluation, Enhanced Oil Recovery]
of the dielectric propagation log is that the lower frequency permits a larger depth of
investigation and therefore an analysis of the undisturbed zone. The process by which particles move over time within a material due to their kinetic
motion. The term is most commonly used in pulsed neutron capture logging and in nuclear
dielectric resistivity magnetic resonance (NMR) logging. In a pulsed neutron capture log, the term refers to the
spread of neutrons away from the neutron generator. In NMR logging, diffusion refers to
The resistivity of the formation derived by combining the attenuation and phase shift of a
the movement of gas, oil or water molecules within the pore space.
propagation resistivity measurement. Common practice is to transform attenuation and
phase shift independently to resistivity, assuming a certain transform between permittivity diffusion relaxation
and resistivity. These relations lose accuracy at high resistivity. However, by combining the
two measurements, both the dielectric permittivity and resistivity can be determined In a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement, the loss of coherent energy by
without need for a transform. The dielectric resistivity extends the range of measurement, hydrogen atoms as they move within the pore space. Hydrogen atoms that move
typically up to 3000 ohm-m. significantly within the pores during a NMR measurement will encounter different
magnetic fields and hence will precess at different rates, or dephase. Dephasing
contributes only to T2 and is most significant in gas or light oils. The magnitude depends drillpipe conveyed
on the field gradient, the echo spacing and the diffusion coefficient of the fluid. Diffusion
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
relaxation can be induced in water by using long echo spacings. This is the basis of the
enhanced diffusion technique. Describing sensors that are embedded in drill collars in order to record measurements-
while-drilling.
dip correction
2. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
An algorithm for correcting the effects of dip or borehole deviation on the response of a
logging measurement. These effects are significant for deep-reading logs such as induction Pertaining to the use of drillpipe to move wireline logging tools up and down a borehole.
and electrode devices. The standard processing used to produce these logs assumes a In difficult conditions--high well deviation, rough hole--wireline logging tools cannot reach
vertical well with horizontal formation layers. In the presence of a relative dip between the the bottom of the hole under their own weight. In drillpipe-conveyed logging operations,
borehole and formation layers, the logs may read incorrectly. For older logs such as the the tools are moved mechanically by the drillpipe, while a wireline maintains the electrical
dual induction, a set of inverse filters can be designed to correct for dip effect up to about connection.
60. For modern array logs, iterative forward modeling with a one-dimensional layered
earth model can correct up to about 85. dual induction

direct hydrocarbon typing The combination of a deep-induction and a medium-induction array on the same sonde.
In a typical implementation, the two arrays share the same transmitters but have different
The application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging to the determination of receivers. If the dual-induction log is combined with a shallow laterolog or microresistivity
hydrocarbon type (gas, light oil, medium oil, heavy oil), using only NMR data. Three log, it is possible to correct for the effect on invasion on the deep log, assuming a step
techniques are most commonly used: differential spectrum, shifted spectrum and profile.
enhanced diffusion.
dual water
dispersed clay
A model of shaly formations that considers there to be two waters in the pore space: far
Clay that is scattered throughout the pore space. There are three general types: pore lining, water, which is the normal formationwater; and near water (or clay-bound water) in
pore filling and pore bridging. The terms dispersed clay and dispersed shale tend to be the electrical double layer near the clay surface. The clay-bound water consists of clay
used synonymously. counter-ions and the associated water of hydration. The volume of this layer is determined
by its thickness, which is constant at high salinities, and its area, which is proportional to
Drainage
the counter-ion concentration per unit pore volume (Qv). The volume of clay-bound water
The process of forcing a nonwetting phase into a porous rock. Oil migrates into most per unit pore volume, Swb, can therefore be written as: Swb = alpha * vq * Qv where vq = 0.28
reservoirs as the non-wetting phase, so initial charging of the reservoir is a drainage cm3/meq at 25oC is the factor relating volume to counter-ion concentration at high salinity
process. and is a function only of temperature, and alpha = 1 above a certain salinity, below which
it increases with temperature and with decreasing salinity. The fractional volume of the far
drained test
water is then (1 ? alpha?* vq * Qv). The dual-water concept was developed for
A drained test is one in which the pore fluid in the sample is able to flow and equilibrate the interpretation of resistivity in shaly sands, but is also useful in the interpretation of
to imposed pore pressure conditions; the fluid mass and volume will vary but its pressure nuclear and nuclear magnetic resonance logs. In these cases, the parameter most used is
will be constant. A drained test could be on a dry sample. the total volume of clay-bound water in the rock, equal to Swb multiplied by the
total porosity.
Eccentralizer electrical double layer

A device that helps to keep a wireline logging tool away from the center of the borehole. With reference to formation evaluation, the layer between a clay particle and the
Typical devices are a single bow spring mounted on the outside surface of the logging tool formation water that has a particular distribution of ions. Clays have an excess negative
or a set of rubber fingers mounted at the bottom. Some measurements, such as induction charge on their surface. When in contact with formation water, this charge attracts an
logs, respond better when the tool is eccentralized, while others, including acoustic logs, excess of positive cations, normally Na+ together with their molecules of hydration water,
are better when centralized. into a region near the interface. The layer next to the clay surface, the Stern layer, has no
anions, and is always present. Outside the Stern layer is the Gouy layer, through which the
echo spacing
ion concentration gradually approaches that of free brine. The thickness of this layer
The time between each echo in a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement. The increases as brine salinity decreases.
time is also the time to the first echo and is therefore an important parameter in defining
electrical log
the fastest relaxation time that can be measured. In standard measurements, the echo
spacing ranges from 0.2 to 1 ms. A log recorded using an electrical wireline. In this sense, the term refers to any log recorded
on a wireline, whether it measures an electrical quantity or not. The term dates from the
effective porosity
early days of logging when the only logs were the spontaneous potential and resistivity
The interconnected pore volume or void space in a rock that contributes to fluid flow or from conventional electrode devices.
permeability in a reservoir. Effective porosity excludes isolated pores and pore volume
electrical survey
occupied by water adsorbed on clay minerals or other grains. Total porosity is the total
void space in the rock whether or not it contributes to fluid flow. Effective porosity is A particular combination of a spontaneous potential log and three electrical logs consisting
typically less than total porosity. of a 16-in. [40-cm] short normal, a 64-in. [162-cm] long normal and an 18-ft, 8-in. [5.7-m]
lateral. With this combination, it is possible to correct for the effects of invasion in many
effective water saturation
average logging environments. This combination is sometimes called a conventional
The fraction of water in the pore space corresponding to the effective porosity. It is electrical log or survey, or simply electrical log, and is also referred to as the ES.
expressed in volume/volume, percent or saturation units. Unless otherwise stated, water
electrode device
saturation is the fraction of formation water in the undisturbed zone. The saturation is
known as the total water saturation if the pore space is the total porosity, but is called A logging tool based on an arrangement of simple metallic electrodes working at low
effective water saturation if the pore space is the effective porosity. If used without frequency (less than 500 Hz). The term includes conventional electrical logs, laterologs,
qualification, the term water saturation usually refers to the effective water saturation. micrologs and other microresistivity logs. Electrode devices are used for both wireline and
measurements-while-drilling logs. In all electrode devices, a current (IO) and a voltage (VO)
electrical anisotropy
are measured on the appropriate electrodes or combinations of electrodes. The apparent
A difference in vertical and horizontal resistivity within a formation and at the scale of the formation resistivity is then determined by: Ra = K VO / IO, where K is a system constant
resistivity measurement. Although there are several possible types of anisotropy, the term for the device concerned.
usually is used when the electrical properties are the same in all horizontal directions, but
electrode resistivity
different in the vertical direction. For horizontal beds, this type of anisotropy is more fully
known as transverse isotropy with a vertical axis of symmetry (TIV). The term may also The resistivity measured by an electrode device. The term often is used to distinguish this
refer to a difference in resistivities measured parallel and perpendicular to bedding. resistivity from that measured by the measurements-while-drilling propagation resistivity,
or the wireline induction resistivity. The term may also refer to measurements-while- arrays, such as the endfire array and the broadside array. An ideal measurement would
drilling toroid devices, such as bit resistivity, ring resistivity and button resistivity. These give the plane wave properties of the formation. However, the geometry of the
devices do not use electrodes but have a similar response. Electrode resistivity measurement precludes this, so that a correction, known as the spreading-loss correction,
measurements respond to resistivity, not conductivity. They are therefore best at is needed for the attenuation and to a much smaller extent for the propagation time. The
measuring true formation resistivity at high resistivities, high contrasts in resistivity measurement is also affected by the dielectric properties and thickness of the mudcake.
between formation and drilling mud, and for conductive invasion. These are conditions Borehole compensation is used to correct for sonde tilt or a rough borehole wall.
that are not well covered by propagation and induction resistivity.
elemental capture spectroscopy
electrokinetic potential
Referring to a log of the yields of different elements in the formation, as measured by
The electromagnetic force, in millivolts, generated by an electrolyte flowing through a capture gamma ray spectroscopy using a pulsed neutron generator. The log is a type of
permeable medium. This potential is an unwanted contribution to the spontaneous pulsed neutron spectroscopy log that uses only the capture spectrum. The capture
potential (SP) log. In principle, there is no flow into a permeable reservoir at the time of spectrum is formed by many elements, but since the main purpose of the log is to
logging, since the mudcake has isolated the reservoir from the borehole. However, it is determine lithology, the principal outputs are the relative yields of silicon, calcium, iron,
possible for mudcakes and shales to produce an electrokinetic potential at the time of sulfur, titanium and gadolinium. The yields give information only on the relative
logging. In normal conditions, any potential is small and equal along the borehole, so that concentration of these elements. To get absolute elemental concentrations, it is necessary
the effect on the SP is negligible. A significant electrokinetic potential can be generated in to calibrate to cores, or, more often, use a model such as the oxide-closure model. The
particular conditions, for example, high differential pressure or poor mudcakes. depth of investigation of the measurement is several inches into the formation. It can be
run in open or cased hole. The absolute elemental concentrations are insensitive to fluids
electromagnetic propagation
in the borehole and formation.
Pertaining to logs that measure the properties of electromagnetic waves as they move
endfire array
through a formation. Measurements-while-drilling (MWD) propagation resistivity logs
work between about 100 kHz and 10 MHz. Dielectric propagation logs work between 20 A particular arrangement of transmitters and receivers used in the electromagnetic
and 200 MHz. Logs made above 200 MHz and into the GHz range are known as propagation measurement in which the dipoles used as sensors are oriented along the axis
electromagnetic propagation logs. Below about 100 kHz, the measurements are based on of the tool. The orientation is combined with relatively long spacings to give deeper
the properties of standing waves, not of propagation. Induction and laterolog tools work penetration, and hence less effect of mudcake or rugosity.
in this range.
enhanced diffusion
electromagnetic propagation measurement
A technique in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging based on a long echo spacing,
A measurement of the high frequency (about 1 GHz) dielectric properties of the formation. specially chosen to enhance the diffusion of formation water. Echo spacings in standard
In a typical tool, a microwave transmitter is placed a few inches below two receivers NMR logs are too short to allow any significant diffusion relaxation from water. Long echo
separated by 4 cm [1.6 in.]. At this frequency, the response is best explained as the spacings, for example 3 s, cause diffusion relaxation to limit the maximum T2 from water.
propagation of a wave. Thus the phase shift and attenuation of the wave between the They also limit the maximum T2 from light hydrocarbons. However, there is a certain range
receivers are measured and transformed to give the log measurements of propagation of viscosity of medium oil that is less affected. The enhanced diffusion technique therefore
time and attenuation. Because of the short spacings, the measurement has excellent permits the identification of some medium oils.
vertical resolution and reads within inches of the borehole wall except at high resistivity.
Different transmitter and receiver spacings and orientations are used, leading to different
environmental corrections equivalent water resistivity

The adjustments that must be made to log measurements to bring them back to the The effective resistivity of the formation water or the mud filtrate, as it affects the
standard conditions for which the tool has been characterized. Different measurements electrochemical potential. The electrochemical potential is the main source of the
require different corrections. For example resistivity measurements usually require spontaneous potential log. The equivalent water resistivity, or equivalent resistivity, is
correction for the borehole, invasion and shoulder beds, and may also be corrected for defined as the reciprocal of the activity of a solution, so that the formula for the
apparent dip, anisotropy and surrounding beds in horizontal wells. Density measurements electrochemical potential, Ec, can be written as: Ec = - K log10 (Rmfe / Rwe) where K is a
require correction only for borehole size, while neutron porosity measurements require coefficient, and Rmfe and Rwe are the equivalent water resistivities. The importance of
corrections for temperature, pressure and a large number of borehole and formation Rmfe and Rwe is that they are equal to the actual water resistivities for NaCl solutions above
parameters. Not all corrections are significant in all cases. Corrections can be calculated about 0.1 ohm-m. In salty waters below 0.1ohm-m, the equivalent resistivity is lower by
manually, using charts, or applied through software. Conventionally, corrections are an amount that depends on temperature and salinity. In fresh waters, divalent ions such
applied sequentially, as for example first borehole then invasion. In some situations, such as Ca++ and Mg++ have a strong effect on Ec. Rwe is then related to Rw by
as the combination of deep invasion and high apparent dip on a resistivity measurement, an empirical transform that assumes average concentrations of these ions. For fresh mud
the corrections are too interdependent for sequential application to be accurate. The filtrates, it has been common practice to set Rmfe = 0.85 * Rmf.
solution is iterative forward modeling.

epithermal neutron porosity measurement


estimated ultimate recovery
A measurement based on the slowing down of neutrons between a source and one or
The amount of oil and gas expected to be economically recovered from a reservoir or field
more detectors that measure neutrons at the epithermal level, where their energy is above
by the end of its producing life. Estimated ultimate recovery can be referenced to a well, a
that of the surrounding matter, between approximately 0.4 and 10 eV. The slowing-down
field, or a basin.
process is dominated by hydrogen, and is characterized by a slowing-down length. By
measuring the neutrons at the epithermal level, rather than the thermal level, the excavation effect
response is a purer estimate of hydrogen index, unaffected by thermal absorbers. On the
other hand, the count rate is smaller for the same source and source-detector spacing. That part of the effect of gas on the neutron porosity measurement that is not explained
Epithermal measurements have been made with both the compensated neutron by differences in hydrogen index. By using the concept of hydrogen index, the only
technique and by using a pad pressed against the borehole wall with detectors focused significant contributor to the neutron porosity in a gas zone is the liquid-filled porosity,
into the formation. since the hydrogen indices of gas and matrix are close to zero. However, the resultant
liquid-filled porosity is found to be too low. The error comes from treating the gas-filled
equivalent conductance porosity as matrix. If this matrix is excavated and replaced with gas, the correct response
can be predicted.
With reference to the conductivity of brines, the ionic conductivity provided by a unit ion
concentration. The conductivity of the brine (Cw, in siemens per meter or S/m) is flushed-zone water saturation
determined by the equivalent conductance, (B, in S/m per meq/cm3) and the ion
concentration (N, in milli-ion equivalent, or more commonly milliequivalent, meq per cm3) The fraction of water in a given pore space in the flushed zone. It is expressed in
as Cw = B * N. volume/volume, percent or saturation units and is given the symbol Sxo. Unless otherwise
stated, the pore space concerned is usually the effective porosity. If the pore space
concerned is the total porosity, the saturation is more correctly known as the total flushed-
zone water saturation; or if it is the effective porosity, the effective flushed-zone water formation factor
saturation.
The ratio of the resistivity of a rock filled with water (Ro) to the resistivity of that water
Formation (Rw). G.E. Archie postulated that the formation factor (F) was a constant independent of
Rw and solely a function of pore geometry (the Archie equation I). It has since been shown
1. n. [Geology]
that F is independent of Rw only for a certain class of petrophysically simple rocks (Archie
The fundamental unit of lithostratigraphy. A body of rock that is sufficiently distinctive and rocks). In rocks with conductive minerals, such as shaly sands, there is a more complex
continuous that it can be mapped. In stratigraphy, a formation is a body of strata of dependence. In such cases, the ratio Ro/Rw is known as the apparent formation factor and
predominantly one type or combination of types; multiple formations form groups, and may vary with Rw , temperature and the type of ion in solution. The intrinsic formation
subdivisions of formations are members. factor is then defined as F corrected for the effect of shale, or else the value of Ro/Rw at the
limit of high salinity (low Rw ). The correction for the effect of shale depends on
2. n. [Geology] the saturation equation used, for example Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS or CRMM.
A surface land form. Unless otherwise stated, the term formation factor usually refers to the apparent
formation factor. F has been related to porosity (phi) by several formulae (Archie, Humble
3. n. [Formation Evaluation] and others) that have the general expression F = a / phim, where a is a constant and m the
A general term for the rock around the borehole. In the context of formation evaluation, porosity exponent.
the term refers to the volume of rock seen by a measurement made in the borehole, as in
a log or a well test. These measurements indicate the physical properties of this volume.
Extrapolation of the properties beyond the measurement volume requires a geological formation water
model. 1. n. [Geology]
formation evaluation Water that occurs naturally within the pores of rock. Water from fluids introduced to a
The measurement and analysis of formation and fluid properties through examination of formation through drilling or other interference, such as mud and seawater, does not
formation cuttings or through the use of tools integrated into the bottomhole assembly constitute formation water. Formation water, or interstitial water, might not have been
while drilling, or conveyed on wireline or drillpipe after a borehole has been drilled. the water present when the rock originally formed. In contrast, connate water is the water
Formation evaluation is performed to assess the quantity and producibility of fluids from trapped in the pores of a rock during its formation, and may be called fossil water.
a reservoir. Formation evaluation guides wellsite decisions, such as placement of 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
perforations and hydraulic fracture stages, and reservoir development and production
planning. Water in the undisturbed zone around a borehole. The resistivity and other properties of
this water are used in the interpretation of measurements made in the borehole or from
formation exposure time the surface. Although formation water normally is the same as the geological formation
The time that has elapsed between the bit first penetrating a formation and a log being water, or interstitial water, it may be different because of the influx of injection water.
recorded opposite the formation. In logging-while-drilling operations, this time is different forward modeling
for each log, since it depends on the drilling rate and the distance between the bit and the
particular logging sensor. The technique of determining what a given sensor would measure in a given formation and
environment by applying a set of theoretical equations for the sensor response. Forward
modeling is used to determine the general response of most electromagnetic logging
measurements, unlike nuclear measurements whose response is determined mainly in
free induction decay
laboratory experiments. Forward modeling is also used for interpretation, particularly in
horizontal wells and complex environments. In this case, iterative forward modeling is In a nuclear magnetic resonance measurement, the decay, or relaxation, caused by
used. The set of theoretical equations (the forward models) can be 1D, 2D or 3D. The more dephasing in an inhomogeneous magnetic field. Since this relaxation is not related to
complex the geometry, the more factors can be modeled but the slower the computing formation properties, it is unwanted and corrected by using the CPMG pulse sequence.
time.
free water
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
1. n. [Geology]
A technique for quantitative mineralogical analysis of a sample of rock by measuring the
effect of midrange infrared radiation transmitted through the sample. This radiation Water that is mobile, available to flow, and not bound to surfaces of grains or minerals in
excites vibrations in the chemical bonds within the mineral molecules at particular rock
frequencies characteristic of each bond. The transmitted radiation is compared with the 2. n. [Drilling]
spectral standards for a wide variety of minerals to determine the abundance of each
mineral in the sample. Typically, a core plug is ground finely and a small (approximately 1 In cementing, any water in the slurry that is in excess of what is required to fully hydrate
g) representative sample selected and dispersed in a potassium bromide matrix for the the Portland cement and other additives. Free water can physically separate as a cement
measurement. slurry sets. This separation tendency, especially in the presence of a high-pressure gas-
bearing formation, can impair zonal isolation, the primary job of the cement. For that
reason, the well designer usually specifies a maximum free-water content for the slurry.
free fluid 3. n. [Well Completions]
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] The aqueous phase that separates from a slurry or mixture of fluids. In cementing
Fluid in the pore space that can flow under normal reservoir conditions. This fluid may operations, free water is undesirable since channels tend to form through the set cement,
include water, oil or gas, and will flow on production, injection or invasion. When the term providing potential gas migration paths. When processing reservoir fluids, the water that
is used in connection with nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, it refers to the separates easily under gravity separation is known as free water. In some cases, additional
signal that occurs above a certain cutoff, typically 33 ms in sandstones and 100 ms in water may be locked in an emulsion, contributing to the aqueous phase but not available
carbonates. The source of this signal is free water and oil with a viscosity below about 60 as free water.
cp in sandstones, and 30 cp in carbonates. Note that, contrary to the sense of "free," this 4. n. [Formation Evaluation]
oil may or may not be residual under normal reservoir conditions.
Water in the pore space that can flow under normal reservoir conditions. When used in
2. n. [Drilling Fluids] connection with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements, free water is all the
The volume of fluid (expressed in percent) that separates from a cement slurry when the water that is not clay bound, capillary bound or in mineral hydrates. The latter is in any
slurry is left static. The free fluid can be measured as specified in API Recommended case excluded as it relaxes too fast to be measured by NMR. When used in connection with
Practice 10B. Free fluid is also known as free water. the dual-water model, the term means the far water.
free-induction decay far water

In a nuclear magnetic resonance measurement, the decay, or relaxation, caused by Water that is far from the clay surface, as distinct from clay-bound water (or "near" water).
dephasing in an inhomogeneous magnetic field. Since this relaxation is not related to The term is used in the dual-water model. It includes the capillary-bound water and the
formation properties, it is unwanted and corrected by using the CPMG pulse sequence. free water.

fresh core fast diffusion

A core that is in the same state as when it was brought to the surface. A fresh core is sealed The rapid rate of diffusion of molecules in pore fluids during a nuclear magnetic resonance
as soon as possible after retrieval from the well to minimize the loss of fluids and exposure (NMR) measurement. In fast diffusion, the hydrogen within a certain volume diffuses fast
to air. The term implies that the core is analyzed before being stored, after storage it is enough that only one T2 peak is observed for the whole volume. This is the case in a single
known as preserved core. Since the purpose is to minimize alteration, a fresh core has pore, because the surface relaxation is not strong enough for observation of separate T2
often been drilled with a bland mud, either water- or oil-base, but with a minimum of peaks, for example, for water near the surface of a grain and water in the middle of the
chemical additives and weighting material. pore. Fast diffusion is also considered to occur between most clay- and capillary-bound
water, between normal pores and micropores within some carbonates, and in some other
fresh water
systems.
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
fast formation
Formation water with low salinity. Water is considered fresh when its low conductivity
A formation where the velocity of the compressional wave traveling through the borehole
makes the interpretation of resistivity logs difficult. The salinity at which this becomes
fluid is less than the velocity of the shear wave through the surrounding formation. In such
important depends on temperature and clay content, among other factors, but is generally
conditions a shear head wave is generated, so that standard techniques based on
somewhere less than 10 ppk.
monopole transducers can be used to measure formation shear velocity. In hard
2. n. [Geology] formations, several normal modes are excited in addition to the Stoneley and leaky modes.

Water that is low in dissolved salt (< 2000 ppm). fast formation arrival

FTIR An early signal in a cement-bond log. In some formations, particularly carbonates of low
porosity, it is possible that the first acoustic signal to arrive at the receiver passes through
A method for obtaining quantitative mineralogical analysis of a rock sample by measuring the formation rather than through the casing, and hence its amplitude is unrelated to the
the effect of midrange infrared radiation transmitted through the sample. cement bond. This manifests itself by a shortening of the transmitter-to-receiver
full waveform traveltime and by anomalous patterns on the variable-density log. In such cases, it may be
assumed that the cement bond is good, as the signal would be unlikely to be transmitted
A log or a recording in which the complete signal received at an acoustic transducer is through the formation with sufficient amplitude to be detected if cement bond were poor.
recorded. With full-waveform recording, it is possible to determine the slowness not only
of the first arrival but also of later arrivals. In borehole sonic logging, these may be the fast formation arrival
shear, flexural and Stoneley waves. The waveforms are recorded by an array of receivers An early signal in a cement-bond log. In some formations, particularly carbonates of low
in an array-sonic tool, and processed with a suitable technique such as slowness-time porosity, it is possible that the first acoustic signal to arrive at the receiver passes through
coherence. the formation rather than through the casing, and hence its amplitude is unrelated to the
cement bond. This manifests itself by a shortening of the transmitter-to-receiver first reading
traveltime and by anomalous patterns on the variable-density log. In such cases, it may be
The depth of the first reliable reading of a curve on a log. For the typical bottom-to-top
assumed that the cement bond is good, as the signal would be unlikely to be transmitted
survey, the curve readings before the tool is picked up from the bottom of the hole are not
through the formation with sufficient amplitude to be detected if cement bond were poor.
reliable--they are straight lines that do not represent the formation at the depth indicated.
fast neutron reaction With several logging tools in a tool string, the first reading of each curve will be at a
different depth, depending on the measure point of each tool.
A neutron interaction in which the neutron is absorbed by the target nuclei, which then
emit nuclear particles such as alpha or beta particles, gamma rays, protons or additional Fish
neutrons. Fast neutron reactions have a small probability of occurrence relative to the
Anything left in a wellbore. It does not matter whether the fish consists of junk metal, a
other principal interactions, except at high neutron energy.
hand tool, a length of drillpipe or drill collars, or an expensive MWD and directional drilling
fast-formation arrival package. Once the component is lost, it is properly referred to as simply "the fish."
Typically, anything put into the hole is accurately measured and sketched, so that
An early signal in a cement-bond log. In some formations, particularly carbonates of low
appropriate fishing tools can be selected if the item must be fished out of the hole.
porosity, it is possible that the first acoustic signal to arrive at the receiver passes through
the formation rather than through the casing, and hence its amplitude is unrelated to the fishing bell
cement bond. This manifests itself by a shortening of the transmitter-to-receiver
Also known as the head, the device that connects the end of the logging cable or the bridle
traveltime and by anomalous patterns on the variable-density log. In such cases, it may be
to the top of the logging tool. It contains the weak point, so that when the weak point is
assumed that the cement bond is good, as the signal would be unlikely to be transmitted
broken and the cable removed, the uppermost assembly left in the hole is the head. The
through the formation with sufficient amplitude to be detected if cement bond were poor.
top of the head is specially designed to ease fishing of the logging tool.
‘fast-neutron reaction
flexural mode
A neutron interaction in which the neutron is absorbed by the target nuclei, which then
A type of acoustic propagation along the borehole that is visualized as a shaking of the
emit nuclear particles such as alpha or beta particles, gamma rays, protons or additional
borehole across its diameter. The flexural mode is excited by a dipole source, and
neutrons. Fast neutron reactions have a small probability of occurrence relative to the
measured by dipole receivers oriented in the same direction. Its speed is chiefly a function
other principal interactions, except at high neutron energy.
of the formation shear velocity, the borehole size and fluid velocity, and the frequency. It
filtrate slump is used to estimate formation shear velocity, and is the only technique available in slow
formations where shear velocity is less than borehole-fluid velocity. In this situation, shear
The downward vertical movement of filtrate with time after invasion. In hydrocarbon
head waves are not generated by a monopole source, so that standard monopole
zones, the filtrate is heavier than the formation fluid. Therefore, in a vertical well, gravity
techniques cannot be used. The flexural wave is sensitive to properties of the altered zone,
causes the filtrate to sink to the bottom of a permeable zone, while the hydrocarbons move
as well as to formation anisotropy, whether intrinsic or stress-induced.
back to the borehole at the top. In a horizontal well, the mud filtrate will sink below the
well, leaving hydrocarbons above it. The amount of movement depends, among other Fluoroscopy
factors, on the time since invasion, the fluid mobilities and the difference in fluid densities.
A technique for imaging a core by moving a core between a source of X-rays and a
In water zones, the direction of movement depends on the relative densities of filtrate and
fluorescent screen. The image on the screen is intensified and recorded by a video camera.
formation water. In the more usual case of fresh filtrate and salty formation water, the
filtrate will move upwards.
flushed zone geochemical log, since it provides information on most of the principal elements found in
sedimentary rocks. Pulsed neutron spectroscopy provides relative elemental yields,
The volume close to the borehole wall in which all of the moveable fluids have been
whereas absolute concentrations are needed for quantitative results. Absolute
displaced by mud filtrate. The flushed zone contains filtrate and the remaining
concentrations can be derived by calibration to core or by using a model such as the oxide-
hydrocarbons, the percentage of the former being the flushed-zone water saturation, Sxo.
closure model. The absolute elemental concentrations can then be converted into mineral
In simple models, the flushed zone and the invaded zone are synonymous.
concentrations using a model that defines what minerals are present. The first complete
flushed zone water saturation geochemical logs were run in the mid 1980s.

The fraction of water in a given pore space in the flushed zone. It is expressed in geometrical factor
volume/volume, percent or saturation units and is given the symbol Sxo. Unless otherwise
The response of a logging measurement as a function of distance from the tool. The
stated, the pore space concerned is usually the effective porosity. If the pore space
geometrical factor can be radial, reflecting the response perpendicular to the tool; vertical,
concerned is the total porosity, the saturation is more correctly known as the total flushed-
reflecting the response along the tool axis; or two-dimensional, reflecting both. It can also
zone water saturation; or if it is the effective porosity, the effective flushed-zone water
be a differential geometrical factor, which is the contribution to the signal at a particular
saturation.
distance; or integrated, which is the sum of all signals from the tool to a particular distance.
Gal The term geometrical factor was introduced for induction logging since it gave a
convenient method for computing the reading in a heterogeneous environment. For
The unit of acceleration commonly used in gravity surveying. 1 Gal (1000 milliGal or 106 example, in an invaded formation the log reading, Clog, can be written as: Clog = Gi * Cxo + (1
microGal) = 1 cm/sec/sec. - Gi) * Ct where Gi is the geometrical factor for a diameter of invasion Di, and Cxo and Ct are
gamma ray interactions the conductivities of the invaded zone and the undisturbed zone. A true geometrical factor
depends only on the geometry of the volume concerned, which in practice is only true for
Phenomena resulting from the transfer of energy from a gamma ray to matter, usually to induction logs at zero conductivity. However, the term has come to be used for other cases
an electron. The probability of a specific interaction occurring depends on the atomic and for other measurements even though the geometrical factor depends significantly on
number of the material and the energy of the gamma ray. In formation evaluation, there formation properties. The correct term for these cases is the pseudogeometrical factor.
are two types of interactions of interest: the photoelectric effect, which indicates lithology,
and Compton scattering, which depends on formation density. The third type of GR
interaction, pair production, occurs at energies above those used for logging. An abbreviation for gamma ray, usually with reference to the gamma ray log.
gamma-gamma log grain density
A measurement that uses a source of gamma rays and a detector of gamma rays. The term 1. n. [Geology]
is synonymous with density log, and is just an older name.
The density of a rock or mineral with no porosity, also known as matrix density, commonly
geochemical log in units of g/cm3.
A log of elemental concentrations from which the geochemistry of the formation may be 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
derived. Several logs provide information on elemental weight concentrations: natural
gamma ray spectroscopy, elemental capture spectroscopy or pulsed neutron spectroscopy The density of the grains in a formation or core sample. As used in log and core analysis,
and aluminum activation. The combination of some or all of their outputs is known as a the term 'grain' refers to all the solid material in the rock, since, when interpreting the
measurements, no effort is made to distinguish grains from other solid material. The grain horizontal resistivity
density of core samples is calculated from the measured dry weight divided by the grain
The resistivity of a formation measured by flowing current in a horizontal plane. In
volume. In logs, grain density is calculated from the density log, using an estimate of
anisotropic formations the horizontal and vertical resistivities are different. In a vertical
porosity and knowledge of the fluid content.
well, wireline induction logs and measurements-while-drilling propagation logs measure
gravity units the horizontal resistivity, whereas laterologs measure the horizontal resistivity with some
component of the vertical. In deviated and horizontal wells, all these logs measure some
One-tenth of a milliGal: (10 g.u. = 1.0 mGal). Gravity units are sometimes used in old gravity
mixture of both vertical and horizontal resistivity.
maps.
Housing
guard electrode
The outside steel case of a cartridge or a sonde in a wireline logging tool. The housing
An electrode on a laterolog sonde that focuses the current sent by the central current-
isolates the electronics, power supplies and sensors from the borehole and bears the
emitting electrode (A0). The guard electrode is held at the same potential as A0, thereby
pressure burden.
forcing the current from A0 to run approximately perpendicular to the sonde into the
formation, and preventing it from running up the borehole to a great extent. Humble formula

guard log A particular relation between the formation factor (F) and porosity (phi) proposed by the
Humble Oil Company. The original formula was expressed as F = 0.62 / phi2.15. A nearly
A measurement made by a type of electrode device in which the current flow and hence
equivalent form, with a simpler porosity exponent, is F = 0.81 / phi2. These formulae are
the measurement is focused in a disk that is concentric with and perpendicular to the
considered most suitable for relatively high-porosity, sucrosic, or granular, rocks. See
sonde. The term usually refers to a Laterolog-3 device. Guard logs may be recorded by
Winsauer WO, Shearin HM, Masson PH and Williams M: Resistivity of Brine-Saturated
either wireline or measurements-while-drilling tools.
Sands in Relation to Pore Geometry, AAPG Bulletin 36 (1952): 253-277.
Head
hybrid scale
The device that connects the end of the logging cable or the bridle to the top of the logging
An early scale used for the presentation of resistivity logs. The scale has two parts, equally
tool. It contains the weak point, so that when the weak point is broken and the cable
divided about a midpoint. The left part is linear in resistivity, for example 0 on the left edge
removed, the uppermost assembly left in the hole is the head. The top of the head is
to 50 ohm-m at the midpoint. The right part is linear in conductivity, from 0 on the right to
specially designed to ease fishing of the logging tool, and is also known as the fishing bell.
1/50 = 20 mS/m at the midpoint. In this way, it was possible to display the complete range
head wave of resistivity in one track. It was subsequently replaced by the logarithmic scale.

A wave entering a relatively high-velocity medium whose incident and refracted angle is hydrogen index
the critical angle.
The number of hydrogen atoms per unit volume divided by the number of hydrogen atoms
Heading per unit volume of pure water at surface conditions. The hydrogen index (HI) is thus the
density of hydrogen relative to that of water. It is a key factor in the response of a neutron
The first page or pages on a log print, which include information about the well, the survey, porosity log.
the mud properties and other relevant data.
ID

1. n. [Drilling] in situ fluid analysis

Inside or inner diameter. Casing, tubing and drillpipe are commonly described in terms of Analysis performed by downhole tools to determine physical and chemical properties of
inside diameter and outside diameter (OD). fluids. Typical analyses that can be performed downhole include basic density and viscosity
measurements at sampling pressure and temperature.
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
in situ viscosity evaluation
A particular type of induction log that was designed to read deep into the formation while
maintaining reasonable vertical resolution. The deep induction log (ID) is based on the Downhole measurement of fluid viscosity, typically performed either with logging tools
measurement of a 6FF40 array and was combined with a medium induction array to form based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or with sampling tools such as formation
the dual induction tool. Versions built after 1968 had a small extra transmitter coil to testers.
reduce the borehole effect on the medium induction while changing the deep response
induced gamma ray spectroscopy
very little. The midpoint of the ID integrated radial geometrical factor is at 62 in. [157 cm]
radius for high resistivities, reducing to 45 in. [114 cm] at 1 ohm-m. ID receives very little The principle of an activation log, which is a log of elemental concentrations derived from
signal from within 20 in. [50 cm] of the tool. The vertical resolution is about 8 ft [2.4 m] but the characteristic energy levels of gamma rays emitted by a nucleus that has been
varies with local conditions. activated by neutron bombardment. The term is often used to refer specifically to the
pulsed neutron spectroscopy measurement.
IM
Induction
A particular type of induction log designed to read an intermediate distance into the
formation while maintaining good vertical resolution. The medium-induction array of eight Related to a wireline log of formation resistivity based on the principle of inducing
coils (IM) is produced by three transmitters and five receivers running at 20 kHz. A small alternating current loops in the formation and measuring the resultant signal in a receiver.
fourth transmitter coil was added in tools built since 1968. The midpoint of the integrated In the simplest device, an alternating current of medium frequency (10?s of kHz) is passed
radial geometrical factor is 30 in. [76 cm] in radius. The vertical resolution is about 4 ft [1.2 through a transmitter coil, thereby inducing an alternating magnetic field in the formation.
m] but varies with conditions. The IM is combined with a deep-induction log on the same This field creates current loops in the formation. The loops produce their own magnetic
sonde to produce a dual induction log. field, which induce a current when they cross the receiver coil. This signal is proportional
to the conductivity of the formation, with contributions from different regions of the
Imbibition
formation summing approximately in conductivity. As a result, the induction log is most
The process of absorbing a wetting phase into a porous rock. Imbibition is important in a accurate at high conductivities and with resistive invasion. However, below about 1 ohm-
waterdrive reservoir because it can advance or hinder water movement, affecting areal m skin effect becomes important. Practical induction-logging tools use arrays of several
sweep. Spontaneous imbibition refers to the process of absorption with no pressure coils, designed to achieve a specific focusing and depth of investigation. These arrays are
driving the phase into the rock. It is possible for the same rock to imbibe both water and either hardwired, such as the 6FF40, 5FF40 and others, or consist of several simple arrays
oil, with water imbibing at low in situ water saturation, displacing excess oil from the that are combined in software (an array induction). For many years, the most common
surface of the rock grains, and oil imbibing at low in-situ oil saturation, displacing excess induction log was the 6FF40. This was often combined with the medium induction and a
water. An imbibition test is a comparison of the imbibition potential of water and oil into shallow laterolog or microresistivity log so as to correct for the effect of invasion, assuming
a rock. The wettability of the rock is determined by which phase imbibes more. a step profile. Induction logs also need borehole correction and shoulder-bed correction.
In older tools, this was accomplished through multiple correction charts, while modern
tools include software for this purpose. H.G. Doll introduced the first practical induction- in-situ fluid analysis
logging technique in 1949. See Doll HG: Introduction to Induction logging and Application
Analysis performed by downhole tools to determine physical and chemical properties of
to Logging of Wells Drilled with Oil Base Mud Journal of Petroleum Technology 1, no. 6
fluids. Typical analyses that can be performed downhole include basic density and viscosity
(June 1949): 148-162.
measurements at sampling pressure and temperature.
induction electrical survey
interwell tomography
A combination of a 6FF40 induction log with an electrode measurement such as a 16-in.
A technique for measuring a signal that is broadcast from a transmitter or source located
[40-cm] short normal. In some cases other induction arrays, such as the 5FF27, may have
in one well, to a receiver array placed in a neighboring well. This technique is used to create
been used. The use of both measurements in the induction electrical survey (IES) gave a
a display of formation properties such as acoustic velocity and attenuation, seismic
qualitative indication of invasion.
reflectivity, or electromagnetic resistivity in the area between wells. The reservoir-scale
inelastic neutron scattering data acquired with this technique can be used to bridge the gap between wellbore
measurements and surface measurements.
A neutron interaction in which part of the kinetic energy lost by a neutron in a nuclear
collision excites the nucleus. The excited nucleus will usually emit characteristic gamma Zone
rays upon de-excitation. Inelastic neutron scattering is possible only if the neutron energy
The volume close to the borehole wall in which some or all of the moveable fluids have
exceeds a characteristic threshold for the element. Inelastic neutron scattering is the
been displaced by mud filtrate. It consists of the flushed zone and the transition zone or
principle behind the carbon-oxygen log, which is used to determine water saturation
annulus. In simple models, the invaded zone and the flushed zone are considered
behind casing.
synonymous.
inertial resistance
Invasion
The extra resistance of a porous medium to fluid flow, beyond that predicted by Darcy's
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
law, caused by local accelerations within the tortuous pore volume. The inertial resistance
is proportional to the fluid density times the flow rate. The inertial resistance is significant The process by which mud filtrate, and sometimes whole mud, enters a permeable
with gas because flow rates can be high. In laboratory measurements of permeability, formation. The mud filtrate displaces some or all of the moveable fluids in the formation,
inertial resistance can be important for high-permeability samples where high flow rates leaving an invaded zone. The invasion process is complex. It is generally considered to start
are needed to have significant pressure gradients. The effect is corrected by using the with a short initial spurt loss when the bit penetrates the rock. During this period, invasion
Forchheimer equation and making measurements at several flow rates (often through an depends on formation permeability, among other factors. A mudcake is soon formed, after
unsteady state test). which invasion is either described as dynamic, when mud is being circulated, or static,
when it is not. In both cases, the volume of invasion depends little on formation properties
Insert
and strongly on other factors such as mudcake permeability and differential pressure.
A section on a log print that gives the scales of the curves displayed and the depth scale. However, the profile of the invasion front within the formation, both vertically and radially,
There usually is an insert at the beginning and end of each interval surveyed. does depend on formation properties. With high permeability and with different densities
of filtrate and formation fluid, gravity can cause vertical movement of the filtrate, leading
to different depths of invasion at the top and bottom of a zone. With two moveable phases
(oil and water) and differing permeabilities, an annulus can be formed. The radial profile
from the wellbore out to the undisturbed zone depends on permeability, with lower isolated porosity
permeabilities leading to sharper transitions.
The pore volume not connected to the pore network. Isolated porosity can be significant
2. adj. [Formation Evaluation] in volcanic rocks and some carbonates, for example as vugular, moldic and intraparticle
porosity.
Pertaining to the influence of invasion on the response of logging measurements. For
example, an invasion correction is the correction made to a deep-reading measurement iterative forward modeling
such as an induction log for the effect of the invaded zone. The correction is based on a
The use of repeated forward modeling of a logging tool response to produce modeled logs
suitable invasion model, such as a step profile or transition zone model.
that very closely match the measured logs. The final model is then the log analyst?s best
Inverse estimate of the formation properties. Iterative forward modeling is a hand-operated
inversion. The technique is used mainly for laterologs and induction logs when the
Referring to a type of conventional electrical log in which the current-emitting and the
formation or the environment are complex, so that the environmental effects cannot be
current-return electrodes (A and B) are placed close together on the sonde, with the
separated and treated individually by automatic inversion. Iterative forward modeling
measure electrode (M) several feet away and the measure return (N) far away. This
allows the log analyst to use local knowledge and petrophysics to select between the many
arrangement is sensitive to the potential gradient between A and B. The spacing is defined
possible solutions that are mathematically correct. These cases occur most often in
by the distance from M to the midpoint between A and B. The most common spacing is 18
horizontal wells, or vertical wells with the combined effects of invasion and large resistivity
ft, 8 in. [5.7 m]. The lateral gives a sharper response to a bed boundary than a normal but
contrast between beds.
also introduces several artifacts that can give misleading results.
J factor
inverse filter
Another term for pseudogeometrical factor, the response of a logging measurement as a
Generally, a finite impulse response (FIR) filter that has been designed to transform the
function of distance from the tool. The pseudogeometrical factor is normally radial,
usually irregular vertical response functions of raw measurements into a smooth, well-
reflecting the response perpendicular to the tool. It can be a differential factor, which is
behaved response function such as a Gaussian response or a Kaiser window function. The
the contribution to the signal at a particular distance, but is more normally integrated,
criteria for designing inverse filters can include vertical response, depth of investigation
which is the sum of all signals from the tool to a particular distance. The pseudogeometrical
and near-field (cave effect) response. Inverse filters have been used for many years to
factor developed from the concept of the geometrical factor, and is expressed in the same
improve the response of induction arrays.
way. For example, for a radial distance x from the tool, the integrated radial
irreducible water pseudogeometrical factor, Jx, can be written as: Jx = (Ux - Ut) / (Uxo - Ut) where Ut is the
log reading of the undisturbed zone (or, alternatively, the reading with no invasion), Uxo
The lowest water saturation, Swi, that can be achieved in a core plug by displacing the is the log reading of the flushed zone (or, alternatively, the reading with infinite invasion),
water by oil or gas. The state is usually achieved by flowing oil or gas through a water- and Ux is the log reading with a step profile invasion to depth x. Unlike the geometrical
saturated sample, or spinning it in a centrifuge to displace the water with oil or gas. The factor, Jx depends on the values of both Uxo and Ut. Pseudogeometrical factors are a
term is somewhat imprecise because the irreducible water saturation is dependent on the useful way to express the radial response (or vertical response) in typical conditions. The
final drive pressure (when flowing oil or gas) or the maximum speed of rotation (in a physics of each measurement determines how much Jx varies with Uxo and Ut.
centrifuge). The related term connate water saturation is the lowest water saturation Pseudogeometrical factors are often used to express the response of nuclear and resistivity
found in situ. logs, but are not appropriate for acoustic and electromagnetic propagation logs (where
the response is too dependent on the contrast in properties), or nuclear magnetic laminated sand
resonance logs (where the response is too localized).
A particular model, or equation, for deriving the water saturation from resistivity and other
K coefficient logs. The model assumes a laminar shale distribution and considers the total resistivity to
be the sum in parallel of the sand and shale laminae.
With reference to the spontaneous potential log, the coefficient, K, in the equation relating
electrochemical potential to the chemical activity of the mud filtrate and formation water. laser diffraction
Ec = - K log10 (aw / amf). The coefficient is equal to kT/e in which k is the Boltzman's
A technique for analyzing the grain-size distribution of a core sample. A cleaned,
constant, e is the electron charge and T is the absolute temperature. K is equal to 71 at
disaggregated sample is dispersed in a carrier fluid. The grains cause diffraction of a laser
25oC [77oF], 12 from the liquid junction potential and 59 from the membrane potential
beam directed through the fluid. The angle of scattering is inversely proportional to the
for a perfect shale.
particle size, while the intensity of scattering is proportional to the number of particles.
Lag Laser diffraction also may be referred to as laser sieve analysis.

. n. [Geophysics] last reading

The delay or difference in the arrival time of seismic events that can result from weathering The depth of the last reliable reading of a log. For the normal bottom-to-top survey, the
of the rocks or variations in geologic structures in the subsurface. last reliable reading often occurs just before the logging tool enters the casing. With
several logging tools in a tool string, the last readings will be at different depths, depending
2. n. [Geophysics]
on the measure point of each measurement.
A term used in seismic processing to describe the interval between the zero-time of a
Lateral
crosscorrelation between two traces and the point of maximum correlation.
Referring to a type of conventional electrical log in which the current-emitting and the
3. n. [Geophysics]
current-return electrodes (A and B) are placed close together on the sonde, with the
The time delay of the onset of one sinusoidal oscillation, or frequency component of a measure electrode (M) several feet away and the measure return (N) far away. This
trace, relative to another. Also known as a "phase-lag." arrangement is sensitive to the potential gradient between A and B. The spacing is defined
by the distance from M to the midpoint between A and B. The most common spacing is 18
4. n. [Formation Evaluation] ft, 8 in. [5.7 m]. The lateral gives a sharper response to a bed boundary than a normal but
The distance between the static measure point and the dynamic measure point of a logging also introduces several artifacts that can give misleading results.
measurement. For nuclear logs and any others that must be recorded over a significant leaky mode
time period, there is a difference between the measure point with the tool stationary and
moving. If the tool is moving during this period, the effective center of measurement will A type of acoustic energy that propagates in one direction while being confined in the
be a certain distance from the point at which the measurement started. This distance is other two directions, in this case by the borehole wall. Leaky modes can be considered as
the lag. The lag depends on the logging speed and the sampling interval. multiply reflected and constructively interfering waves propagating in the borehole. Each
time a compressional wave hits the borehole wall, part of the energy is reflected into the
borehole, while the rest is converted to compressional or shear energy that radiates into
the formation, hence the term 'leaky'. Leaky modes are dispersive, starting at a certain
cutoff frequency with the formation compressional velocity and increasing towards the
borehole fluid velocity at high frequency. In slow formations, where no head wave is liquid-junction potential
generated because the borehole fluid is faster than the formation compressional wave,
The electromagnetic force generated by a boundary between solutions of high salinity and
the low-frequency end of the leaky mode can be used to determine formation
low salinity. In a permeable formation, a liquid-junction potential is generated between
compressional velocity. The term 'hybrid mode' is used to describe a form of leaky mode
the invaded zone and the undisturbed zone when the mud filtrate and the formation water
that is associated with an altered zone.
have different salinities. This potential is one component of the electrochemical potential,
limestone compatible scale from which the spontaneous potential log is derived. The other, much larger component
is the membrane potential at a shale boundary. The liquid-junction potential is reduced if
Display ranges chosen for the density and neutron porosity logs such that the two curves
there is clay in the permeable formation, since this generates another, local membrane
will overlay at all porosity values providing the matrix is pure calcite and the pores are
potential with the opposite polarity to the liquid-junction potential.
filled with fresh water. The most common overlay spans two tracks, with the density
reading from 1.95 to 2.95 g/cm3, and the neutron in limestone porosity units from 0.45 to Log
−0.15 vol/vol.
1. vb. [Reservoir Characterization, Formation Evaluation, Drilling]
limestone porosity unit
To continuously measure formation properties with electrically powered instruments to
A transform from raw log data chosen so that a log recorded in these units will give the infer properties and make decisions about drilling and production operations. The record
correct porosity of the formation, providing the matrix is pure calcite and the pores are of the measurements, typically a long strip of paper, is also called a log. Measurements
filled with fresh water. The unit, which may be in vol/vol or p.u., is most commonly used include electrical properties (resistivity and conductivity at various frequencies), sonic
for neutron porosity logs but may also be used for density and acoustic logs. The definition properties, active and passive nuclear measurements, dimensional measurements of the
is strictly true only if all borehole and other environmental corrections have been applied. wellbore, formation fluid sampling, formation pressure measurement, wireline-conveyed
sidewall coring tools, and others. For wireline measurements, the logging tool (or sonde)
limestone-compatible scale
is lowered into the open wellbore on a multiple conductor, contra-helically armored
Display ranges chosen for the density and neutron porosity logs such that the two curves wireline cable. Once the tool string (link to ID 2964) has reached the bottom of the interval
will overlay at all porosity values providing the matrix is pure calcite and the pores are of interest, measurements are taken on the way out of the wellbore. This is done in an
filled with fresh water. The most common overlay spans two tracks, with the density attempt to maintain tension on the cable (which stretches) as constant as possible for
reading from 1.95 to 2.95 g/cm3, and the neutron in limestone porosity units from 0.45 to depth correlation purposes. (The exception to this practice is in certain hostile
−0.15 vol/vol. environments in which the tool electronics might not survive the downhole temperatures
for long enough to allow the tool to be lowered to the bottom of the hole and
liquid saturation method measurements to be recorded while pulling the tool up the hole. In this case, "down log"
A technique for measuring the pore volume of a core sample from the difference in its measurements might be conducted on the way into the well, and repeated on the way out
weight when dry and when saturated with a liquid. A clean, dry sample is weighed and if possible.) Most wireline measurements are recorded continuously while the sonde is
then evacuated for several hours in a vacuum chamber, flushing with CO2 to remove moving. Certain fluid sampling and pressure-measuring tools require that the sonde be
remaining air if necessary. A de-aerated liquid is introduced into the chamber and stopped, increasing the chance that the sonde or the cable might become stuck. Logging
pressured to ensure complete saturation. The saturated sample is then weighed again. The while drilling (LWD) tools take measurements in much the same way as wireline-logging
difference in weight divided by the density of the liquid is the connected, or effective, pore tools, except that the measurements are taken by a self-contained tool near the bottom
volume. It is also common to measure the weight of the sample when immersed in the of the bottomhole assembly and are recorded downward (as the well is deepened) rather
liquid. The grain and bulk volume can then be calculated as in the buoyancy method. than upward from the bottom of the hole.
2. n. [Formation Evaluation] An operation in which a logging tool is lowered into a borehole and then retrieved from
the hole while recording measurements. The term is used in three different ways. First, the
The measurement versus depth or time, or both, of one or more physical quantities in or
term refers to logging operations performed at different times during the drilling of a well.
around a well. The term comes from the word "log" used in the sense of a record or a note.
For example, Run 3 would be the third time logs had been recorded in that well. Second,
Wireline logs are taken downhole, transmitted through a wireline to surface and recorded
the term refers to the number of times a particular log has been run in the well. Third, the
there. Measurements-while-drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling (LWD) logs are also
term refers to different runs performed during the same logging operation. For example,
taken downhole. They are either transmitted to surface by mud pulses, or else recorded
resistivity and nuclear logs may be combined in one tool string and recorded during the
downhole and retrieved later when the instrument is brought to surface. Mud logs that
first run, while acoustic and nuclear magnetic resonance logs may be recorded during the
describe samples of drilled cuttings are taken and recorded on surface.
second run.
3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
logging tool
The display of one or more log measurements on a strip of paper or film (a hard copy) with
The downhole hardware needed to make a log. The term is often shortened to simply
depth in one axis. In this sense, the term refers to the display not only of the measurement
"tool." Measurements-while-drilling (MWD) logging tools, in some cases known as logging
but of other relevant information. A typical log is presented on folded paper of
while drilling (LWD) tools, are drill collars into which the necessary sensors and electronics
indeterminate length, but about 8.5-in. [21.5-cm] wide. It consists of a heading, well
have been built. Wireline logging tools are typically cylinders from 1.5 to 5 in. [3.8 to 12.7
sketch, logging tool sketch, insert, main log, repeat section and tail. When the term is used
cm] in diameter. Since the total length is more than can be conveniently handled in one
in this sense, each log measurement is usually referred to as a curve.
piece, the logging tool is divided into different sections that are assembled at the wellsite.
4. vb. [Formation Evaluation] These sections consist of cartridges and sondes. Different measurements can be combined
to make up a tool string. The total length of a tool string may range from 10 to 100 ft [3 to
To record a measurement versus depth or time, or both, of one or more physical quantities 30 m] or more. Flexible joints are added in long tool strings to ease passage in the borehole,
in or around a well. and to allow different sections to be centralized or eccentralized. If the total length is very
5. adj. [Formation Evaluation] long, it is often preferable to make two or more logging runs with shorter tool strings.

Associated with the information from a log. For example, a log print is a paper print on logging unit
which log data have been recorded. The cabin that contains the surface hardware needed to make wireline logging
logarithmic mean measurements. The logging unit contains at the minimum the surface instrumentation, a
winch, a depth recording system and a data recorder. The surface instrumentation controls
The average value of a set of measurements, calculated by taking the logarithms of the the logging tool, processes the data received and records the results digitally and on hard
measurements, finding the arithmetic average of the logarithms and then taking the copy. The winch lowers and raises the cable in the well. A depth wheel drives the depth
antilogarithm of the average. recording system. The data recorder includes a digital recorder and a printer.
Logging

Pertaining to a log.

logging run
The highest temperature recorded on a logging run. It is usually taken to be the bottomhole
temperature for use in log interpretation. However, on the first logging run or runs after
long spacing sonic log
circulation, the mud may be hottest some distance above the bottom of the hole.
Log recorded by a sonic tool with a longer transmitter-to-receiver spacing (generally 10 to
measure point
15 ft) than a standard sonic tool. The rock near the borehole is sometimes altered by
drilling fluids, stress relief, or both, causing a thin zone whose velocity is lower than that 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
of the true formation. With standard spacings, the wave traveling through the altered zone
The position on a logging tool that best represents the center of the vertical response of
may arrive first at the receiver, since this zone is closer to both transmitter and receiver.
the measurement. For a simple single transmitter-single receiver measurement, the
The increased spacing permits the wave traveling through the true formation to arrive first
measure point is half-way between the transmitter and receiver.
and be measured. The depth of investigation varies with slowness and transmitter-receiver
spacing but is of the order of 2 to 3 ft. An increased transmitter-to-receiver spacing also 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
allows better separation of waveforms relating to different acoustic waves, such as
compressional, shear and Stoneley arrivals. The point on a logging tool at which it is considered the logging measurement is made. It
is the center of the vertical response, or in some cases an alternative, more suitable point.
m For measurements that must be recorded over a significant time period, there is a
difference between the static and dynamic measure point, known as the lag.
The exponent of porosity, m, in the relation of formation factor, F, to porosity, phi. In the
Archie equation, F = 1 / phim, H. Guyod termed m the cementation exponent because m measurement after drilling
was observed to be higher in cemented rock. The more general term is porosity
exponent. Measurements made by measurements-while-drilling (MWD) tools subsequent to the
initial bit run. MWD logs are recorded while drilling the well. However, these tools can also
magnetic mud record logs at later times when the drillstring is in the hole. This may be while pulling out
after drilling, or on a subsequent bit run or circulating trip. The latter is also known as
A drilling mud with a significant magnetic susceptibility. The magnetic susceptibility may
logging while tripping.
affect the response of some logging measurements, mainly the induction X signal and
nuclear magnetic resonance logs. The most common magnetic muds contain iron filings or measurement error
magnetite. Other paramagnetic minerals such as hematite and ilmenite may contribute,
although their magnetic susceptibility is considerably less. The difference between the true value and that which is reported from a measurement.

magnetic resonance measurement range

A phenomenon by which a nucleus absorbs electromagnetic radiation of a specific The range of values for a quantity for which the error of a measuring instrument is intended
frequency in the presence of a strong magnetic field. Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898 to 1988), an to lie within specified limits. Within this range, the measurement has a well-defined
American physicist born in Austria, first detected magnetic resonance in 1938. Since then, accuracy or applicability. Outside the range, it does not. It is distinct from the operating
magnetic resonance has been applied to the detection of light atoms (such as hydrogen in range, within which the instrument will provide a measurement but the error is not well-
hydrocarbons) and as a nondestructive way to study the human body. defined.

maximum recorded temperature medium induction


A particular type of induction log designed to read an intermediate distance into the microcylindrical log
formation while maintaining good vertical resolution. The medium-induction array of eight
An electrode device with small spacings from which the current flow, and hence the
coils (IM) is produced by three transmitters and five receivers running at 20 kHz. A small
measurement, is focused a short distance into the formation. The microcylindrical log
fourth transmitter coil was added in tools built since 1968. The midpoint of the integrated
measures the resistivity of the flushed zone with minimum influence from the mudcake or
radial geometrical factor is 30 in. [76 cm] in radius. The vertical resolution is about 4 ft [1.2
the undisturbed zone. The electrodes are mounted on a pad that is pressed against the
m] but varies with conditions. The IM is combined with a deep-induction log on the same
borehole wall. The current is focused both parallel and perpendicular to the tool axis. Three
sonde to produce a dual induction log.
measurements are made, each with a different depth of investigation. These
membrane potential measurements are combined to solve for the mudcake and flushed-zone resistivity.

The electromagnetic force generated across an ion-selective membrane when solutions on Microlaterolog
either side of the membrane have different salinities. Shales and clays
An electrode device with small spacings from which the current flow, and hence the
are cationic membranes, since they allow the passage of cations, such as Na+, but not
measurement, is focused a short distance into the formation. Introduced in 1953, the
anions, such as Cl-. When the drilling mud in the borehole and the formation water have
microlaterolog measures the resistivity of the flushed zone with minimum influence from
different salinities, a membrane potential is generated at the boundary between
the mudcake or the undisturbed zone. The central current emitting electrode (A0) is
a shale and a permeable formation. This potential is one component of the
surrounded by a guard electrode that emits sufficient current to focus the current from A0
electrochemical potential, from which the spontaneous potential (SP) log is derived. The
a certain distance into the formation. The electrodes are mounted on a pad that is pressed
other, much smaller component is the liquid-junction potential. The membrane potential
against the borehole wall. In a typical tool design, 90% of the signal comes from within 3
is reduced if the shale is not a good cationic membrane, or in other words has a low cation-
in. [7.6 cm] of the pad, ensuring that the undisturbed zone rarely has an effect.
exchange capacity. A membrane potential may also be generated across the mudcake if
there is no flushed zone; for example if the mud filtrate has moved vertically Microlog
since invasion took place, and by clay within a shaly sand, but with the opposite polarity to
the normal SP potentials. The membrane potential is also used in core analysis to An unfocused electrode device with small spacings, mounted on a pad and pressed against
determine the cation-exchange capacity of a sample. In this case, the clay within the the borehole wall. The typical microlog has one current-emitting electrode and two
sample is the ion-selective membrane, and the potential generated across it is related to measure electrodes in line above it, one at 1 in. [2.5 cm], the other at 2 in. [5 cm]. The
the cation-exchange capacity per unit pore volume, Qv. As a method of measuring Qv, the potential at the 2-in. electrode gives a 2-in. micronormal log. The difference in potential
technique is faster than the multiple salinity method, and more representative of the in- between the two measure electrodes gives a 1-in. x 1-in. microinverse log. The
situ value than destructive methods such as conductometric titration. However, care is micronormal reads deeper than the microinverse. Introduced in 1948, the microlog is used
needed in making the measurement and deriving the appropriate Qv. to detect permeable zones across which a mudcake has formed. Since the mudcake is
usually less resistive than the invaded zone, the microinverse will read less than the
mercury displacement method micronormal opposite permeable zones. If the resistivity and thickness of the mudcake are
known, it is possible to estimate the resistivity of the flushed zone. The log is usually
A technique for measuring the bulk volume of a core sample by observing the displacement
presented on a linear scale, chosen to emphasize the lower readings often seen opposite
of mercury in a chamber. The chamber is first filled to a reference level and the volume
permeable zones with mudcake.
recorded. The sample is introduced and the new volume recorded. The difference is the
bulk volume of the sample. If the sample is weighed, its bulk density can also be calculated. Microporosity
Mercury is used because it is strongly nonwetting and therefore does not enter the pore
space.
That part of the pore space that has a characteristic dimension less than 1 micron. In Describing a type of acoustic transducer that emits or receives energy in all directions.
general, this includes not only very small pores but also the porosity associated with Monopole transducers are used in standard sonic logs, and also in array-sonic logs to
surface roughness. The water in this pore space is part of the capillary-bound water and record shear and Stoneley waves.
the small-pore water. Water in micropores is not expected to flow on production. The term
mud filtrate
is also defined as porosity that cannot be seen at magnifications less than 50x.
The liquid that passes through a filter cake from a slurry held against the filter medium,
Microresistivity
driven by differential pressure. Dynamic or static filtration can produce a filtrate.
Related to a log of the resistivity of the flushed zone recorded by a wireline electrode
multiple salinity
device. The device is mounted on a pad and pressed against the borehole wall. Several
designs exist, for example microlog, microlaterolog, proximity log, microspherical log and A technique used for the determination of the electrical properties of a shaly core sample.
microcylindrical log. The microlog, being unfocused, is a more qualitative measurement. The sample is flushed with brines of different salinities, and the conductivity determined
The other measurements are focused. They try to minimize the effect of mudcake and after each flush. A plot of the conductivity of the sample (C0) versus the conductivity of
rugose hole, while reading as short a distance as possible into the formation, to remain the brine (Cw) gives the excess conductivity caused by clays and other surface conductors.
unaffected by the undisturbed zone. They are usually combined with a laterolog or Then, using a suitable model (Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS) it is possible to determine
induction log to correct the latter for the effects of invasion and for saturation the intrinsic formation factor and porosity exponent, and the cation-exchange capacity.
determination in quick-look ratio methods. The logs are presented on a logarithmic scale
from, for example 0.2 to 2000 ohm-m. moveable hydrocarbons

microspherical log The volume of hydrocarbons per unit volume of rock that can be moved on production,
measured in volume/volume or porosity units. Typically only primary and secondary
An electrode device with small spacings from which the current flow, and hence the production methods are considered when estimating moveable hydrocarbons. Moveable
measurement, is focused a short distance into the formation. The microspherical log hydrocarbons are not necessarily the same as moved hydrocarbons, which are those
measures the resistivity of the flushed zone with minimum influence from the mudcake or hydrocarbons that have been moved by invasion.
the undisturbed zone. The principle of spherical focusing is used. The electrodes are
mounted on a pad that is pressed against the borehole wall. In a typical tool design, 90% moved hydrocarbons
of the signal comes from within 3 in. [7.6 cm] of the pad, ensuring that the undisturbed The volume of hydrocarbons per unit volume of rock that have been moved by invasion,
zone rarely has an effect. measured in volume/volume or porosity units. Moved hydrocarbons are not necessarily
minute mark the same as moveable hydrocarbons, which are those hydrocarbons that can be moved on
primary and secondary production.
An annotation made on a log print once every minute. By reading the depth interval
between each minute mark, it is possible to check the logging speed. Minute marks are Mudcake
typically made by blanking out the vertical grid line on the far left of the print for a short The residue deposited on a permeable medium when a slurry, such as a drilling fluid, is
interval every minute. forced against the medium under a pressure. Filtrate is the liquid that passes through the
Monopole medium, leaving the cake on the medium. Drilling muds are tested to determine filtration
rate and filter-cake properties. Cake properties such as cake thickness, toughness, slickness
and permeability are important because the cake that forms on permeable zones in the
wellbore can cause stuck pipe and other drilling problems. Reduced oil and gas production
can result from reservoir damage when a poor filter cake allows deep filtrate invasion. A potassium (%), thorium (ppm) and uranium (ppm). The primary standards for the weight
certain degree of cake buildup is desirable to isolate formations from drilling fluids. In fractions are formations with known quantities of the three isotopes. Natural gamma ray
openhole completions in high-angle or horizontal holes, the formation of an external filter spectroscopy logs were introduced in the early 1970s, although they had been studied
cake is preferable to a cake that forms partly inside the formation. The latter has a higher from the 1950s.
potential for formation damage.
neutron capture
N
A neutron interaction in which the neutron is absorbed by the target nucleus, producing
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] an isotope in an excited state. The activated isotope de-excites instantly through the
emission of characteristic gamma rays. Neutron capture, also called thermal capture,
The exponent, n, in the relation of water saturation, Sw, to resistivity index, I (I = Sw-n) for
usually occurs at low thermal energies at which the neutrons have about the same energy
a sample of rock. It expresses the effect on the resistivity of desaturating the sample, or
as the surrounding matter, typically below 0.4 eV (0.025 eV at room temperature). Some
replacing water with a non-conductive fluid. In petrophysically simple, water-wet rocks
elements are better thermal absorbers than others. Neutron capture is an important
(Archie rocks), n is constant for different values of Sw, and a single average n can be found
principle behind the pulsed neutron capture log, the elemental capture spectroscopy log,
for a particular reservoir or formation. A typical value is 2. In more complex rocks, n
the pulsed neutron spectroscopy log and the thermal neutron porosity measurement.
changes with Sw, although often being about 2 near Sw = 1. In rocks with conductive
minerals, such as shaly sands, n becomes increasingly lower as Sw is reduced. This change neutron generator
is negligible for high-salinity waters, but increases as the salinity is reduced. In shaly-sand
A device for producing high-energy neutrons by using a charged particle accelerator.
saturation equations, such as Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS and CRMM, n is the intrinsic
Neutron generators are used in various pulsed neutron devices and some neutron porosity
n, determined with high-salinity water or with the clay effects removed. The variation of I
measurements. In a typical device, deuterium (2D) and tritium (3T) ions are accelerated
with Sw is then predicted, with varying success, by the different equations. In carbonates
towards a target also containing the same isotopes. When 2D and 3T collide, they react to
with multiple pore types, such as fractures, vugs, interparticle porosity and microporosity,
produce a neutron with an energy of about 14.1 MeV. The first neutron generators were
n may change as each pore type is desaturated. A different n may be used for a different
built in the late 1950s and soon led to the first pulsed neutron capture log.
range of Sw. In all cases, n increases if any pores are oil-wet. Values up to 8 have been
reported in very oil-wet rocks. neutron interactions
native state core Phenomena involving the transfer of energy from neutrons to nuclei. The reaction rate of
neutrons with matter depends on the density of neutrons, their velocity, the nuclear
A core taken so as to preserve the in-situ water saturation of the rock. A native-state core
density and the particular interaction cross section. There are four principal neutron
is usually drilled with oil-base mud or crude oil from the same reservoir.
interactions that affect formation evaluation: elastic neutron scattering, inelastic neutron
natural gamma ray spectroscopy scattering, fast-neutron reactions and neutron capture.

The technique of measuring the spectrum, or number and energy, of gamma rays emitted neutron log
as natural radioactivity by the formation. There are three sources of natural radioactivity
Normally synonymous with a neutron porosity log. However, the term is sometimes
in the Earth: 40K, 232Th and 238U, or potassium, thorium and uranium. These radioactive
broadened to include an activation log.
isotopes emit gamma rays that have characteristic energy levels. The quantity and energy
of these gamma rays can be measured in a scintillation detector. A log of natural gamma neutron porosity
ray spectroscopy is usually presented as a total gamma ray log and the weight fraction of
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
Referring to a log of porosity based on the effect of the formation on fast neutrons emitted return electrode (B) and the measure reference electrode (N) far away. The response is
by a source. Hydrogen has by far the biggest effect in slowing down and capturing determined mainly by the distance between A and M. The larger AM, the deeper the
neutrons. Since hydrogen is found mainly in the pore fluids, the neutron porosity log measurement, but the poorer the bed boundary response. Although many distances have
responds principally to porosity. However, the matrix and the type of fluid also have an been used, the most common are 16 in. [40 cm], known as the short normal, and 64 in.
effect. The log is calibrated to read the correct porosity assuming that the pores are filled [162 cm], known as the long normal.
with fresh water and for a given matrix (limestone, sandstone or dolomite). It is presented
normal mode
in units of porosity (vol/vol or p.u.) for the matrix chosen. Older logs were presented in
counts per second or API units. The depth of investigation is several inches, so that the log 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
reads mainly in the flushed zone. The neutron porosity log is strongly affected by clay and
gas. Hydrogen occurs in clays and hydrated minerals as well as pore fluids. Gas has a low A type of acoustic energy that propagates in one direction while being confined in the
hydrogen density, so that gas zones have a very low apparent porosity. The measurement other two directions, in this case by the borehole wall. Normal modes are propagated as
is based on either thermal or epithermal neutron detection. Thermal neutrons have about reflections off the borehole wall, and exist only in hard rock. They are highly dispersive,
the same energy as the surrounding matter, typically less than 0.4 eV, while epithermal starting with the formation shear velocity at a certain cutoff frequency and decreasing at
neutrons have higher energy, between about 0.4 and 10 eV. Being a statistical high frequencies to the borehole fluid velocity. Below the cutoff frequency, they do not
measurement, the precision is greatest at high count rates, which in this case occurs at low exist. Normal mode #0 is often considered to be the tube wave and starts at zero
porosity. Neutron porosity logs were introduced in the early 1940s. The first tools were frequency. Normal mode #1 is called the pseudoRayleigh, and starts at around 5 kHz. The
known as neutron-gamma tools, since the detector measured the gamma rays emitted on other normal modes start at increasingly higher frequencies.
capture. Neutron-neutron tools, using a thermal neutron detector were introduced in nuclear magnetic resonance
about 1950.
1. n. [Reservoir Characterization, Formation Evaluation]
NMR
A phenomenon by which a nucleus absorbs electromagnetic radiation of a specific
1. n. [Geophysics] frequency in the presence of a strong magnetic field. Isidor Isaac Rabi (1898 to 1988), an
Pertaining to a measurement of the nuclear magnetic properties of formation hydrogen. American physicist born in Austria, first detected magnetic resonance in 1938. Since then,
The basic core and log measurement is the T2 decay, presented as a distribution of T2 magnetic resonance has been applied to the detection of light atoms (such as hydrogen in
amplitudes versus time at each sample depth, typically from 0.3 ms to 3 s. The T2 decay is hydrocarbons) and as a nondestructive way to study the human body.
further processed to give the total pore volume (the total porosity) and pore volumes 2. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
within different ranges of T2. The most common volumes are the bound fluid and free
fluid. A permeability estimate is made using a transform such as the Timur-Coates or SDR Pertaining to a measurement of the nuclear magnetic properties of formation hydrogen.
permeability transforms. By running the log with different acquisition parameters, direct The basic core and log measurement is the T2 decay, presented as a distribution of T2
hydrocarbon typing and enhanced diffusion are possible. amplitudes versus time at each sample depth, typically from 0.3 ms to 3 s. The T2 decay is
further processed to give the total pore volume (the total porosity) and pore volumes
normal within different ranges of T2. The most common volumes are the bound fluid and free
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation] fluid. A permeability estimate is made using a transform such as the Timur-Coates or SDR
permeability transforms. By running the log with different acquisition parameters, direct
Referring to a type of conventional electrical log in which the current emitting electrode hydrocarbon typing and enhanced diffusion are possible.
(A) and the measure electrode (M) are placed close together on the sonde, and the current
nuclear magnetic resonance measurement withstanding high shock and vibration. Its internal chemistry must also accommodate a
long shelf life.
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
oil-wet
A measurement of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) properties of hydrogen in the
formation. There are two phases to the measurement: polarization and acquisition. First, 1. adj. [Formation Evaluation, Enhanced Oil Recovery]
the hydrogen atoms are aligned in the direction of a static magnetic field (B0). This
Pertaining to the preference of a solid to be in contact with an oil phase rather than a water
polarization takes a characteristic time T1. Second, the hydrogen atoms are tipped by a
or gas phase. Oil-wet rocks preferentially imbibe oil. Generally, polar compounds or
short burst from an oscillating magnetic field that is designed so that they precess in
asphaltenes deposited from the crude oil onto mineral surfaces cause the oil-wet
resonance in a plane perpendicular to B0. The frequency of oscillation is the Larmor
condition. Similar compounds in oil-base mud also can cause a previously water-wet rock
frequency. The precession of the hydrogen atoms induces a signal in the antenna. The
to become partially or totally oil-wet.
decay of this signal with time is caused by transverse relaxation and is measured by the
CPMG pulse sequence. The decay is the sum of different decay times, called T2. The T2 oxide closure model
distribution is the basic output of a NMR measurement. The NMR measurement made by
both a laboratory instrument and a logging tool follow the same principles very closely. An 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
important feature of the NMR measurement is the time needed to acquire it. In the A model for converting relative elemental yields from a pulsed neutron spectroscopy log
laboratory, time presents no difficulty. In a log, there is a trade-off between the time to absolute weight concentrations using the assumption that the sum of all oxides in the
needed for polarization and acquisition, logging speed and frequency of sampling. The rock matrix is 1. The model is based on the observation that, with few exceptions,
longer the polarization and acquisition, the more complete the measurement. However, sedimentary minerals are oxides, so that the sum of the dry weight percent of all oxides
the longer times require either lower logging speed or less frequent samples. must be 100%. The weight percent of an oxide can be calculated from the dry weight
oil wet percent of the cation by knowing the chemical formula (for example, SiO2 from Si). The
absolute dry weight percent, W, of element i is given by Wi = F * Yi / Si where F is the
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation, Enhanced Oil Recovery] unknown normalization factor, Yi is the measured spectral gamma ray yield and Si is the
tool sensitivity to that element, measured in the laboratory. The dry weight percent of the
Pertaining to the preference of a solid to be in contact with an oil phase rather than a water
oxide is then Oi = F* Xi * Yi / Si where Xi is the oxide association factor, given by the
or gas phase. Oil-wet rocks preferentially imbibe oil. Generally, polar compounds or
chemical formula. Since the sum of all Oi equals 1, it is possible to calculate F and
asphaltenes deposited from the crude oil onto mineral surfaces cause the oil-wet
determine each Wi .
condition. Similar compounds in oil-base mud also can cause a previously water-wet rock
to become partially or totally oil-wet. pad
oilfield battery 1. n. [Drilling, Production]
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] A temporary drilling site, usually constructed of local materials such as gravel, shell or even
wood. For some long-drilling-duration, deep wells, such as the ultradeep wells of western
An electrochemical source that provides electrical power to a downhole or surface tool
Oklahoma, or some regulatory jurisdictions such as The Netherlands, pads may be paved
used for determining the location or assisting in the extraction of hydrocarbons. Unlike a
with asphalt or concrete. After the drilling operation is over, most of the pad is usually
conventional battery, an oilfield battery must safely provide power sufficient to enable a
removed or plowed back into the ground.
tool to perform as specified, even on extended jobs. Designed with rugged external
packaging to fit within a confined tool space, it must tolerate extreme temperatures while pair production
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] order to compare data between wells it is important to have a valid, area wide reference
for comparison. This is the permanent datum level.
A gamma ray interaction in which the gamma ray, or photon, is converted into an electron
and a positron when the gamma ray enters the strong electric field near the nucleus of an Permeameter
atom. The gamma ray energy must equal at least the rest mass of an electron and a
An apparatus for measuring the permeability of a core sample. Measurements are made
positron (1.022 MeV) for the interaction to be possible. Following pair production, the
either by placing the sample in a chamber (also known as a core holder), or by placing a
positron will annihilate with an electron, emitting two gamma rays of 0.511 MeV. The
probe on the surface of the sample. Core-holder measurements are made either with gas
highest probability of occurrence is at high gamma ray energy, above 10 MeV, and in a
or liquid, and either in steady state or unsteady-state conditions. Other variables include
material of high atomic number.
the confining pressure and the direction of measurement, which can be axial (along the
parallel resistivity axis of a cylindrical core sample), transverse (perpendicular to the axis), or radial (to the
center of a hollow cylinder). In probe measurements, gas is injected into the sample under
The resistivity of a formation measured by flowing current parallel to the bedding planes.
either steady- or unsteady-state conditions. Probe permeameters are also known as
In anisotropic formations, the parallel and perpendicular resistivities are different.
minipermeameters.
Pass
permittivity
With reference to logging, an operation in which a logging tool is lowered into a borehole
1. n. [Geophysics]
and then retrieved from it while recording measurements.
The ability of a material to store a charge from an applied electrical field without
PEF
conducting electricity.
A log of photoelectric absorption properties. The log measures the photoelectric
perpendicular resistivity
absorption factor, Pe, which is defined as (Z/10) 3.6 where Z is the average atomic number
of the formation. Pe is unitless, but since it is proportional to the photoelectric cross 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
section per electron, it is sometimes quoted in barns/electron. Since fluids have very low
The resistivity of a formation measured by flowing current perpendicular to the bedding
atomic numbers, they have very little influence, so that Pe is a measure of the rock matrix
planes. In anisotropic formations, the parallel and perpendicular resistivities are different.
properties. Sandstones have low Pe, while dolomites and limestones have high Pe. Clays,
heavy minerals and iron-bearing minerals have high Pe. Thus, the log is very useful for phase shift
determining mineralogy. In interpretation, PEF is normally converted to the simpler
volumetric cross section, U in barns/cm3, by taking the product of PEF and density. The log The change in position of the peaks of a sinusoidal electromagnetic wave as it passes
is recorded as part of the density measurement. The depth of investigation is of the order through the formation. If the sinusoidal wave picked up by two receivers a certain distance
of one inch, which is normally in the flushed zone. PEF can be affected by heavy minerals apart in a formation are compared, it is found that the wave has been attenuated and
such as barite in the mudcake or mud filtrate. PEF logs were introduced in the late 1970s. shifted in time. The shift is known as a phase shift. The term is used in particular with
reference to the propagation resistivity log and the electromagnetic propagation log.
permanent datum
phase shift resistivity
The level to which all subsurface depths in an area are referred, normally the mean sea
level. In individual wells, the depth is measured from the depth reference. However, in The ability of the formation to resist electrical conduction, as derived from the change in
position of the peaks of an electromagnetic wave generated in a propagation resistivity
measurement. At the frequencies used, the phase shift depends mainly on the resistivity
of the material with a small dependence on dielectric permittivity, particularly at high remains stationary before it is picked up off the bottom. During this time the log readings
resistivity. Common practice is to transform the phase shift to resistivity assuming that the are static but the depth, which is recorded by the movement of the cable, is changing.
dielectric permittivity is related to resistivity by a simple algorithm. The transform also
pick-up
depends on transmitter/receiver spacings and tool design. For a 2-MHz measurement, a
typical measurement range is 0.2 to 200 ohm-m. Above 200 ohm-m, the dielectric effects The depth at which the tool string is picked up off the bottom of the well during a wireline
become too variable and it is preferable to use the dielectric resistivity. logging survey. Pick-up can be observed by an increase in cable tension and by the start of
activity in the log curves. When the logging tool is lowered to the bottom of the well, it is
photoelectric effect
common practice to spool in some extra cable. When the cable is pulled back out, the tool
A gamma ray interaction in which the gamma ray is fully absorbed by a bound electron. If remains stationary before it is picked up off the bottom. During this time the log readings
the energy transferred exceeds the binding energy to the atom, the electron will be are static but the depth, which is recorded by the movement of the cable, is changing.
ejected. Normally, the ejected electron will be replaced within the material and a
play back
characteristic X-ray will be emitted with an energy that is dependent on the atomic number
of the material. The highest probability for this effect occurs at low gamma ray energy and To generate a log from digital data some time after the actual acquisition of the data. This
in a material of high atomic number. The photoelectric effect is the principle behind the log is distinct from the acquisition log. Some of the parameters for processing the log may
PEF log, which identifies lithology. or may not be different from those of the acquisition log.
Pickett plot polarization horn
A double logarithmic plot of a resistivity measurement on the x-axis versus a porosity The effect on a propagation resistivity or induction log of charge buildup at the boundary
measurement on the y-axis. The plot is named after G.R. Pickett. The plot is based on taking between two formation layers with different dielectric properties. In a vertical well with
the logarithm of the Archie equation. Points of constant water saturation (Sw) will plot on horizontal layers, the current loops generated by the tool in the formation are parallel to
a straight line with negative slope of value m. Water zones define the lowermost line on the layers and do not cross bed boundaries. However, with an apparent dip between
the plot. Since Sw = 1, the water resistivity can be determined from a point on the line. borehole and formation, the loops cross the bed boundaries and generate a charge buildup
Once the water line is established, other parallel lines can be drawn for different Sw, at the boundaries. The charge buildup acts like a secondary transmitter that increases the
assuming a constant n (usually 2). Other data can then be plotted and interpreted in terms measured resistivity. The result is a spike to high resistivity as the tool crosses the bed
of Sw. The same technique can be applied to the flushed zone, using flushed-zone boundary. In deviated or horizontal wells, polarization horns on measurements-while-
measurements. See Pickett GR: "A Review of Current Techniques for Determination of drilling propagation logs often are used to detect a bed boundary. The spike increases with
Water Saturation from Logs," paper SPE 1446, presented at the SPE Rocky Mountain apparent dip and resistivity contrast between beds. The magnitude of polarization spikes
Regional Meeting, Denver, Colorado, USA, May 23-24, 1966; SPE Journal of Petroleum varies with tool type and spacing, being larger for the propagation tools.
Technology (November 1966): 1425-1435.
polarization time
Pickup
The time allotted for the alignment of hydrogen atoms with the static magnetic field during
The depth at which the tool string is picked up off the bottom of the well during a wireline a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement. The alignment of hydrogen atoms
logging survey. Pick-up can be observed by an increase in cable tension and by the start of follows an exponential rule such that after a polarization time PT the percentage aligned is
activity in the log curves. When the logging tool is lowered to the bottom of the well, it is 100*(1 ? e-PT/T1) where T1 is their longitudinal relaxation time. An infinite polarization
common practice to spool in some extra cable. When the cable is pulled back out, the tool time is therefore needed to align every hydrogen atom, but 95% are aligned after a time
of 3*T1. Typical polarization times for a standard NMR log are between 1 and 4 s.
pore throat carbonates with multiple pore types, such as fractures, vugs, interparticle porosity and
microporosity, one solution is to use equations with different porosity exponents for each
In an intergranular rock, the small pore space at the point where two grains meet, which
pore type. The volume of each pore type must then be determined from logs or borehole
connects two larger pore volumes. The number, size and distribution of the pore throats
images.
control many of the resistivity, flow and capillary-pressure characteristics of the rock.
porosity unit
Porosimeter
A unit equal to the percentage of pore space in a unit volume of rock. It is abbreviated to
An instrument for measuring the pore volume, and hence the porosity, of a core sample.
p.u. and lies between 0 and 100.
The term is also used for some instruments that actually measure grain volume, such as
the Boyle?s Law Double-Cell method. Pore volume is then obtained from the difference porous plate technique
between bulk volume and grain volume. Pore volume is most commonly measured directly
A method for desaturating a core sample by placing one end in capillary contact with a
by Boyle's Law Single-Cell method, summation of fluids or liquid saturation. Bulk volume is
porous plate and applying gas or oil under pressure to the remaining surfaces. The liquid
most commonly measured by buoyancy, mercury displacement or a physical measurement
in the original fully saturated sample is expelled through the porous plate. At different
of size (calipering); grain volume by Boyle?s law Double-Cell method or disaggregation of
pressure stages, the sample is weighed to determine the loss of liquid, and the gas or oil
the sample. Except for disaggregation, all techniques determine the effective porosity, in
pressure increased. Desaturation continues until no more weight loss is observed, at which
the sense of all but the isolated pores.
time the sample is at irreducible water saturation. Core samples are desaturated to
porosity exponent measure, for example, capillary pressure, irreducible water saturation, resistivity index or
nuclear magnetic resonance response.
The exponent, m, in the relation of formation factor (F) to porosity (phi). For a single
sample, F is related to phi using the Archie equation F = 1 / phim, with m being the only Potassium
coefficient needed. In this case, m has been related to many physical parameters, but
An element with an atomic number of 19. The 40K isotope is radioactive, decaying with
above all to the tortuosity of the pore space. In theory, it can range from 1 for a bundle of
the emission of a single gamma ray of 1.46 MeV with a half-life of 1.3 * 109 years to give a
tubes to infinity for porosity that is completely unconnected. For a simple packing of equal
stable isotope of argon. Potassium is the largest source of natural radioactivity. It occurs in
spheres, m = 1.5. With a more tortuous pore space or more isolated pores, m increases,
illite, alkali feldspars, micas and some evaporite minerals. It also occurs in some drilling
while with fractures or conductive solids, m decreases. As a general average for typical
mud systems. The 40K isotope is only a small fraction, about 0.012%, of the total
reservoir rocks, m is often taken as 2. For a group of rock samples, it is common practice
potassium, the main isotope being 39K, which has an abundance of about 1.7% in the
to find a relationship between F and phi that uses two coefficients (F = a / phim). In this
Earth's crust. For the purposes of logging, the total potassium is calculated from the
case m, like a, becomes an empirical constant of best fit between F and phi, and may take
measured quantity of 40K and scaled in percent by weight. It is a valuable aid in
a wide range of values. In complex formations, such as shaly sands or carbonates with
determining the mineral content of a formation.
multiple pore types, a constant m does not give good results. One solution is to vary m,
with the variability related to parameters such as porosity, shaliness, or rock texture, or Precision
else determined directly from logs in zones where the water saturation is known or can be
computed from a nonresistivity measurement such as electromagnetic propagation. In The closeness of agreement between the results obtained by applying a measurement
shaly sands, the preferred solution is to use a saturation equation, such as Waxman-Smits, procedure several times on identical materials and under prescribed measurement
dual water, SGS or CRMM, in which m is defined as the intrinsic m, determined from the conditions. The smaller the random part of experimental error, the more precise the
intrinsic formation factor at high salinities or after correction for the effect of shale. In measurement procedure. (ISO) In logging, the term usually describes the repeatability of a
statistical measurement, such as a nuclear log. The precision must then refer to a particular A measurement of the high frequency (about 1 GHz) dielectric properties of the formation.
set of conditions, for example, the speed of logging and the formation properties. In a typical tool, a microwave transmitter is placed a few inches below two receivers
separated by 4 cm [1.6 in.]. At this frequency, the response is best explained as the
preserved core
propagation of a wave. Thus the phase shift and attenuation of the wave between the
A core that has been preserved in the same state as when it was brought to the surface. receivers are measured and transformed to give the log measurements of propagation
The term implies that the core has been stored for a period before analysis. If this has not time and attenuation. Because of the short spacings, the measurement has excellent
been the case, it is known as fresh core. The goal of preservation is to maintain the original vertical resolution and reads within inches of the borehole wall except at high resistivity.
fluid content, fluid distribution, rock wettability and mechanical integrity. Preserved cores Different transmitter and receiver spacings and orientations are used, leading to different
are typically sealed and protected from mechanical damage. Depending on the core and arrays, such as the endfire array and the broadside array. An ideal measurement would
the objective, they may also be frozen or placed in humidity ovens. Preservation may be give the plane wave properties of the formation. However, the geometry of the
wet, in which the core is submerged in a suitably prepared brine, or dry, without any fluid. measurement precludes this, so that a correction, known as the spreading-loss correction,
is needed for the attenuation and to a much smaller extent for the propagation time. The
propagation resistivity measurement is also affected by the dielectric properties and thickness of the mudcake.
A measurements-while-drilling log of formation resistivity. The log normally contains at Borehole compensation is used to correct for sonde tilt or a rough borehole wall.
least one attenuation and one phase-shift resistivity reading. In many cases there will be proximity log
multiple curves of both, the difference being the depth of investigation. For the same
nominal depth of investigation, the attenuation resistivity reads deeper than the phase- An electrode device with small spacings from which the current flow, and hence the
shift resistivity and is less affected by invasion, but more affected by surrounding beds and measurement, is focused a short distance into the formation. The proximity log measures
apparent dip. The attenuation measurement has a poorer vertical resolution and is less the resistivity of the flushed zone with minimum influence from the mudcake or the
affected by anisotropy. Depths of investigation and vertical resolution of both undisturbed zone. The central current-emitting electrode (A0) is surrounded by a guard
measurements vary with the average formation resistivity. Although depths of electrode that emits sufficient current to focus the current from A0 a certain distance into
investigation are less than with wireline resistivity logs, the invasion at the time of the formation. The electrodes are mounted on a pad that is pressed against the borehole
measurement is usually small and it is possible to derive the resistivity of the undisturbed wall. In a typical tool design, 90% of the signal comes from within 5 to 10 in. [13 to 25 cm]
zone. of the pad. This is deeper than the microlaterolog, which ensures that the mudcake has
less effect but means that the proximity log is more often affected by the undisturbed
propagation resistivity measurement zone.
A measurement of the formation resistivity made on drillpipe at a frequency in the range pseudogeometrical factor
of 100 kHz to 10 GHz, most commonly 2 MHz. The basic measurement is accomplished
using a transmitter and two receivers. At these frequencies, the response is best explained The response of a logging measurement as a function of distance from the tool. The
as the propagation of a wave. Thus, the phase shift and attenuation of the wave between pseudogeometrical factor is normally radial, reflecting the response perpendicular to the
the receivers are measured and transformed to give the phase shift and the attenuation tool. It can be a differential factor, which is the contribution to the signal at a particular
resistivity. In practice, multiple transmitters may be used to obtain different depths of distance, but is more normally integrated, which is the sum of all signals from the tool to a
investigation and achieve borehole compensation. The wavelength is such that the particular distance. The pseudogeometrical factor developed from the concept of the
borehole has a minor effect, but one for which correction may be needed. geometrical factor, and is expressed in the same way. For example, for a radial distance x
from the tool, the integrated radial pseudogeometrical factor, Jx, can be written as: Jx =
propagation time (Ux - Ut) / (Uxo - Ut) where Ut is the log reading of the undisturbed zone (or, alternatively,
the reading with no invasion), Uxo is the log reading of the flushed zone (or, alternatively, pulse echo
the reading with infinite invasion), and Ux is the log reading with a step profile invasion to
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
depth x. Unlike the geometrical factor, Jx depends on the values of both Uxo and Ut.
Pseudogeometrical factors are a useful way to express the radial response (or vertical A technique in which an ultrasonic transducer, in transmit mode, emits a high-frequency
response) in typical conditions. The physics of each measurement determines how much acoustic pulse towards the borehole wall, where it is reflected back to the same transducer
Jx varies with Uxo and Ut. Pseudogeometrical factors are often used to express the operating in receive mode. The measurement consists of the amplitude of the received
response of nuclear and resistivity logs, but are not appropriate for acoustic and signal, the time between emission and reception, and sometimes the full waveform
electromagnetic propagation logs (where the response is too dependent on the contrast received. Tools that use this technique either have multiple transducers, facing in different
in properties), or nuclear magnetic resonance logs (where the response is too localized). directions, or rotate the transducer while making measurements, thereby obtaining a full
image of the borehole wall. Pulse-echo techniques are used in the borehole televiewer. In
pseudostatic spontaneous potential
cased hole, the waveform is analyzed to give indications of cement-bond quality and casing
The ideal spontaneous potential (SP) that would be observed opposite a shaly, permeable corrosion.
bed if the SP currents were prevented from flowing. In the middle of a thick, permeable
pulsed neutron spectroscopy log
bed whose resistivity is not too high, the SP reads close to the pseudostatic spontaneous
potential (PSP). In other conditions, however, the SP may be significantly less than the PSP. A wireline log of the yields of different elements in the formation, measured using induced
The PSP ignores other potential sources and assumes that a surrounding shale is a perfect gamma ray spectroscopy with a pulsed neutron generator. The elemental yields are
cationic membrane. The ratio of the PSP to the static spontaneous potential is known as derived from two intermediate results: the inelastic and the capture spectrum. The
the SP reduction factor, alpha. Alpha is less than 1 and is a function of the shaliness, or inelastic spectrum is the basis for the carbon-oxygen log, and can also give information on
cation-exchange capacity, within the sand. The higher this cation-exchange capacity, the other elements. The capture spectrum depends on many elements, mainly hydrogen,
larger the internal membrane potential. The latter has the opposite polarity to the liquid- silicon, calcium, iron, sulfur and chlorine. Since the elemental yields give information only
junction potential and reduces the SP. The PSP, and alpha, are reduced when hydrocarbons on the relative concentration of elements, they are normally given as ratios, such as C/O,
are introduced into shaly sands, because the cation-exchange capacity in the sands is Cl/H, Si/(Si + Ca), H/(Si + Ca) and Fe/(Si + Ca). These ratios are indicators of oil, salinity,
forced into a smaller conductive pore volume and therefore has a larger relative effect. lithology, porosity and clay, respectively. To get absolute concentrations, it is necessary to
calibrate to cores or, more often, use a model such as the oxide-closure model. The depth
PSP
of investigation of the log is several inches into the formation. It can be run in open or
A mnemonic for the pseudostatic spontaneous potential. cased hole. Pulsed neutron spectroscopy logs were introduced in the mid 1970s after a
decade or more of investigation.
spontaneous potential
pulsed neutron spectroscopy measurement
1. n. [Geophysics]
A measurement of the spectrum of gamma rays emitted by a formation bombarded by
Naturally occurring (static) electrical potential in the Earth. Spontaneous potentials are
high-energy neutrons. Neutrons are emitted by a high-energy neutron generator (14.1
usually caused by charge separation in clay or other minerals, by the presence of a
MeV). The neutrons interact with different nuclei, which may emit characteristic gamma
semipermeable interface impeding the diffusion of ions through the pore space of rocks,
rays through inelastic neutron scattering, fast-neutron reactions and neutron capture.
or by natural flow of a conducting fluid (salty water) through the rocks. Variations in SP can
When pulses from a neutron generator are used, it is possible to separate the different
be measured in the field and in wellbores to determine variations of ionic concentration in
interactions in time after each neutron pulse. Inelastic and fast-neutron interactions occur
pore fluids of rocks.
very soon after the neutron burst, while most of the capture events occur later. The two
types can therefore be separated to give a so-called inelastic spectrum and a capture method and apparent matrix density. The term is also used for a complete log containing
spectrum. The spectra are analyzed either by counting gamma rays in windows placed at some combination of quicklook curves, original logs and lithology display. In all cases the
the main peaks for the elements concerned, or by comparison with spectral standards, or computations are based on simple models.
by combining the two (alpha processing). The resultant logs are known as pulsed neutron
Quicklook
spectroscopy logs, the most common of which are the carbon-oxygen log and the
elemental capture spectroscopy log. 1. n. [Geophysics]
pulse-echo A subset of a 3D seismic survey comprising low fold or simplified processing (such as
omitting dip moveout processing) that can be evaluated soon after acquisition.
A technique in which an ultrasonic transducer, in transmit mode, emits a high-frequency
acoustic pulse towards the borehole wall, where it is reflected back to the same transducer 2. n. [Geophysics]
operating in receive mode. The measurement consists of the amplitude of the received
signal, the time between emission and reception, and sometimes the full waveform Borehole seismic data processed on site in the field
received. Tools that use this technique either have multiple transducers, facing in different 3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
directions, or rotate the transducer while making measurements, thereby obtaining a full
image of the borehole wall. Pulse-echo techniques are used in the borehole televiewer. In A log, or a display of several logs, that has been generated by a simple computation of log
cased hole, the waveform is analyzed to give indications of cement-bond quality and casing data. The quicklook is intended to make it easy to identify particular features in a section
corrosion. of log. The term is used for single curves designed, for example, to identify hydrocarbon
zones, estimate porosity or identify lithology. Examples are Rwa, crossplot porosity, ratio
quadrant density method and apparent matrix density. The term is also used for a complete log containing
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] some combination of quicklook curves, original logs and lithology display. In all cases the
computations are based on simple models.
A log of formation density from one of the quadrants of an azimuthal density tool.
R signal
quick look
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
1. n. [Geophysics]
The resistive (R) signal, or that part of the alternating signal at the receiver of an induction-
A subset of a 3D seismic survey comprising low fold or simplified processing (such as logging tool that is in phase with the transmitter current. This signal depends on the
omitting dip moveout processing) that can be evaluated soon after acquisition. formation conductivity and is the main or, in older tools, the only source of the induction
log. It must be separated from the out-of-phase, or reactive (X) signal, which depends in a
2. n. [Geophysics]
different way on formation conductivity and may contain a large component from direct
Borehole seismic data processed on site in the field coupling between transmitter and receiver.

3. n. [Formation Evaluation] RH

A log, or a display of several logs, that has been generated by a simple computation of log 1. n. [Drilling Fluids]
data. The quicklook is intended to make it easy to identify particular features in a section
The water content of air compared to the water content that the air could hold if it were
of log. The term is used for single curves designed, for example, to identify hydrocarbon
saturated, expressed as a percentage. Air in equilibrium with fresh water is saturated with
zones, estimate porosity or identify lithology. Examples are Rwa, crossplot porosity, ratio
water vapor, so its RH = 100%. Air above a saturated NaCl solution has RH = 75%. Air above measurement. For some measurements, mainly resistivity, the radial response can be
a saturated CaCl2 solution has RH = 31%. RH can, therefore, be used as an indicator of the shaped as desired through signal processing. In general, the radial response depends on
water activity of a solution with which air is in equilibrium. RH can also reflect the aqueous- the formation properties throughout the measurement volume. Most quoted radial
phase activity of an oil-emulsion mud, the basis for the Chenevert Method for testing oil responses have been determined in formations that are vertically homogeneous and have
muds. small radial changes. They can then be summarized by a geometrical factor or a
pseudogeometrical factor. These factors are appropriate for volumetric measurements
Rv
such as nuclear and resistivity measurements, but not for others such as acoustic
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] propagation.

Abbreviation for vertical resistivity. radius of investigation

Rwa 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]

The apparent resistivity of the formation water, calculated from log measurements of A distance that characterizes how far a logging tool measures into the formation from the
porosity (phi) and resistivity (Rt) and using the Archie equation with Sw = 1, so that Rwa = axis of the tool or borehole. The term is similar to depth of investigation, but is more
phim * Rt. Rwa is a quick-look method of determining if there are hydrocarbons. In a appropriate for certain azimuthally symmetric measurements, mainly resistivity. The
hydrocarbon zone, Rwa will be higher than the actual resistivity of the formation water radius of investigation summarizes the radial response of the measurement in one or more
(Rw), which must be known. A typical rule of thumb is that if Rwa > 3 * Rw, then there are distances, and should be associated with the percentage of signal received from within
producible hydrocarbons. Rwa is often calculated and output as a quicklook log. that depth, typically either 50% or 90%. Most quoted depths of investigation assume a
homogeneous formation with certain properties, such as a given resistivity or fluid content.
radial processing The radius of investigation can vary considerably in inhomogeneous conditions, and at
The inversion of resistivity logs with differing depths of investigation into a model of the different values of the properties concerned. It should be considered only a qualitative
formation invasion profile. For dual induction and dual-laterolog tools, this was done guide to tool response.
graphically with a tornado chart and assuming a step profile. Array tools have built-in 2. n. [Well Testing]
inversion algorithms, and several formation models into which the data can be inverted.
The calculated maximum radius in a formation in which pressure has been affected during
radial resolution the flow period of a transient well test. While not absolutely accurate, the value has
A distance that characterizes the ability of a logging measurement to resolve changes in meaning in relation to the total volume of reservoir that is represented by calculated
the formation perpendicular to the tool. Alternatively, the term refers to the smallest reservoir parameters, such as kh, the permeability thickness. This may also be termed
distance for which a significant change can be detected. The resolution is a feature of the transient drainage radius.
radial response, which is often summarized by a geometrical or pseudogeometrical factor. random error
A measurement with good or high radial resolution will have a sharp peak in the radial
differential geometric factor at some distance from the tool. 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]

radial response A nonreproducible error that is generally imputable to the physics of the measurement.
For example, the statistical errors in nuclear measurements are random errors.
The response of a logging measurement as a function of the distance perpendicular to the
tool. Radial responses are determined by computer simulation or laboratory real time data
With reference to measurements-while-drilling (MWD) and logging while drilling, the data relative dielectric permittivity
transmitted to surface shortly after being recorded. These are distinct from the data
The degree to which a medium resists the flow of electric charge divided by the degree to
recorded into memory. Only a subset of the recorded data can be transmitted as real-time
which free space resists such charge. The degree, or dielectric permittivity, is defined as
data because of the limited data rate of MWD telemetry systems. This reduces the number
the ratio of the electric displacement to the electric field strength. The term is also known
of channels, the sample interval, or both, in the real-time data.
as the relative dielectric constant. However, at high frequencies, it is no longer constant
recorded data and decreases with frequency. Relative dielectric permittivities, which are unitless, vary
from about 4 to 400 in rock, but in rare cases may reach several thousand.
With reference to measurements-while-drilling (MWD), the data recorded by the logging
tools and stored in a downhole electronic memory. These data are subsequently retrieved relaxation time
when the tools are brought to surface. Recorded data are distinct from real-time data.
In a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurement, the characteristic time for a loss of
Depending on the time between trips, the amount of data storage may affect the number
coherent energy, or relaxation, by protons in rocks. There are two types of relaxation:
of channels recorded, the sample interval, or both.
longitudinal relaxation, which is the time (T1) needed to align protons in a static magnetic
Recorder field; and transverse relaxation, which is the time (T2) needed for protons to lose their
coherent energy in an NMR measurement. Relaxations are exponential decays, for which
Also called camera, the device used in early logging to record logging measurements on
T1 and T2 are the time constants. Different mechanisms contribute to T1 and T2. Surface
photographic film. The camera consisted of a light shining on galvanometers, which
relaxation and bulk relaxation contribute to both T1 and T2. Surface, bulk and diffusion
reflected the light to produce a trace on one or more films. The galvanometers deflected
relaxation contribute to T2.
according to the log measurement to give the log reading. The films were turned by the
depth wheel, which gave the depth axis of the log. remaining oil saturation

reference point 1. n. [Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Characterization]

The position on a logging tool string that is used as the reference for depth measurements. Fraction of pore volume occupied by oil at any location in a reservoir at any time during its
Each measurement has a different measure point. In normal practice, each measurement life. Remaining oil saturation has no petrophysical significance beyond an assessment of
is shifted in depth by the distance between the measure point and the reference point. the amount of oil remaining in the rock. Considered a snapshot of the reservoir, this
This ensures that all measurements are recorded at the same depth. For a wireline tool, assessment depends on the location in the reservoir and time of the measurement. This
the reference point is normally the bottom of the tool string. For measurements-while- saturation is measured without regard to the displacement process or processes that
drilling, the reference is the bit (the driller's depth). The term is sometimes used to mean produced it.
the depth reference.
Remaining oil saturation (ROS) may be calculated from 1 − Sxo, where Sxo is the invaded
relative dielectric constant zone, or flushed zone, water saturation.

The degree to which a medium resists the flow of electric charge divided by the degree to repeat section
which free space resists such charge. The degree, or dielectric constant, is defined as the
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
ratio of the electric displacement to the electric field strength. The term is also known as
the relative dielectric permittivity. However, at high frequencies, it is no longer constant An interval of log that has been recorded for a second time. The repeat section is typically
and decreases with frequency. Relative dielectric permittivities, which are unitless, vary 200 ft [60 m] long. The purpose is to judge the repeatability of the measurement by
from about 4 to 400 in rock, but in rare cases may reach several thousand. recording it twice over the same interval with the same recording parameters. Strictly
speaking, the repeatability can be judged properly only if the depth measurement is the laboratory. However, it is difficult to check the reproducibility of downhole log
same on both runs, if the tool takes the same path in the borehole and if there have been measurements because of the problem of ensuring that the same test material is used, in
no changes in the borehole or formation. In practice, the repeat section gives a good other words that the same volume of formation is measured each time, or that the
overall picture of the repeatability of the log. There can be more than one repeat section. formation fluids have not changed.

Repeatability 2. n. [Formation Evaluation]

1. n. [Formation Evaluation] The representative parameters of the dispersion of the population which may be
associated with the results are qualified by the term reproducibility, for example
The closeness of agreement between independent results obtained in the normal and
"reproducibility standard deviation," "reproducibility variance." (ISO)
correct operation of the same method on identical test material, in a short space of time,
and under the same test conditions (such as the same operator, same apparatus, same 3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
laboratory). (ISO) The repeatability of core and log measurements can be checked properly
The quantitative value that is equal to or below the absolute difference between two test
in the laboratory. The repeatability of a downhole log is checked by recording a repeat
results obtained by operators in different laboratories, using the standard test method,
section (or repeat stations for stationary measurements). The term repeatability is used
within a probability of 95%. (ISO)
even though it is not possible to ensure that the same test material is used. On two
separate runs, the tool may not take the same path in the borehole, and therefore may reservoir quality (RQ)
not measure the same volume of formation.
1. n. [Formation Evaluation, Well Completions, Shale Gas]
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
A prediction of the likelihood of a rock to yield commercial quantities of hydrocarbons.
The representative parameters of the dispersion of the population that may be associated Reservoir quality (RQ) is a geologic, engineering and economic assessment of a resource,
with the results are qualified by the term repeatability, for example "repeatability standard its reserves and their producibility. The term RQ includes the following factors: volume of
deviation," or "repeatability variance." (ISO) oil or gas in place, organic content (TOC), thermal maturity, effective porosity, fluid
saturations—oil, gas and water, reservoir thickness and intrinsic permeability.
3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
residual oil
The quantitative value that is equal to or below the absolute difference between two test
results, within a probability of 95%. (ISO) In a test of repeatability, the results are obtained 1. n. [Formation Evaluation, Enhanced Oil Recovery]
independently by the normal and correct operation of the same method on identical test
material, in a short space of time, and under the same test conditions (such as the same Oil that does not move when fluids are flowed through the rock in normal conditions, for
operator, same apparatus, same laboratory). example primary and secondary recovery, and invasion.

reproducibility residual oil saturation

1. n. [Formation Evaluation] 1. n. [Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Characterization]

The closeness of agreement between individual results obtained in the normal and correct Fraction of pore volume occupied by oil at the end of oil displacement that used a specific
operation of the same method on identical test material, but under different test fluid. This reservoir engineering quantity signifies the ultimate recovery under a given
conditions (such as different operators, different apparatus, different laboratories). (ISO) displacement process and represents the endpoint of the relative permeability curves in
The reproducibility of core and log measurements can be checked properly in the reservoir simulation. The residual oil saturation quantity is the saturation achieved after
an infinite number of pore volumes of the displacing fluid have flowed through a particular such as induction and propagation resistivity logs, may respond more directly to
portion of reservoir rock. To define residual oil saturation, the displacement method and conductivity, but are presented in resistivity.
the type, volume, direction and velocity of the displacing fluid must be known. Residual oil
2. n. [Formation Evaluation]
saturation is the ratio of the immobile residual oil volume divided by the effective porosity.
A log of the resistivity of the formation made by an electrode device such as a laterolog. In
resistive invasion
this sense the term is used to distinguish the log from an induction measurement, which
1. n. [Formation Evaluation] responds more directly to conductivity.

A situation in which the resistivity of the flushed zone is greater than the resistivity of the resolution matched
undisturbed zone. Such a setting generally favors the use of induction devices, which
1. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
respond to conductivity, rather than electrode resistivity devices (laterologs, ring
resistivity), which respond to resistivity. Relating to two or more logging measurements that have the same resolution. The term
normally refers to vertical resolution, but could also be used for azimuthal or radial
Resistivity
resolution.
The ability of a material to resist electrical conduction. It is the inverse of conductivity and
response matched
is measured in ohm-m. The resistivity is a property of the material, whereas the resistance
also depends on the volume measured. The two are related by a system constant, which Relating to two or more logging measurements that have the same response. The term
in simple cases is the length between the measurement electrodes divided by the area. In normally refers to vertical resolution, but could also be used for azimuthal or radial
the general case, the resistivity is the electric field divided by the current density and resolution. The term implies that all the features of the vertical response are matched,
depends on the frequency of the applied signal. ideally in all conditions. In practice, it is used to describe a more detailed matching of the
vertical response than with resolution-matched curves.
resistivity index
restored state core
The ratio of the true resistivity to the resistivity of the same rock filled with water. The
resistivity index can be expressed as I = Rt / Ro, where Ro is the water filled resistivity and 1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
Rt is the true resistivity. It is related to the water saturation by the saturation exponent, n
(I = Sw-n), and is a key component of the Archie equation. A core that has been cleaned but then flushed with reservoir fluids to reestablish the in
situ condition of the rock. The main purpose of a restored state core is to measure the
resistivity log wettability and related properties such as relative permeability.
A log of the resistivity of the formation, expressed in ohm-m. The resistivity can take a wide retort method
range of values, and, therefore, for convenience is usually presented on a logarithmic scale
from, for example, 0.2 to 2000 ohm-m. The resistivity log is fundamental in formation A technique for measuring the fluid saturations in a core sample by heating the sample and
evaluation because hydrocarbons do not conduct electricity while all formation waters do. measuring the volumes of water and oil driven off. The sample is crushed and weighed
Therefore a large difference exists between the resistivity of rocks filled with hydrocarbons before being placed in the retort. It is then heated in stages or directly to 650oC [1200oF]
and those filled with formation water. Clay minerals and a few other minerals, such as during which the fluids are vaporized, collected, condensed and separated. Plateaus in the
pyrite, also conduct electricity, and reduce the difference. Some measurement devices, rise of the cumulative water volume with temperature are sometimes analyzed to indicate
when free water, surface clay-bound water and interlayer clay-bound water have been
driven off. The volumes of water and oil are measured directly, but corrections are needed
to account for alterations in the oil. The volume of gas also is needed for accurate results. The set of measurements normally carried out on core plugs or whole core. These generally
This is measured on a separate, adjacent sample by injecting mercury under pressure and include porosity, grain density, horizontal permeability, fluid saturation and a lithologic
measuring the volume absorbed. Before injection, the sample is weighed and its bulk description. Routine core analyses often include a core gamma log and measurements of
volume determined by mercury displacement. The total pore volume is then the sum of vertical permeability. Measurements are made at room temperature and at either
the volumes of gas, oil and water. The saturation of each component is the ratio of its atmospheric confining pressure, formation confining pressure, or both. Routine core
volume to the total pore volume. analysis is distinct from special core analysis (SCAL). Recommended practices for routine
core analysis are available in the API document RP40.
ring resistivity
R-signal
The resistivity measured by the ring of a measurements-while-drilling (MWD) toroid
device. The ring resistivity is a focused measurement with a depth of investigation and a The resistive (R) signal, or that part of the alternating signal at the receiver of an induction-
vertical resolution of a few inches. It is not azimuthal. The measurement is similar to a logging tool that is in phase with the transmitter current. This signal depends on the
wireline laterolog except that toroids are used instead of electrodes for transmitting and formation conductivity and is the main or, in older tools, the only source of the induction
monitoring. Like a laterolog, the signal is proportional to resistivity, and is thus most log. It must be separated from the out-of-phase, or reactive (X) signal, which depends in a
effective at high resistivities, high formation to mud-resistivity contrast and in the presence different way on formation conductivity and may contain a large component from direct
of conductive invasion. It is usually combined with the bit resistivity, and possibly also with coupling between transmitter and receiver.
the button resistivities. In the same way as a laterolog, two transmitter toroids are used to
Rugose
force current to flow approximately perpendicularly into the formation at the ring. Other
toroids measure the current flow and to balance the currents emitted by the two 1. adj. [Formation Evaluation]
transmitters.
Pertaining to a borehole wall that is rough.
ROS
Rugosity
1. n. [Formation Evaluation, Reservoir Characterization]
1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
Abbreviation for remaining oil saturation. Fraction of pore volume occupied by oil at any
location in a reservoir at any time during its life. Remaining oil saturation has no A qualitative description of the roughness of a borehole wall. Alternatively, the term
petrophysical significance beyond an assessment of the amount of oil remaining in the pertains to a borehole whose diameter changes rapidly with depth. The term usually refers
rock. Considered a snapshot of the reservoir, this assessment depends on the location in to changes at the scale of logging measurements, a few inches to a few feet, and to the
the reservoir and time of the measurement. This saturation is measured without regard to effect this has on logging tool responses. Rugosity can be observed on caliper logs, image
the displacement process or processes that produced it. logs and by its effect on measurements with a small depth of investigation.

Remaining oil saturation (ROS) may be calculated from 1 − Sxo, where Sxo is the invaded Run
zone, or flushed zone, water saturation. With reference to logging, an operation in which a logging tool is lowered into a borehole
routine core analysis and then retrieved from it while recording measurements.

1. n. [Formation Evaluation] sampling error

The error introduced by the sampling process caused by making measurements on only a
limited portion of a formation.
sampling interval An equation for calculating the water saturation from resistivity and other logs. There are
many saturation equations. Practical equations are all extensions of the Archie equation,
The depth or time between successive measurements by a sensor. For measurements-
which is valid for a rock with very little clay, or very high salinity water, and with a regular
while-drilling (MWD) logs, the sampling interval is most commonly a time. For wireline
pore structure. The majority deal with the problem of shaly sands, and can be divided into
measurements, it is most commonly a depth.
two main groups?those that treat the shale as a volume of conductive material (Vsh
sandstone compatible scale models), and those that analyze the effect of clay counter-ions. Vsh models take many
forms. Typical examples are the Simandoux, laminated sand and Indonesian equations. The
Display ranges chosen for the density and neutron porosity logs such that the two curves other group includes the Waxman-Smits, Dual Water and SGS equations. Most nonshaly
will overlay at all porosity values providing the matrix is pure quartz and the pores are filled sand equations deal with the problem of mixed pore types, for example combinations of
with fresh water. The most common overlay spans two tracks, with the density reading fractures, isolated pores and intergranular pores.
from 1.9 to 2.9 g/cm3, and the neutron in sandstone porosity units from 0.45 to −0.15
vol/vol. saturation exponent

sandstone porosity unit The exponent, n, in the relation of water saturation, Sw, to resistivity index, I (I = Sw-n) for a
sample of rock. It expresses the effect on the resistivity of desaturating the sample, or
A transform from raw log data chosen so that a log recorded in these units will give the replacing water with a non-conductive fluid. In petrophysically simple, water-wet rocks
correct porosity of the formation providing the matrix is pure quartz and the pores are (Archie rocks), n is constant for different values of Sw, and a single average n can be found
filled with fresh water. The unit, which may be in vol/vol or p.u., is most commonly used for a particular reservoir or formation. A typical value is 2. In more complex
for neutron porosity logs but may also be used for density and acoustic logs. The definition rocks, n changes with Sw, although often being about 2 near Sw = 1. In rocks with conductive
is strictly true only if all borehole and other environmental corrections have been applied. minerals, such as shaly sands, n becomes increasingly lower as Sw is reduced. This change
sandstone-compatible scale is negligible for high-salinity waters, but increases as the salinity is reduced. In shaly-
sand saturation equations, such as Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS and CRMM, n is the
Display ranges chosen for the density and neutron porosity logs such that the two curves intrinsic n, determined with high-salinity water or with the clay effects removed. The
will overlay at all porosity values providing the matrix is pure quartz and the pores are filled variation of I with Sw is then predicted, with varying success, by the different equations. In
with fresh water. The most common overlay spans two tracks, with the density reading carbonates with multiple pore types, such as fractures, vugs,
from 1.9 to 2.9 g/cm3, and the neutron in sandstone porosity units from 0.45 to −0.15 interparticle porosity and microporosity, n may change as each pore type is desaturated.
vol/vol. A different nmay be used for a different range of Sw. In all cases, n increases if any pores
sandstone porosity unit are oil-wet. Values up to 8 have been reported in very oil-wet rocks.

A transform from raw log data chosen so that a log recorded in these units will give the saturation unit
correct porosity of the formation providing the matrix is pure quartz and the pores are A unit equal to the percentage of a given fluid in the total volume of a pore space. The term
filled with fresh water. The unit, which may be in vol/vol or p.u., is most commonly used is abbreviated to s.u. and lies between 0 and 100.
for neutron porosity logs but may also be used for density and acoustic logs. The definition
is strictly true only if all borehole and other environmental corrections have been applied. scintillation detector

saturation equation device for measuring the number and energy of gamma rays. The device consists of a
crystal and a photomultiplier. In the crystal, an incident gamma ray imparts energy to
electrons through Compton scattering, photoelectric absorption and pair production. The
electrons excite the detector crystal lattice. Crystal de-excitation emits visible or near- shoulder bed
visible light, the scintillation, which is detected by the photomultiplier and transformed
A formation layer above or below the layer being measured by a logging tool. The term is
into an electrical pulse. The frequency and amplitude of the electric pulse are related to
used in particular in resistivity logging to describe the layers above and below a reservoir.
the number of gamma rays and their respective energy levels, and are recorded in a log.
Some resistivity tools, such as induction and laterolog devices, can sense beds located tens
Scintillation detectors are used in all natural gamma ray, induced gamma ray and density
of feet from the measure point and can be significantly affected by shoulder beds even
logging devices.
when the reservoir is thick. The term is more commonly used for vertical wells, and is
secondary porosity index derived from the typical picture of resistivity log response across a reservoir: a high
resistivity reservoir (the head) with two low-resistivity shales above and below (the
An indicator of the porosity that does not contribute to a sonic measurement of interval
shoulders). The term also may be used in horizontal wells, although in that context the
transit time. The transit time is little affected by vugs, fractures and other irregular events
term surrounding bed is more common. The term adjacent bed is used in both cases.
because the sonic wave finds a faster path around them. Spherical pores such as oomolds
also have less effect on traveltime than oblate pores. Thus, when the sonic porosity is less Sidewall
than some measurement of the total porosity, the difference can be attributed to the
Relating to being held against, or taken from, the side of the borehole. The term also
presence of post-depositional, or secondary, porosity. The sonic porosity is usually derived
describes a measurement that must be made by pressing the sonde against the side of the
from the Wyllie time-average equation, or some other suitable transform, and the total
borehole in order to minimize borehole effects, as, for example, a sidewall epithermal
porosity taken as the density-neutron crossplot porosity.
neutron log.
shale baseline
sidewall core
the average reading of the spontaneous potential (SP) log opposite the shale layers in a
A core taken from the side of the borehole, usually by a wireline tool. Sidewall cores may
well. Opposite shales, the SP is relatively constant and changes only slowly with depth. This
be taken using percussion or mechanical drilling. Percussion cores are taken by firing
is the shale baseline. The log is normally adjusted by the logging engineer to read near zero
hollow bullets into the formation. The bullets are attached to the tool by fasteners, and
at the baseline. Sharp shifts in the baseline can sometimes be observed, for example when
are retrieved, along with the core inside, by pulling up the tool and the fasteners.
two permeable beds with different formation water salinities are separated by a shale that
Percussion coring tools typically hold 20 to 30 bullets, but two or three tools can be
is not a perfect cationic membrane, or when the formation water salinity changes within a
combined on one run in the hole. Mechanical tools use hollow rotary drills to cut and then
permeable bed.
pull out core plugs. Up to 75 plugs can be recovered on one run. With full recovery, cores
shifted spectrum from typical percussion tools are 1 in. [2.5 cm] in diameter by 1 3/4 in. [4.4 cm] long, while
those from mechanical tools are 0.91 in. [2.3 cm] in diameter by 2 in. [5 cm] long. The latter
A technique in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging based on the shift in the T2
are also known as rotary sidewall cores.
distributions, or spectra, acquired with different echo spacings. The technique is usually
used to detect gas or light oil. These fluids have a significant diffusion relaxation. A sieve analysis
measurement made with a standard short echo spacing will give a signal from these fluids
1. n. [Well Completions]
at a certain T2. A measurement made with a long echo spacing will cause more diffusion
relaxation and a shorter T2. Other fluids, with minor contribution from diffusion, will not The process of analyzing the size distribution of a sand or gravel sample. In sand-control
be changed. Gas and light oil can therefore be identified by the shift between the two T2 applications, a sample of formation sand is shaken through a series of sieves of known size.
distributions. The resulting distribution is then used to design an appropriate treatment that will retain
the sand, while causing a minimal restriction to production.
2. n. [Formation Evaluation] slowing-down length

A technique for analyzing the grain-size distribution of a core sample. A cleaned, weighed A parameter used to characterize neutron interactions in bulk material above the thermal
core sample is disaggregated and agitated through a series of stacked screens with region. The slowing-down length (Ls) is proportional to the root-mean-square distance
progressively smaller openings. The material left on each screen is weighed in order to give from the point of emission of a high-energy neutron to the point at which its energy has
a distribution of quantity versus sieve size. Sieve analysis may be done dry, wet or a decreased to the lower edge of the epithermal energy region. The slowing-down length is
combination of both. Wet analysis is necessary for analyzing any clay fraction. the physical parameter that best describes the response of an epithermal neutron porosity
measurement, and describes a large part of the response of a thermal neutron porosity
Sigma
measurement. Thermal neutrons have about the same energy as the surrounding matter,
The macroscopic cross section for the absorption of thermal neutrons, or capture cross typically less than about 0.4 eV, while epithermal neutrons have higher energy, between
section, of a volume of matter, measured in capture units (c.u.). Sigma is also used as an about 0.4 and 10 eV.
adjective to refer to a log of this quantity. Sigma is the principal output of the pulsed
slowing-down time
neutron capture log, which is mainly used to determine water saturation behind casing.
Thermal neutrons have about the same energy as that of the surrounding matter, typically With reference to pulsed neutron logging, the characteristic time for the decay of the
less than 0.4 eV. epithermal neutron population. The slowing-down time of a formation is strongly
dependent on the porosity. In openhole pulsed neutron logging, it is also dependent on
skin effect
the standoff between tool and borehole wall. Epithermal neutrons have energies above
The loss in amplitude and change in phase of an electromagnetic field as it penetrates into that of the surrounding matter, between about 0.4 eV and 10 eV.
a conductive medium. In an induction log, the skin effect causes a reduction of the R-signal
Slowness
(in-phase) and an increase in the X-signal (out-of-phase) at the receiver. It has a significant
effect on the 6FF40 array, particularly below 1 ohm-m. Since the magnitude of the Also called interval transit time, The amount of time for a wave to travel a certain distance,
reduction depends on the conductivity, the skin effect can be corrected for by using a fixed proportional to the reciprocal of velocity, typically measured in microseconds per foot by
function of the measured conductivity. A much improved method is to estimate the an acoustic log and symbolized by t or DT. P-wave interval transit times for common
correction from the X-signal measured in balanced arrays. sedimentary rock types range from 43 (dolostone) to 160 (unconsolidated shales)
microseconds per foot, and can be distinguished from measurements of steel casing, which
slow formation
has a consistent transit time of 57 microseconds per foot.
A formation in which the velocity of the compressional wave traveling through the
slowness time coherence
borehole fluid is greater than the velocity of the shear wave through the surrounding
formation. In such conditions, there is no critical refraction of the shear wave and no shear A technique used for identifying and measuring the slowness and time of arrival of
head wave generated, so that standard techniques based on monopole transducers cannot coherent acoustic energy propagating across an array of receivers. The different packets
be used to measure formation shear velocity. Instead, it is necessary to use dipole sources of coherent energy can then be identified in terms of their origin, for example
to excite the flexural mode. The velocity of the latter is closely related to that of the shear compressional, shear, Stoneley or other arrivals. In formation evaluation slowness-time
wave. In very slow formations, such as in high-porosity gas sands, the formation coherence is used in conjunction with an array-sonic tool in which the full waveforms at
compressional velocity also may be less than the borehole fluid velocity, causing no each receiver have been recorded. The technique consists in passing a narrow window
compressional head wave. In such cases, it is possible to estimate the formation across the waveforms and measuring the coherence within the window for a wide range
compressional velocity from the low-frequency end of a leaky mode. of slownesses and times of arrival.
slowness-time coherence is measured for each receiver, and subtracted to give the traveltime in the interval
between the two receivers. If the receivers are two feet apart, then this time is divided by
A technique used for identifying and measuring the slowness and time of arrival of
two to give the interval transit time, or slowness, of the formation. This type of
coherent acoustic energy propagating across an array of receivers. The different packets
measurement is also known as first motion detection. This technique works because the
of coherent energy can then be identified in terms of their origin, for example
first arrival at the receiver is a wave that has traveled from the transmitter to the borehole
compressional, shear, Stoneley or other arrivals. In formation evaluation slowness-time
wall, where it has generated a compressional wave in the formation. Some of this wave is
coherence is used in conjunction with an array-sonic tool in which the full waveforms at
critically refracted up the borehole wall, generating head waves in the borehole fluid as it
each receiver have been recorded. The technique consists in passing a narrow window
progresses. Some of these strike the receiver, arriving in most cases well before any signal
across the waveforms and measuring the coherence within the window for a wide range
traveling directly through the mud. Furthermore, if the logging tool is parallel to the
of slownesses and times of arrival.
borehole wall, the traveltime in the mud is cancelled by taking the difference between the
small pore water traveltime to the two receivers. Problems of irregular hole or a tilted tool are avoided by
using borehole compensation. The depth of investigation depends on the slowness, the
Water in microporosity or other small pores. The term usually refers to the nuclear transmitter-to-receiver spacing and the presence or absence of an altered zone. It is
magnetic resonance signal of such water, which occurs at very short times and overlaps generally within the invaded zone, and of the order of several inches.
the signal from clay-bound water.
SOR
Sonde
Abbreviation for residual oil saturation. Fraction of pore volume occupied by oil at the end
The section of a logging tool that contains the measurement sensors, as distinct from the of oil displacement that used a specific fluid. This reservoir engineering quantity signifies
cartridge, which contains the electronics and power supplies. the ultimate recovery under a given displacement process and represents the endpoint of
sonde error the relative permeability curves in reservoir simulation. The residual oil saturation quantity
is the saturation achieved after an infinite number of pore volumes of the displacing fluid
The measurement of an induction tool in a nonconducting medium before correction. have flowed through a particular portion of reservoir rock. To define residual oil saturation,
Electronic offsets and coupling within the tool cause a signal in the receivers even in a the displacement method and the type, volume, direction and velocity of the displacing
nonconducting medium such as air. This signal is cancelled either electronically or in fluid must be known. Residual oil saturation is the ratio of the immobile residual oil volume
software. Sonde errors change with temperature and pressure downhole. This can be divided by the effective porosity.
allowed for by characterizing the sonde's response to temperature and pressure on the
surface. Sonde error is measured by placing the tool far from the ground in air. Ideally Soxhlet extractor
measurements are made at two distances, since the ground signal can then be determined An apparatus for cleaning core samples using the distillation extraction method. In the
from the difference and eliminated. Originally, sonde error referred only to the R-signal, Soxhlet apparatus (also called extractor, or chamber), the sample soaks in hot solvent that
since this was the only signal being used. The term now refers to both R- and X-signals. is periodically siphoned off, distilled and returned to the sample. The process continues
sonic measurement until the siphoned-off solvent becomes clear. In the Soxhlet apparatus, the sample soaks
in the solvent, while in the Dean-Stark apparatus, the solvent flows through the sample
A technique for recording the formation compressional slowness based on the transit time from top to bottom.
between transmitter and receiver. In the most basic wireline sonic measurement, an
acoustic transducer emits a sonic signal, of between about 10 and 30 kHz, which is SP
detected at two receivers farther up the hole. The time between emission and reception
One of a number of locations or stations at the surface of the Earth at which a seismic graphically that for a given formation density there is only one rib for all normal mudcake
source is activated. densities and thicknesses. Thus, although there are three unknowns, it is possible to make
a correction using two measurements.
specific permeability
spiral borehole
The permeability of a porous medium to a specific fluid, when that fluid is the only fluid
present. Permeability is defined as a property of the porous medium. However, the Another term for corkscrew hole, the result of certain drilling conditions that cause the
permeability measured on samples often depends on the fluid used. For example, liquids borehole to take the shape of a corkscrew. Most logging tools are much longer than the
can affect the permeability through fines movement and clay alteration; gas permeability wavelength of the corkscrew, and therefore see it as a change in standoff or a change in
depends on slippage and inertial resistance, unless fully corrected for these effects. It is hole size. For this reason, the corkscrew is often observed as a wave on the caliper log. A
therefore more correct to talk of specific permeability to a particular fluid, although, in corkscrew hole affects measurements sensitive to standoff, such as induction and neutron
practice, the shorter term, permeability, is common. porosity, and may affect pad tools, if they cannot follow the changes.

Spectrum spontaneous potential

Generally, a display of entities or properties according to magnitude. In geophysics, Naturally occurring (static) electrical potential in the Earth. Spontaneous potentials are
spectrum refers to a display of characteristics of a wavetrain or trace as a function of usually caused by charge separation in clay or other minerals, by the presence of a
frequency, wavenumber, or arrival time. A common display of spectrum is amplitude as a semipermeable interface impeding the diffusion of ions through the pore space of rocks,
function of frequency. or by natural flow of a conducting fluid (salty water) through the rocks. Variations in SP can
be measured in the field and in wellbores to determine variations of ionic concentration in
spherical focusing
pore fluids of rocks.
A technique for focusing an electrode device based on maintaining a spherical
spreading loss
equipotential surface centered at the main current electrode. Unlike the laterolog, which
tries to maintain equipotential lines parallel to the sonde, spherical focusing tries to The additional loss in amplitude of an electromagnetic wave emitted by an
maintain the spherical equipotential lines that would exist in a homogeneous formation electromagnetic propagation or dielectric propagation measurement compared to that of
with no borehole. This is achieved with a particular arrangement of current-emitting a plane wave. The spreading loss depends on the geometry of the transmitter-receiver
electrode, current-return electrodes and monitor electrodes. This arrangement creates array and also on the dielectric properties of the formation. The same effect also causes a
two spherical equipotential spheres with a constant voltage drop between them. The small correction to the propagation time.
resistivity is determined from the current flowing between the spheres and the voltage
square log
drop. The depth of investigation is determined by the radii of the two spheres. Spherical
focusing is used to produce shallow-reading resistivity logs and the pad-based A log in which the changes in reading with depth only occur abruptly, with no transition. A
microspherical log. square log is often an approximation of a real log, in which the continuously varying input
log has been approximated by constant values and abrupt changes. A square log contains
spine and ribs plot
less data than a real log but can be useful for further processing.
For a two-detector density tool, the plot of long-spacing versus short-spacing count rates
SSP
for different formation densities, mudcake densities and mudcake thicknesses. The plot
takes its name from the spine, which is the locus of points with no mudcake, and the ribs, A mnemonic for the static spontaneous potential.
which show the effect of mudcake at certain fixed formation densities. The plot illustrates
Standoff A system that has reached equilibrium for the measurement or phenomenon concerned.
In the case of permeability measurements on core samples, a steady state is reached when
1. n. [Perforating]
the flow rate, the upstream and the downstream pressures no longer change with time. At
The space between the shaped charge and the internal surface of the perforating gun this point the permeability can be calculated from the flow rate and pressures and applying
body. The standoff is generally sufficient to allow the shaped charge jet to form before Darcy's equation. If gas is used, the inertial resistance and gas slippage (Klinkenberg effect)
exiting the gun body. should be corrected for.

2. n. [Formation Evaluation] step profile

The distance between the external surface of a logging tool and the borehole wall. This With reference to invasion, an abrupt change from the flushed zone to the undisturbed
distance has an important effect on the response of some logging measurements, notably zone, with no transition zone or annulus. This simple model is used most commonly in
induction and neutron porosity logs. For resistivity tools, the effect of standoff is taken into connection with older resistivity logs since it allows the invasion to be represented by three
account in the borehole correction. In the neutron porosity tool, it is usually corrected for parameters: flushed-zone resistivity, undisturbed-zone resistivity and diameter of
separately. In a smooth, regular hole, the standoff is constant and determined by the invasion. The model assumes equal invasion at all azimuths. Newer array logs allow more
geometry of the logging tool string and the borehole. In rugose or irregular holes, standoff complex invasion models to be interpreted.
varies with depth.
stick and slip
3. n. [Formation Evaluation]
The irregular movement of a logging tool up a well due to it being stuck at some point and
A piece of material designed to hold a logging tool a certain distance away from the then being released. In normal operation, the cable is pulled smoothly out of the well and
borehole wall. It is usually made of hard rubber and consists of four to six fins of the desired the logging tool follows. However, the tool can become stuck by differential pressure or an
length. irregular hole. The cable stretches, and its tension increases, until the tool is freed. At this
point it moves, or slips, quickly up the hole until the normal movement is resumed. Since
static spontaneous potential the depth measurement is driven by the cable, the log readings opposite a zone of stick
The ideal spontaneous potential (SP) that would be observed opposite a permeable bed if and slip are displayed at incorrect depths. Furthermore, since each measurement has a
the SP currents were prevented from flowing and any shaliness in the bed were ignored. different measure point, the zone of stick and slip shows up at a different depth on each
The static spontaneous potential (SSP) is equal to the electrochemical potential. When measurement.
current is flowing, the SP measures only that fraction of the potential drop that occurs in Stoneley permeability
the borehole. In normal conditions, this potential drop is much higher than the drop in the
formation because the cross-sectional area of the borehole is much smaller, and hence its The ability of fluid to move through a rock, as measured by the reduction in amplitude or
resistance much higher. It is for this reason that in the middle of a thick, clean bed whose increase in slowness of the acoustic Stoneley wave generated in the borehole. The velocity
resistivity is not too high, the SP reads close to the SSP. However, in other conditions the and amplitude of the Stoneley wave are reduced by the presence of mobile fluids in the
SP is significantly less than the SSP. As well as ignoring shaliness in the sand, the SSP ignores formation. Physically, the effect can be seen as a coupling of the Stoneley energy into a
other sources of potential and assumes a surrounding shale that is a perfect cationic formation wave known as the slow wave, as predicted by the Biot theory. The amount of
membrane. reduction is a complicated function of this mobility (or permeability divided by viscosity),
the properties of the borehole fluid, the pore fluid and the mudcake, the elastic properties
steady state of the rock and the frequency. Since all these factors are measured or estimated from logs,
it is possible to determine formation mobility. In practice, the mobility needs to be A data set measured and recorded with reference to a particular area of the Earth's
reasonably high for the method to be accurate. surface, such as a seismic survey.

stress induced anisotropy systematic error

A situation in which the formation shear-wave velocity varies azimuthally around the A reproducible inaccuracy of measurement introduced by either faulty design, failing
borehole, because unequal stresses in the formation have caused azimuthal variations in equipment, inadequate calibration, inferior procedure or a change in the measurement
the stress concentrations around the borehole. These stress concentrations change the environment.
shear-wave speeds in the region surrounding the well from those in the far field, such that
a characteristic response is observed in the dispersion of the dipole flexural mode.

stress-induced anisotropy

A situation in which the formation shear-wave velocity varies azimuthally around the
borehole, because unequal stresses in the formation have caused azimuthal variations in
the stress concentrations around the borehole. These stress concentrations change the
shear-wave speeds in the region surrounding the well from those in the far field, such that
a characteristic response is observed in the dispersion of the dipole flexural mode.

structural shale

A particular type of shale distribution in which the shale exists as grains within a rock
framework, in contrast to dispersed shale and laminar shale. The term also refers to a
formation model or saturation equation based on this distribution.

summation of fluids method

A technique for measuring the effective porosity of a core sample by summing the volumes
of the fluids recovered from it. The volumes of the gas, oil and water in the sample usually
are determined by the retort method, which also determines the bulk volume. The porosity
is then the ratio of the total fluid volume to the bulk volume.

surrounding bed

A formation layer above or below the layer being measured by a logging tool. The term is
used in particular to describe the adjacent layers above or below a horizontal well. In a
vertical well, the term shoulder bed is more common. The term adjacent bed is used in
both cases.

Survey