J. O. Ugbo*+, B. F. J. Kelly* and C. R. Ward*

*School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052 Australia.

+Author for correspondence, email:

We develop a method for estimating the degree of saturation in shaly sand formations based on an equivalent shaliness parameter. In shaly sands, the measured electrical conductivity is influenced by the clay content because of the charge deficit associated with the clay particles. This deficit is offset by counter-ions in a double layer whose contribution to total charge transfer is dominated by the total expansible clays. We derive an approximation for clay content and cation exchange capacity (CEC) from a linear relationship between the CEC and the total expansible clay (TEC) content of a reservoir rock. By combining mineralogy from quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) with wet chemistry CEC data, an expression for the counter-ions in the double layer as a function of the total expansible clays is derived. The analytical expression obtained is coupled with well-log data and compared to existing models. For determining surface conductivity, the new methodology eliminates the need for performing core measurements, subjective selection of CEC values from existing data, or the use of log-based volume-porosity translations. We show that existing popular industry models, and effective medium and electrochemical models of rock electrical conductivity can be adapted to use the new methodology. The results demonstrate a strong correlation between the estimated and measured bulk conductivity, and also resolve the scatter in estimated bulk conductivity often observed under low pore-water salinity conditions, where the ratio of surface to electrolyte conductivity approaches unity. The methodology has been applied to water saturation estimation in two Australian petroleum wells, Yolla-4 and Cliff Head-4. The results demonstrate that this technique provides better estimates of water saturation in both low conductivity contrast pays and tight pays compared to existing approaches.

Key words: Expansible clays, mineralogy, surface conductivity, bulk conductivity, equivalent shaliness parameter, petrophysical modelling.

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