Effective porosity, producible fluid, and permeability in carbonates from NMR logging

Dahai Chang, Harold Vinegar, Chris Morriss, Chris Straley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Producibility estimates in carbonate formations have always been a challenge for log interpretation. Broad pore size distributions in carbonates, from microcrystalline to large vugs, have a large effect on productivity, permeability, and estimation of hydrocarbon saturation from resistivity logs. In mixed complex carbonates it is even difficult to obtain accurate porosities from conventional wireline logs without calibration against core. An experimental logging tool, the CMR Combinable Magnetic Resonance tool, has been evaluated in the Glorieta and Clearfork carbonates in West Texas. The logged interval is complicated by significant amounts of separated vuggy porosity. The lithologies consist of dolomite, limestone, anhydrite, and clastic material (silt containing quartz, feldspar, and clay). The CMR porosity is derived independently of formation lithology. In the clean mixed carbonates, the CMR porosity is equal to total porosity. In the silt zones, the CMR porosity measures the effective porosity because it is insensitive to microporosity associated with the clastic material. Using the CMR free-fluid porosity, the producing oil-water contact, which was difficult to determine using the conventional wireline logs alone, was identified in this well. Twenty-seven core plugs from the well were analyzed by low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and conventional core analysis. Estimates of producible fluid obtained from the T2 distributions using a free-fluid cutoff of 92 ms agreed with centrifugeable fluid from the plugs. Petrophysical properties depending on the relative amounts of intergranular and vuggy porosity were found to be well correlated with the long end of the NMR T2 distributions. Permeability estimation from the porosity with T2 < 750 ms using the relation k∼φ4 T22 was superior to that based on total porosity. Finally, the cementation exponent m was found to increase with the fraction of long T2 porosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-72
Number of pages13
JournalLog Analyst
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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