MechanicalProperties Log
M. P. Tixier, SPEAIME, Schlumberger Well Services
G. W. Loveless, SPEAIME, Atlantic Richfield CO.
R. A. Anderson, SPEAIME, Schlumberger Well Services
Introduction
To meet current demands for more oil and gas, com tion to produce at a high flow rate. Moreover, the
panies would like to increase production. However, consistently lower permeabilities of the strong sands
increases in wellproduction rates are frequently ac limit the magnitudes of the flow rates to which they
companied by sanding problems. For this reason, are exposed. Conversely, weak sands have relatively
there is often reluctance to go to higher producing high permeabilities and are capable of producing at
rates. high flow rates, even with small drawdowns. For
Yet many sands are, in fact, strong enough to per these, sanding is a potential danger.
mit greater production. It would be highly beneficial Although we believe that a criterion based on the
to be able to recognize these. It is also important to intrinsic strength is basic and fundamental, there are
know beforehand which sands are too weak to be other factors that cannot be ignored. For instance,
produced at the higher rates because once the well the type of fluid being produced is important. Our
has made sand, consolidation is difficult and often experience to date has been predominantly with gas
ineffective. and oil production, but it is believed that production
Many factors must be considered to understand with a high water cut may require higher intrinsic
the sanding problem. The pressure gradient near the strength.
perforation, the flow rate per foot, and the scrubbing Resistance to sanding in a weakly cemented sand
action of the fluid being produced all interact to can result from the formation of a stable, load
impose destructive forces on the sand. The ability of carrying sand arch spanning the producing cavity. In
the sand to withstand these destructive forces is de this respect, published work l on laboratory experi
termined by two main factors: the intrinsic strength ments indicates that the presence of two different
of the formation, and the capability of the sand to fluids (e.g., oil and water) in the formation, with the
form stable arches around the perforations. wettingphase saturation near irreducible, may con
The intrinsic formation strength is governed by tribute cohesive forces between the sand grains. These
the state of the confining stress (as determined by forces help sustain a stable arch after some sanding
the difference between the overburden stress and the has occurred. The forces result from the interfacial
pore pressure), the grain shape and sorting, and the tension between the two fluids where their surface
cementation between the grains. Shaliness may con contacts the sand grains, and the effect is to pull the
tribute to the cementation. sand grains together. These forces are not effective at
There is a good correlation between the forma lower oil saturations where the hydrocarbons exist
tion's intrinsic strength and the ability of the forma as separated globules and there is no contact of the
The mechanicalproperties log provides a quantitative means for identifying sands that
are strong enough to produce oil and gas without any form of sand control. The method
is based on a correlation of insitu strength with the dynamic elastic moduli computed
from sonic and density logs.
MARCH,1975 28S
Case 1 in Fig. 1 is for Pall much greater than PP' computed. This is done by determining the value of
as is the case at great depths and normal pore pres Cp that will make the porosity from the middle equa
sures. Sands under these high effective stresses are tion on Fig. 1 agree with porosity determined from
compacted, and the "total intergranular porosity", the resistivity ratio*, Ro/ Rw (ratio of resistivity of
9ig, is obtainable from the Wyllie timeaverage for waterbearing formation to resistivity of formation
mula17 (upper relation for <Pig in Fig. 1). water). At best, we are able to compute Cp every few
As long as the effective stress, Pas  Pp, exceeds hundred feet, and we do not know for sure the exact
a certain minimum value, the formation t:.tc values values of Cp in the many intervening formations. It is
are unaffected by variations in effective stress or the quite possible that a sand under greater stress because
types of fluids in the pores. Normally, for these of a nearby fault, or a sand having a different grain
compacted formations, no sanding problem will sorting, may have a Cp value different from that of
develop. In the Gulf Coast, this type of formation other sands in the interval. It may not be possible to
will be found below 12,000 ft when the pore pressure compute the correct value of Cp in this horizon, and
is normal. therefore we cannot be certain of its state of com
Cases 2 and 3 of Fig. 1 pertain to values of effective paction. On the other hand, the elastic moduli are not
stress too low to provide the compaction required for strongly dependent on Cpo An error in Cp results in
Case 1. The sand is said to be uncompacted. These some errors on the dispersedshale index, q, and on
cases will occur at shallow depths, or at greater depths the correction for hydrocarbons, but these in tum
when pore pressures are abnormally high. In these introduce only secondorder errors on the elastic
cases, the application of the Wyllie formula would moduli.
give an erroneously high, apparent total intergranular
Need for Hydrocarbon Corrections
porosity.
A better formulation for the intergranular porosity As ilIustrated by the difference between Cases 2 and
of an uncompacted sand would be given by the mid 3 in Fig. 1, the presence of hydrocarbons, particu
dle equation of Fig. 1 if the sand is waterbearing, larly gas, increases the compressional transit time
or by the lower equation of Fig. 1 if the sand is gas (t:.t c ) of an uncompacted formation. Hydrocarbons
bearing. 13 In these relations, Cp is the sonic compac also reduce formation density (Pb). The combined
tion correction; Cp is greater than unity in uncom effect is to decrease the value of the shear modulus
pacted sands. For these uncompacted cases the value and increase the value of the bulk compressibility that
of t:.tc increases as the effective stress, Pall  PP' de would be computed from the uncorrected logs.
creases, as shown by Curves 2 and 3 in Fig. 1. Thus, These hydrocarbon effects have no relation to for
as PaR  pp decreases, the compaction correction, C p , mation strength. It is therefore important that pb and
increases, and it reaches a value of around 2 at very t:.tc values in uncompacted formations be corrected for
shallow depths (around 2,000 ft in the Gulf Coast). the presence of gas or light hydrocarbons. This is done
It is in the range of insufficient compaction that to enter into Eqs. 5 and 6 values that would have been
weak formations will be found and where sanding will observed had the sand been waterbearing.
take place. As a rule, sanding problems are not found Details of the hydrocarbon corrections are dis
when C p is less than 1.2. This would indicate that a cussed in Appendix B.
knowledge of C p might give an indication of whether
a formation will have sanding problems.
However, it is not easy to monitor C p continuously *Ro/Rw is the resistivity formation factor. FR. that in Gulf Coast
sediments is empirically related to porosity. 1>. by the Humble
in every sand. Only in cleanwater sands can C p be formula. FR = 0.62/","·15.
From Uncorrected
A... __ ~tc~tma 6tc and Pb
CD COMPACTED 't'
SAND Ig ~tr~tma GAS SAND (clean)
G = 0.55 x 10 6
Icf> =33%
@ UNCOMPACTED cf>. _ ~tc~tma. ~ cb =0.98 x 10 6 vma= 18,000 fUsec
WATER SAND Ig  ~tr~tma Cp G/cb = 0.56 x 10 12 Cp =1.3
erroneously weak fL =0.27
@ UNCOMPACTED cf>ig = ~tc~tma. 1...  (CpI) cf>e Sgxo 3943
GAS SAND ~tf~tma Cp q=   ,negative
39
~~~+~~
WATER SAND(clean)
G = 0.71 x 10 6 ""
{Pb
~tC=113 cf> =33%
cb= 0.77 x 10 6 =2.14 jcp= 1.3
G/cb = 0.92 x 10 12 Vma= 18,000 ftlsec
.30
~= 1.34 X 1010 BPb psi
Cb Iltc2
Fig. 3Crossplot chart of At eor vs pe.n computed
for G/Cb = 0.8 X 10 12 psi'. The coefficient, 1.34 X 1010, corrects for units when
288 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
pb is measured in gm/ cc and t::.tc is measured in micro
o G006) psi 2
sec/ft. Values of f1, for use in evaluating the quantities Gamma Ray
A and B, are derived from Eq. 7. p API 100 2___ ~.!?~~::,~p~IIQ 50% <Pig 0
Unusually high values of CPig, such as CPig greater ~~' 9._9.:_<:.~~!~~:~P..~.=.? ~~ ______
0.8
:I?1.5 ____ .?.5
than 40 percent, can point out cycle skipping* on the
sonic log. In such zones the mechanicalproperties log
I G/C~b'1
S=~
:f 1
.~y ~
is of doubtful value. GR ,; 2F Cb A. .
The sonic compactioncorrection factor, Cp , is c'
/
., 50ft G
..' l '1"'lg
... 'S....._;,:. ..•. : ...
generally selected by the log analyst as an input to ~:
the program. However, when certain limits are vio
lated/ 3 the program adjusts the value of Cpo In some
cases, monitoring of Cp can reveal limy sands by Fig. 4Example of weak sand (from outside U.S.A.).
a decrease of the value of Cp below that used in the The upper part of the computed section is
interval under study. However, coal, salt, or enlarged sand, the lower few feet is lime.
hole could give the same indication. Because of limi
ness, the decrease in Cp is accompanied by a substan 0 GOO6)psi 2
Gamma Ray
tial increase in G and a decrease in Cb, reflecting higher o API 100 2__ £b(!(t:.61R.~~_ 0 50% <Pig a
strength. 9______ ~ _____1 o G/CbOd2)psi22 .5 Cp 2.5
An SP curve or a gamma ray log provides corre ··.. ······ .. t· .... ··· .. ·········  I::      
0.8 1.5
lation with the other logs.
It is possible that presentation of the mechanical
properties log may change in the future to reflect
/~ I tt~ . .1 ~ 2
LCp
I
~~
I
50ft
trends and greater experience. Likewise, the necessary
G~Cb
(
1
\
inputs for the computations may become obtainable GR ; <Pig\ I
lime section a few feet thick where the elastic moduli ) ....lyr
I
I
I
I
~/~l
,I
and G > 0.6 X lOG psi. This indicates sufficient I
I
strength although near the minimum strength required I
I
I
for sandfree production. The depth of this sand is I
I
only 3,500 ft. The well produced 72 BOPD per foot
of perforation with a GOR of 600 scf/bbl. No sand
r1 '
)1 Cb <Pi 91 icp
I
f'):
rg:G/Cb 1 I
s
~
?
, , ! 5?"">
I
1 { I
«G tCb
I
>"'CPi9JC P
(
T
50ft G~
< (Cb
~
I
?
Cp""'( CPig
) ;
.~
50ft ..>., > ~
l ... }
(
I
( \
,
1 1
J
!
;.
=s < ,
{
L_ I
..o.....G/CbOo'2lpsi22.5
0.8
Cp
1.5
2.5
_.....,........... _..._.... + o _q_ _ q...~(~~.~~~~~p~!.~? ,,~ _____
0.8
:"e1.5 ____ 5~5
,
1
I
I I
1 <I
I
1
G ....Cp CPig
rcp
1
"
r
1 "I
1 50ft
1 (~
1
1
,
1
1
I
<l
II
I
I
I
T
50ft
I
I
rcp
I
Pp = pore pressure
q = dispersedshale index (Eqs. 8 and AI)
1
I
I
I
Ro = resistivity of 100percent watersaturated
I formation
< I
....)
I
I
I
I
Rw = resistivity of formation water
SgZO = gas saturation in flushed zone near bore
I
? I
I hole
I
~
I (Sgzo)eq = an equivalent gas saturation in the flush
~
~
...,I
I
ed zone, used in Eq. B3
_;=,a. I
I
I
Sozo = oil saturation in flushed zone near bore
I
;,.
." I
I
hole
I
V ma = sonic compressional velocity in rock mat
rix material
Fig. 12Example of a very strong and consolidated 111, 11110g = (compressionalwave) transit time as
sand (California). G/c. is off scale. measured by sonic log (transit time is
MARCH, 1975 291
time for first arrival to travel 1 ft) Filled Holes," J. Pet. Tech. (March 1963) 321332;
Trans., AIME, 223.
!1te = compressionalwave transit time
13. Tixier, M. P., Morris, R. L., and Connell, J. G.: "Log
!1teor =corrected value of (compressionalwave) Evaluation of LowResistivity Pay Sands in the Gulf
transit time Coast," Trans., SPWLA Ninth Annual Logging Sym
!1ti = (compressionalwave) transit time in for posium, New Orleans (June 1968).
mation fluids 14. Hall, Howard N.: "Compressibility of Reservoir Rocks,"
Trans., AIME (1953) 198,309311.
!1tma = (compressionalwave) transit time in for 15. MacKenzie, J. K.: "The Elastic Constants of a Solid
mation matrix material Containing Spherical Holes," Proc. Phys. Soc., Series B,
!1t. = shearwave transit time London (1950) 63, 211.
A. = Lame constant 16. Warren, Nick: "Theoretical Calculation of the Com
pressibility of Porous Media," J. Geophys. Res. (Jan.
p. = Poisson's ratio 1973) 78, No.2, 352362.
Ph = bulk density (of formation) 17. Wyllie, M. R. J., Gregory, A. R., and Gardner, G. H. F.:
peor = corrected value of bulk density "An Experimental Investigation of Factors Affecting
Elastic Wave Velocities in Porous Media," Geophysics
Pi = density of formation fluid . (July 1958) 23, No.3, 459493.
Plog = density measurement from well log
pma = density of formation matrix material APPENDIX A
CPe = porosity (fluid filled)
Empirical Relationship Between fL and q
CPD = apparent porosity from density log, com
puted as CPD = (pma  PIOg)/(Pma  Pf) The empirical relationship of Anderson et al. l l relat
cpsv = apparent porosity from sonic log, com ing Poisson's ratio in uncompacted Gulf Coast sands
puted in water sands as to shaliness is shown in Fig. 13. Their values (circles)
flt lOg  fltma 1
were determined from fracturepressure measure
cpsv = C ments. A dispersedshale index was computed in
fltf  fltma p
water sands according to the relation *
CPig = intergranular space expressed as fraction
of bulk volume q = cpsv  CPD (A1)
cpsv '
Acknowledgments
where cpsv and CPD are the apparent porosities derived
We wish to recognize the assistance of Bill Throop,
who wrote the computer program and contributed from sonic and density logs. This dispersedshale
index is the same as the "q" value of Ref. 12.
much fine work to the project. Thanks are due to
To make a further check of the empirical relation
the oil companies who released the logs used in the
ship shown in Fig. 13, sonic wave trains were recorded
examples. in two Gulf Coast wells. These recordings were
References searched to pick out sands where there was a usable
1. Hall, C. D., Jr., and Harrisberger, W. H.: "Stability of shear arrival. The shear transit time, flt., was deter
Sand Arches: A Key to Sand Control," J. Pet. Tech.
(July 1970) 821829.
2. Wuerker, R. G.: "Annotated Tables of Strength and *q,sv is computed using the Wyllie et al. equation. When neces
Elastic Properties of Rocks," Reprint Series, No. 6  sary, a correction is made for lack of compaction. q,D is com
Drilling, Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, puted by the relation, q,D = (Pm.  Plog)/(Pm.  P/)
Dallas (1962) 2345.
3. Bond, L. 0., Alger, R. P., and Schmidt, A. W.: "Well
Log Applications in Coal Mining and Rock Mechanics,"
paper 69F13 presented at the SMEAIME 99th Annual .40
Meeting, Washington, Feb. 1620, 1969.
4. Stein, N. and Hilchie, D. W.: "Estimating the Maxi
mum Production Rate Possible From Friable Sandstones
Without Using Sand Control," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1972)
11571160; Trans., AIME, 253. :::l.30
goo t;. 0
t;.
u

..,
5. King, M. S.: "Static and Dynamic Elastic Moduli of
Rocks under Pressure," Proc., 11th Symposium on Rock
Mechanics (June 1619, 1969) 329351.
6. Walsh, J. B. and Brace, W. F.: "Elasticity of Rocks: A
o
f
<l:
 ~t) 0
~c9
u 0
'0
0::
Review of some Recent Theoretical Studies," Rock
Mechanics and Engineering Geology (1966) IV, No.4, (J) .20
283297. z
7. Gassman, F.: "Uber die Elastizitiit poroser Medien," o(J) o From Anderson et 01
Vierteljahrschrift der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft,
Geo. Zurich (1951) 96, 123.
(J) t;. From Soni c
8. Brandt, H.: "A Study of the Speed of Sound in Porous 2 .10 Compress iana 1 a f
Granular Media," J. Appl. Mech. (1955) 22, 479486. Shear Veloci ties
9. Mason, W. P.: Physical Acoustics and the Properties
of Solids," D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc., New York
(1958).
10. Love, A. E. H.: A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory
of Elasticity," Dover Publications, New York (1944). o 10 20 30 40
11. Anderson, R. A., Ingram, D. S., and Zanier, A. M.: II II
"Fracture Pressure Gradient Determination From Well
Logs," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1973) 12591268.
q DISPERSED SHALE INDEX (PERCENT)
12. Alger, R. P., Raymer, L. L., Hoyle, W. R., and Tixier, Fig. 13Empirical relation between Poisson's ratio and
M.P.: "Formation Density Log Applications in Liquid shaliness (after Anderson et al.").
MARCH,1975 293
Discussion SPE 6400
In the article by Tixier et al., "Estimation of Formation suggests that even for a certain flow rate, threshold G/Cb
Strength From the MechanicalProperties Log" (March should change with production.
JPT, Pages 283293), the authors have described the role Therefore, a limit based on a fixedpercent pressure
of intrinsic strength of the formation in controlling sand differential and, consequently, threshold G/Cb ratio may
production. The value of 0.8 X 1012 psi2 fortheG/C b ratio not be valid throughout the life of the well for all flow
has been used as the threshold criterion for sanding in oil rates.
or gas sands. Is it valid for any rate? As I understand the The authors have pointed out that production with a
concept, both G and Cb are mathematically related to !!:.tc , high water cut may require higher intrinsic strength. This
which again is a function of pressure differential (PeP;)' appears to be related to the fact that wave velocities in
This should have two effects: watersaturated sands are higher than those in oil
1. At high flow rates, because of high pressure differ saturated sand and much higher than those in gas
ential, sanding may occur in spite of the G/Cb ratio being saturated sands. Indirectly, this suggests threshold
met; and
2. With production: both Pe andpi should decrease, so
(~) water > (~) oil > (~) gas.
Cb Co Co
that the pressure differential for a certain flow rate would
be progressively higher as the reservoir pressure falls. B. S. Banthia
The first effect suggests that the threshold G/Cb should TerraMar Consultants
be valid only below certain flow rates. The second effect Dallas, Tex.
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