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2252

The Thermal Neutron Decay Time Log


J. S. WAHL
SCHLUMBERGER-DOLL RESEARCH CENTER
W. B, NELLIGAN
RIDGEFIELD, CONN.
A. H. FRENTROP
Co W. JOHNSTONE SCHLUM8ERGER WELL SERVICES
R, Jo SCHWARTZ HOUSTON, TEX.

ABSTRACT departure curves are required.


Departure curves are presented showing the
Thermal Neutron Decay Time (TDT* ) logging effects of varying cement thickness, casing
tools in 3-3/8 and 1-1 l/16-in. diameters have been diameter, and casing fluid. Illustrative log examples
developed for detection and evaluation of water are shown.
saturation in cased boles. These tools utilize a
system of movable and expandable detection INTRODUCTION
time-gates which are automatically adjusted as the
log is being nm. The two principai detection gates The Thermal Neutron Decay Time (TDT) log
are positioned in time a/ter the neutron burst provides a determination of the time constant for
according to an optimization criterion. An additional the decay of thermal neutrons in the formation.
gate, delayed until most of the decay has taken Hence, it reflects primarily the neutron absorptive
place, permits correction for background. This properties of the formation. These properties are
Scale Factor* gating method provides, in each bed, useful in formation evaluation, 1-4 The most
a t bermal-decay- time measurement of maximum important area of application is in logging cased
statistical precision consistent with removal of hole.5-7
borehole effects present in the early part of the Because chlorine is by far the strongest thermal
decay period. Increased reliability is afforded by neutron absorber of the common earth elements, the
use of digital techniques. TDT log responds largely to the amount of NaCl
Thermal neutron decay time tools employ capture- present in the formation water. As a result, this
gamma-ray detection. This choice was based on an log resembles the usual open-hole resistivity logs
extensive series of experiments made to compare and is easily correlatable with them. When
gamma-ray detection and direct detection o! thermal information on Iithology and porosity is known or is
neutrons. provided by open-hole logs, a log of neutron
h{easurements of thermal neutron decay time absorption properties permits the solution of a wide
constant are affected by local changes in neutro~) variety of problems: saturation determination,
density in the vicinity o~ the sonde, caused by oil-water contact location, detection of gas behind
flow of neutrons by diffusion /rem orfe medium to casing, etc.8-11
another. The measured decay time constant ( rme ~~ ) Measurements of the thermal neutron decay time
of neutron density at any point may diifer, therefore, constant are made by first irradiating the formation
from the intrinsic decay time constant (rint) produced with a pulse of high-energy neutrons from a neutron
by absorption alone. Tbe basic physics o{ neutroa generator in the sonde, and then, a short time after
diffusion and absorption is reviewed. the neutron source is turned off, determining the
W)3en the borehole and the formation have rate at which the thermal neutron population
different decay time constants and dillusion decreases.
coe~ficients, di~fusion couples the two regions. After each neutron burst, the high-energy neutrons
Consideration of such effects sheds light on the are quickly slowed down to thermal velocities by
conditions required for reduction of borehole ef~ects successive collisions with the nuclei of elements
on measured values of the decay time constant. in the formation and borehole. The relative number
The choice of source-detector spacing is affected, of thermal neutrons remaining in the formation is
and, for accurate quantitative interpretation, measured during detection intervals which follow
each burst. Between each burst and the beginning
Original manuscript received in Society of Petroleum Engineers of the first detection interval is a delay time which
office Sept. 19, 1968, Revised manuscript received oct. 8, 1970. permits the originally fast neutrons to reach thermal
, Paper (SPE 2252) was presented at SPE 43rd Annual Fall
Meeting, held in Houston, Tex., Sept. 29-Ott. 2, 1968. energy and allows “early” borehole effects to
@ Copyright 1970 American Institute of Mining, MetailurgicaI,
and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.
subside,3
lRefe~en~es given at end of PaPer. The neutron population in the formation can be
* Schlumberger trademark. sampled by a detector in the sonde which responds

either to thermal neutrons or to capture gamma rays. where No is the extrapolated counting rate at time
In the former case, thermal neutrons diffusing into t = O, where t is measured from the trailing edge of
the borehole are recorded; in the latter, gamma rays the neutron burst, and where Tmea= is the counting-
produced when a nucleus absorbs, or captures, a rate decay time constant, *
neutron are detected. In Fig. 1 it is seen that the cement thickness
Thus, in the development of the tools, two main affects both the shape of the curve during che early
problems arose: part of the decay and the absolute value of the
1. Whether to use direct neutron detection or counting rate. However, both curves have the same
detection of the capture gamma rays. slope in the exponential region. The decays
2. How to position the detection intervals or continue visibly exponential until the counting
gates. rates fall so low that statistical variations
It was found that a system using gates fixed in predominate.
time after the pulse has certain disadvantages. In Fig. 2 shows typical open-hole data for a
short-decay-time-constant formations, the neutron scintillation gamma-ray detector, Each pair of
population decays rapidly and the gates would best curves corresponds to the counting rate of gamma
be positioned soon after the neutron pulse; rays above the designated bias level. They also
otherwise the neutron signal in the later detection show an initial deviation from exponential decay,
gate is so small as to be unduly affected by but not as markedly as in Fig. 1 because of the
statistical variations. On the other hand, in long- absence of casing and cement. Late after the burst,
decay-time-constant formations it would be better the behavior of the upper (directly recorded) curve
to place the gates later after the pulse; otherwise of each pair is quite different from that with
the first detection gate will see too much of the neutron detection — the counting rate approaches a
borehole effects present in the early part of the constant background value,
thermal neutron decay curve. An optimized timing This background consists partly of natural gamma
sequence was therefore developed which is rays from the formation. However, the largest
continuously keyed to the thermal decay time of fraction results from radioactivity induced by
the formation being logged. neutron capture in the sonde materials, borehole
Still another problem was related CO the fluid, and formation. These activities decay with
interpretation of the log. Although the neutron such a long half-life chat che counting rate appears
physics which provides the foundation for this type constant on the time-scale range used for the
of measurement has been extensively covered in measurement, (The backgrounds in Fig, 2 are larger
the earlier literature, 1J2J 12 the role of diffusion
effects appears to have been inadequately treated. *Note that 7 is not the same as the neutron half-life, ty?.
A brief review of the basic physics will be included which is the time for neutron density to decay to half value.
(f,.i = 0.693 7.)
in the following so that the role of diffusion in
creating effects associated with the source-detector
spacing and the borehole can be developed in a
coherenc fashion.
In addition, representative departure curves for
the effects of variation in casing size, casing fluid
FRESH WATER-FILLED
and porosity will be presented. 105 Ie ●
I. POROUS QuARTZ SAND

6 5/: CENTEREO CSO.


NEUTRON VS GAMMA-RAY DETECTION CSG FLUIO-FRESH WATER

,.4
Extensive comparative measurements led to the
NO CEMENT-
conclusion that the detection of all gamma rays FORMATION IN

above roughly 50 CO100 keV energy with background \ CONTACT WITH


10’ CASING
subcraccion is to be preferred. The neutron detqctor RELATIVE
used in this experimental study was of special COUNTING
RATE 2 1/2”FRESH
design. Scintillation detection was employed for ,.2 WATER
CEMENT
gamma rays.
Fig. 1 shows a representative example of neutron
counting rate as a function of time after che neutron %
10
pulse. Although some of the details are specific to
the borehole and formation conditions indicated,
the general features of the curves are characteristic.
I
Typically, there is an early period during which the
~
decay deviates from exponential and a later one o 000
exhibiting exponential decay. During the exponential TIME (#see)

decay period the counting rate N decays according


FIG. 1 — LABORATORY THERMAL NEUTRON DECAY
co che equation CURVES RECORDED WITH NEUTRON DETECTION IN
6-5/8-IN. CASING, CEMENTED AND NONCEMENTED.
N= Noe-V~meas . . . . . t . . (1) THE SAME ?mea~ APPEARS, INDEPENDENTLY OF
CEMENT THICKNESS.
than those observed in actual logging, since they salinities ranging from O ppm to saturation, for
were recorde,d with the sonde motionless in the limestone porosities ranging from O to 40 percent,
laboratory formations. When the sonde is moving, a and for sandstone porosities of 18 and 36 percent.
given formation level is exposed a shorter time to Using the shortest time delays consistent with
the repeated neutron bursts; there is less opportunity the removal of early borehole effects, the effect of
to activate certain elements, such as silicon counting statistics is smallest for low-energy,
and oxygen. ) gamma-ray detection. Cor,siderations of gamma-ray
The lower curve of each pair in Fig. 2 is obtained diffusion suggest that low-energy gamma-ray
by subtracting the background. These show detection also provides deeper investigation.
exponential decays over a longer range. Their Therefore this type of detection was adopted in the
parallelism shows that this observed decay is cools. Measurement and subtraction of background
independent of che gamma-ray energy. is provided for in the instrumentation.
In order to reduce the borehole effects evident in Decay times obtained by using low and high
the early parts of the decay curves in Figs. 1 and gamma-ray-bias energies are compared in Fig. 4.
2, it is necessary to introduce a time delay before The asymptotic value does not depend on the
opening the detection gates.3 A special series of gamma-ray energy. .Moreover the time required to
measurements was carried out to determine the become asymptotic is affected very little.
delay required. rmea~ was determined from the
counting rates in two adjacent time gates, which SCALE FACTOR GATING
were progressively delayed from one measurement
THE TIME DELAY
to the next. Fig, 3 illustrates the type of results
obtained. rmeas is too short when the delay is too The data presented in the preceding section
small. It levels off at a constant value, corresponding show the need for waiting after the neutron burst
to the exponential part of the decay curve, as the before starting the decay-time measurement. The
time delay is made longer. The delay required to required time delay depeilds on both formation and
make 7mea S level off is larger, the larger the borehole materials.
asymptotic value of ~mea~. Experiments covering the common ranges of
Both neutron and gamma-ray detectors reach casing size, casing fluid composition, and cement r
essentially the same asymptotic value of rmea~. thickness showed that, for gamma-ray detection, a
However, in most cases the time delay required to delay of 1,000 psec is always sufficient. However,
eliminate the early borehole effects is longer for if the formation decay time is short, there is
neutron detection than for gamma rays. The two hardly any signal above background after such a
detection methods were compared by this type of
measurement under a wide variety of simulated
borehole conditions. These covered formation-water

-’T+
+Y -+-+-+
38% POROUS OUARTZ SbNO
,.5 WIIH 95000 mm FLUIO SALINITY

/ e%’ cAslm3 (c TRD.)


GAMMA RAY + I ‘A” FRESH- WATER
BIAS
CEMENT ANNULUS
CSG FLUID- FRESH WATER
o GAMMA RbY
/ DETEcToR
+ + NE UT RON
OETICTOR

{
/

+#.#.+

I 1 +
0 1000 2 t
TIME (#see) L 1 I 1 1
0 500 1000 t500 2000
FIG. 2 — LABORATORY THERMAL NEUTRON DECAY ~iME DELAY (/JSeC)
CURVES RECORDED IN OPEN HOLE WITH GAMMA-
RAY DETECTION. TOTAL AND NET (BACKGROUND FIG. 3—MEASURED DECAY TIME AS A FUNCTION OF
, SUBTRACTED) COUNT RATES ARE SHOWN FOR TIME BETWEEN END OF BURST AND BEGINNING OF
THREE GAMMA-RAY-ENERGY BIAS LEVELS. DETECTION GATES.
long wait. This was illustrated in Fig. 2. Also, for First, in order that the measurement of rmea~ be
short r’s the waiting time could be much less than free of systematic error arising from early borehole
1,000 psec, and higher counting rates could be and late background effects, the detection and
utilized. Thus, in order to perform the measurement background gates must be located properly in time.
at a statistically optimum time after the burst and This positioning is a function of rmea~. Second, in
simultaneously to remove early borehole effects, it order that the measurement be statistically precise
is necessary to vary the delay. as possible, the gate widths must also be keyed to
It was found, from studies of a large variety of ‘mess.
borehole and formation conditions, that a delay of Comparison of the two pares of Fig. 5 shows
two decay-time constants after the neutron burst qualitatively the nature of the optimization problem
ends is sufficient for rmea~ to reach its asymptotic and the difficulties that would be encountered if
value. This is illustrated by the results shown in fixed gates were employed.
Fig. 3. Fig. 6 is an example comparing two pairs of
repeat logging runs in the same well, one made with
DETECTION GATE POSITIONS AND WIDTHS
a fixed-gate system in current commercial use by a
The above criterion for the opening of the first logging service company and the other with the
detection gate is used in the TDT sondes. The Scale Factor gating system. Both are shown on the
closing time for the second detection gate is chosen same Z scale (Xlog = 4.55/710 g). Although the two
as late as possible. This time is set by the logging systems may differ in some other respects,
condition that the statistical accuracy of the net a comparison of the two logs indicates that Scale-
(background subtracted) counting rate be a maximum. Factor system has much better repeatability at low
To satisfy these requirements for all conditions, values of r (high values of ~). This feature results
the sliding gate system, known as Scale Factor from the improvements incorporated in the Scale
gating, was devised. As shown in Fig. 5 for long Factor gating method.
and short values of r, the beginnings and ends of
the two detection gates (Gates I and II) are REALIZATION OF THE SCALE-FACTOR METHOD
specified as multiples of the value of r currently Suppose that two adjacent detection gates have
being measured. widths T and 2T, respectively. Then, for an
A third gate, Gate III, is located sufficiently exponential decay with time constant 7, the ratio,
late in the cycle that it measures essentially only nl/n2, of the counts in the two gates is just
background. During each cycle this background is
~= 1- e-T/T
automatically subtracted from the total counts in . (2)
n2 e-T/T _e-8T/T “ “ “ “ “ “
Gates I and II.
An optimization analysis shows that this division
When the gate widths are correctly adjusted, i.e.,
of time between the two detection gates yields the
most precise determination of ~mea~, for a given
source strength.
The advantages of the Scale Factor gating method
result from the following,

SHCRT T FORMATION

u
20C >
i=
a
*z~A-—b— ‘—e—e A
kl
6 R
QE>50keV
.#E> 3MeV
t
loo&-
200 400 600 800
TIME DELAY (~sec)

FIG. 4 — MEASURED DECAY TIME AS A FUNCTION


OF TIME DELAY. BOTH GAMMA-RAY BIAS ENERGIES FIG. S — DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATING THE SCALE
YIELD SAME ASYMPTOTIC rmee~o LOW BIAS PROVIDES FACTOR GATING FOR SHORT-r AND LONG -r
HIGHER COUNTING RATES. FORMATIONS.
● ☛

when T is made equal to r, Eq. 2 shows thal nl/n2 so long as an error signal appears, the oscillator
~ 2.* frequency changes and alters the positions and
Accordingly, an appropriate electronic feedback widths of the detection gates. The oscillator
system was designed which measures the ratio, frequency changes until it arrives at the value
721/722, and compares it with the value 2. The which places the gates in proper position. When
comparator then produces an error signal indicating nl/n2 becomes equal to 2, the error signal becomes
how far the measured value of nl /n2 departs from 2. zero, and the oscillator remains at that frequency,
This error signal varies the frequency of a master ~ = l/T = I/r. The response time of this loop is
timing oscillator. In this manner the oscillator generally a small fraction of a second, and the
period is kept proportional (actually equal) to the sonde travels a negligible distance in the time it
decay time, r, and the gate widths are adjusted to takes the control loop to function. Thus, T rarely
their proper values. departs very far from r, even as a bed boundary
The opening and closing of the gates are keyed is passed.
to the oscillator frequency by a digital-logic The oscillator period, T (= r), is continuously
programmer which is driven by the oscillator. Thus, measured and presented as the thermal decay time
curve on the TDT log. A curve of ~ (macroscopic
absorption cross-section, equal to 4, YY/T) is also
*A more exact calculation, which includes the effect of
residual exponential SISIWI1 in Gate III when background is shown on the log. For the ~ readout, a simple
subtracted, shows that when nt/n2 is made eWal to 2, 7 =
1.007T.
measurement of oscillator frequency is made.

CAPTURE CROSS SECTION, ~, cm-’ x 103 CAPTURE CROSS SECTION, ~ ,cm-’ x 103

Scale Factor
‘~ Recording

‘>
>
.-
..

“>.
%

‘,,

--
2?

-.

)
j
.

FIG. 6 — REPEAT LOGGING RUNS MADE WITH FIXED-GATE RECORDING (LEFT) COMPARED WITH
REPEAT LOGGING RUNS MADE WITH SCALE FACTOR RECORDING (RIGHT) IN SAME W’R~.
L,
b

THE COMPLETE SCALE-FACTOR METHOD and IV. Gate IV is a fixed gate open from 700 co
The technique described above can be called the 900 psec after the burst. Natural gamma-ray and
partial Scale-Factor method. Only the detection casing-collar logs are run simultaneously.
and background gates are keyed to the value of r. The primary shop calibration standard is a large
Under this operating regime, it is necessary to water tank. When filled with pure water, this
separate the neutrmt bursts by a time 9rmax long, standard formarion yields a rmea~ of 195 psec
where rmax is the largest 7 expected in the well. If compared with an intrinsic decay time of 205 Ilsec.
rmax takes the reasonable value of 500 psec, the time Operation of che down-hole detector system is
between bursts is required to be 4,500 psec. Then, adequately checked wirh a small radioactive source.
when the tool is in formations whose 7 is less than The surface panel, moreover, is separately
500 psec, them is a wasted interval between the calibrated.
closing of the background gate and the next burst
of neutrons. For example, when 7 --200 psec, this 1-1 1/ 16-IN. DIAMETER TOOLS
wasted time is 4,500 - 1,800 = 2,700 psec. This First generation cools in this size have been
is more than long enough for the insertion of built and used in the field, Some operate with the
another sampling measurement. Complementary partial, and some with complete Scale -Faccor gating.
considerations apply to the wiath of the neutron The temperature limit of the down-hole equipment
burst. It is desired to make the burst long when 7 is is also 150~C (300’ F). Neutron yield is subsranrially
long so that many neutrons will be produced for a equivalent to Chat of rhe large size tube. A
given instantaneous beam current. However, if r is scintillation deteccor and high-temperature photo-
short the neutrons produced early in the burst are multiplier are incorporated. The sratisrical precision
wasted because they have disappeared before the of the 1-1 l/16-in. TDT measurement is essentially
measurement takes place. equal to or betrer than that of the 3-3/8-in. sonde,
An extension of the partial Scale-Factor method depending upon rhe gating regime used.
permits one to take advantage of these opportunities Laboratory and field comparisons of the through-
for increasing effective counting rates. Both the tubing equipment with rhe 3-3/f+ in, I tools have
burst width and the time between bursts are keyed, been made. Under most conditions of inrerest they
or scaled, to the master oscillator in the same both yield essentially the same rmeas.
manner as the detection gates. All of the system Of particular interest is rhe comparison of Fig.
variables are continuously adjusted to the optimum 7, in which TDT logs are made with che 1-1 l/16-in.
value for obtaining rmea~ in the bed through which tool in tubing and again after pulling tubing. The
the sonde is passing. This extension of the fi~ure illustrates how lirtle che l-1]/16-in. TDT
concept is caIIed the complete Scale- Factor method. log may be affecred by borehole variables in
practice. A 1-1 l/16-in. sonde was run first in
OTHER FEATURES OF THE TOOLS 2-3/8-in. tubing so Char rhis log was recorded

3-3/8-IN. DIAMETER TOOLS


THERMAL DECAY 11 ME
Tools of this size presently in the field employ OPEN HOLE SP MICROSECONDS
the partial Scale-Factor method. The neutron burst
width is fixed at 250 psec and the repetition rate is
200/second. As a source of 14 MeV neutrons for
use in the sonde, a sealed neutron-generator tube
~
was developed. The gamma-ray detector is a plastic
. . -------- ~.
scintillator, viewed by a high-temperature photomul- %
tiplier. Additional thermal’protection for the detector ------- . . .. . . . .
is provided by a dewar flask. The temperature limit
of down-hole equipment is 150% (3000 F).
“b ..
The pressure
14,000 psi. A 3-5/8-in.
rating of the 3-3/8-in.
tool is also available
housing is
with 3 I
a pressure rating of 20,000 psi. The source-detector
spacing of 15-1/2 in. was chosen to minimize the
* -1
0
departure of rmea~ from ~int and, at the same time, 4==’” 0
provide reasonable counting rates.
------
: :---.,
r

Signals from the sonde are sent to the surface < .-.. ..._
where a truck panel generates the timing control .. ------- . . . .
and locates the detection gates. The panel also —
provides rmea~ and che corresponding value of the
macroscopic absorption cross-section, ~mea~, by
measuring the oscillator period and frequency. Use
of digital circuits contributes to measurement
reliability. FIG. 7—COMPARISON OF LOGS RUN WITH 1-1 1/’16-IN.
T~T EQUIPMENT IN BOTH TUBING AND CASING,
Curves presented on the log include rmea~,
AND AFTER PULLING TUBING. CASING 5-1/2 IN. ,
z mea~, and, optionally, counting rates in Gates 1 TUBING 2-3/8 IN,
through both tubing and casing. The tubing was greater neutron density to regions of smaller
then pulled and the log was repeated in casing neutron density. This net movement of neutrons is
alone. a diffusion process.
The Appendix shows in detail how diffusion can
NEUTRON ABSORPTION AND DIFFUSION be taken into account. Only a brief qualitative
description is presented here.
A short time after the neutron burst, the neutrons
Consider what happens to the thermal neutrons
are distributed in the formation around the sonde,
in a small volume of formation. A certain fraction
At every point in the distribution a certain fraction
of them, v~abs , is absorbed per second,
of the thermal neutrons locally present is absorbed
corresponding to the reciprocal of the intrinsic
per unit time. This fraction is ZJEab~ where ZJis
decay time. An additional fraction leaves per
the neutron velocity and ~a&~ is the so-called
second by passing outward through the (imaginary)
macroscopic absorption (capture) cross-section (or
walls of the small volume element. Another fraction
linear absorption coefficient) in the medium. For
enters through these walls. If the out-flow exceeds
most chemical elements of interest m logglng,s~&~
the in-flow, there is a net current of neutrons out
is inversely proportional to the neutron velocity,
the volume element by diffusion. An observer
which in turn is a function of temperature. Thus,
counting neutrons in the small volume will, then,
the quantity L’?abs is a constant which characterizes
measure a decay rate for the neutron density which
the formation.
is greater than absorption, alone, would produce.
INTRINSIC DECAY TIME On the other hand, if the in-flow rate exceeds the
out-flow, the observed decay rate is smaller than
Instead of l’>ab~, the relative rate of decay of
absorption would produce.
the thermal neutron population, one can use the
The net neutron flow across a wall of the volume
reciprocal, ~int I/~J>ak~. This quantity is simply
element is determined by the gradient of the
the time constant for absorption. In this paper it
neutron density at the wall. The net contribution of
will be referred to as the intrinsic thermaI decay
diffusion is thus determined by integrating the
time since it is a property intrinsic to the particular
medium, for which an accurate measurement is gradients over the walls of the volume. For a small
desired. The value for ~abs (in units of sq cm/cu volume element this means taking the divergence of
cm, or cm -1) corresponding to a thermal-neutron the gradient of neutron density, N, at the point
where the element is located. Thus, as shown in
velocity of 2,2oo m/see yields the relation:
the Appendix, the contribution of diffusion to the
4.55 decay rate is
71,,, = ~ microseconds.
n _D v’,
Consider the thermal neutron density, N, at a
point in a formation at time t after the neutron where D is the diffusion constant of the medium for
bursr. Let t be long enough to permit the neutrons thermal neutrons. The total decav rate at position,
to reach thermal equilibrium. Then i/ neutron r, and time, t,is then
capture is tbe onfy process occurring, the neutron
density, N, decays according to the equation:
1 “1+1 . . . . . ,. (5)
T(r,t) = ~ Tt)(r,t)
~=Noe-t/~ht . . . . . . . . . .(3)
where the decay-rate contribution from diffusion is
where No is the neutron density extrapolated back
to the end of the burst. (See Appendix. ) Subject to
1 _ * —.
V’N ,. . . . . . . (6)
the above condition, the formation intrinsic decay
w=
time can be determined by measuring the logarithmic
slope of the neutron density vs time; and can be positive or negative.
At any location where ~2N = O, there are no
1 t3(ln N) 1 —-...(4)
~N
—= - = -— changes in neutron density due to diffusion. Thus,
Tint at N at the measured decay time equals the intrinsic. This
suggests one experimental procedure for measuring
DIFFUSION DECAY TIME intrinsic decay time. Try to find a location where
In general, the thermal neutron density does not v2N = O, and measure the decay time for the neutron
have the same rate of change at all points in the density at that point, This method is particularly
formation. useful when laboratory formations large enough to
This is because neutron capture is not the only be considered infinite in size are not practical.
process occurring. Before they are finally absorbed, A second experimental procedure for measuring
thermal neutrons make repeated scattering rint is based on the determination of the total
interactions with borehole and formation nuclei. neutron population by integration of neutron density,
These collisions make the directions of travel of N, over all space, in order to measure the decay of
individual neutrons rather random, but there is a the total neutron population. Such integration
tendency for neutrons to move from regions of removes TD from the picture, since neutrons which
*

are diffusing out of one region of space are entering with marble powder. Thermal neutron detectors
other regions. They are all still included in a total were located in small holes m the formation. Tint
neutron count. Hence, in an infinite, homogeneous was determined both by spatial averaging (see
medium the total number of neutrons decays with Appendix) and by direct measurement at points
the time constant rint. This is an intrinsic property where Y2N = O, Both values were essentially the
of the medium and does not depend on local same; 472 psec. Fig. 8 shows that the measured
perturbations that may affect V2N. decay time, rmeas is less than Tint near the source.
The foregoing remarks about the behavior of Beyond 20 in. it increases monotonically with
neutrons in small regions of space hold, insofar as distance, becoming greater than rint at about 30 in.
diffusion theory is applicable, for both infinite, This behavior arises from the fact that diffusion
homogeneous media and for bounded ones. When produces a net flow of neutrons out o/ each volume
more than one medium is present, the neutron-density element in the 30-in. radius sphere about the
profile is influenced by the characteristics of each source. The neutrons leaving this sphere produce a
medium for some distance on either side of the net flow into each volume element in the region of
boundary between them. Thus ?D varies, for example, space beyond 30 in. Hence, TD changes from
as one crosses from the borehole fluid column into positive to negative.
the formation. At points in the formation near the Similar effects occur in porous formations.
borehole wall, ?D is affected by the presence of the Because of the presence of hydrogen, the thermal
fluid column, whereas Tint is not. 7D depends neutrons are concentrated nearer the source, and
directly upon the formation (through D), but 7D also the point at which diffusion vanishes is also
depends upon the coupling between mud column closer. From Eqs, 5 and 6, it is seen that the
and formation (through V 2N/N). importance of diffusion in decay-time measurements
The effect of diffusion on the measured value of is determined by the relative magnitudes of l’~ab~
r in an “infinite” homogeneous medium is illustrated and D.V 2NIN. Whereas v~ab~ and D are intrinsic
in Fig. 8. Decay times of the neutron density were properties of the medium at a given temperature,
measured at various distances from the source. The \- 2N/N varies, in general, with position and time.
3-3/8-in. diameter neutron source was located in a To determine the effect of changing source-
6-in. hole in a large laboratory formation of Vermont detector spacing, laboratory measurements were
marble. To reduce the influence of the hole, the made in a variety of formations using a 3-3/8-in.
annular space around the accelerator was packed sonde with capture-gamma-ray detection. Several of
these measurements are shown in Fig. 9, Irr every
case rmea~ increases with spacing, in conformity
——. .- . ---- ~.–.. —.-— with the diffusion model discussed above. The
I
increase ranges from about 1 percent/in. for short

MATRIx wATER SALINITY


— . . ...-— ..- —— .-— POROSITY

l-==
6C0 % o mm
ouART Z
18 o

/.
-Q 13 LlMf ST oNE
m 400
L inl [expe~lmen~a o
~ Ll~[sl~
o

.
O! point where o
I 42 LIME SToNE
~V2N:0 and
/
?, ,/ from spotuol i /
overoqing
z
I-
\.A 200
I 1[10.000
38 QUARTz

-1

1=
240.000
IOQ 38 OUAR12

u 20 40 60
4
DISTANCE FROM SOURCE ( INCHES)
‘“~ 12” [8” 24”
FIG.8 — DECAY TIME MEASURED BY NEUTRON
DETECTION IN ZERO-POROSITY LIMESTONE (CaCO J SOURCE - DETECTOR SPACING
FORMATION. POINT SOURCE, INFIMTE-MEDIUM
GEOMETRY. DEPARTURE FROM Tint(EXPERIMENTAL) FIG. 9 — VARIATION OF MEASURED DECAY TIME
SHOWS EFFECT OF DIFFUSION. DOTTED PORTION WITH SOURCE-DETECTOR SPACINGS. 3-3/8-IN. SONDE
IS STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY MATERIAL CLOSE WITH GAMMA-RAY DETECTOR, BIASED AT 50 keV,
TO NEUTRON SOURCE. ANNULUS BETWEEN 3-3i8- 6-5/8-lN. CASING CENTERED IN 8-IN. BOREHOLE,
IN. DIAMETER NEUTRON SOURCE AND 6-IN. BORE- CEMENT IN ANNULUS. (CURVES ARE NEGLIGIBLY
HOLE WAS FILLED WITH LIMESTONE POWDER. AFFECTED BY BOREHOLE-FLUID SALINITY, )
.

decay times to 2 percent for the Iongest, TABLE 1- MACROSCOPIC ABSORPTION CROSS-SECTIONS
Referring co Fig. 9, the apparently anomalous (~ab> USED IN CALCULATIONS OF rint FOR DEPARTURE
position of the zero-porosity limestone line (between CURVES
those for 13 and 42 percent) is due to diffusion Zab=(.m-])
Meterial Remarks
effects. If the source-detector spacing could be
Pure Quartz (Si02, ~ = 2.65) 4.22 0.5x 10-3 *
adjusted to keep V2N = O as the various formations
Lab Quartz (Calculated) 4.9 ? 0,6x 10-3 P
are logged, then these porosity values would fall in
Lab Quartz (Measured) 5.4 ? 0.2x 10-3 V2N = O Method
a norms 1 pattern. Because the spacing is fixed, *
Fresh Water 22.22 0.1x 10-3
however, rmea~ differs from Tint, and this difference *
Water (100,000 ppm NaCl) 58.6 t 0.7x 10-3
is not monotonic with porosity. Therefore, the *
Water (250,000 ppm NaCl) 123,0 t 1.7X 10-3
zero-porosity values for limestone fall between
*Calculated from thermal neutron absorption cross. sections
those for 13 and 42 percent, as shown on Fig. 9. in “Neutron Cross Sections”, BNL 325, Second Ed.
The borehole is coupled to the formation by tCompositien determined by chemical analysis.
neutron diffusion. When 7int of the borehole fluid is
less than ~int of the formation, the neutron density
in the formation eventually becomes greater tl.an in 3-3/8-in. tool, is presented in Fig. 10. (The case
the borehole. This produces a net flow, or current, of air-filled hole is not included.) The laboratory-
of neutrons from the formation into the borehole. In measured value of rmeas for water-saturated quartz
effect, the formation acts as a reservoir which is plotted vs ~int, Formation r was varied by
supplies neutrons to the borehole. Detailed studies changing the salinity of the saturating water; and
show that this neutron current decays at a rate the corresponding values of rint were calculated
which is primtirily determined by Tint of the forma- using the values listed in Table 1.
tion.lz, 1’$ This is the basis upon which thermal Two hatched bands are shown, for quartz
neutron decay time logging is founded. Variations formations of 18 and 36 percent porosity,
in borehole diameter, casing fluid, casing size, and respectively. The vert~cal width of each band
cement thickness have measurable, but frequently indicates the extreme variations in the values of
small, effects on rmea~. rmea~ under a series of hole conditions; namely, in
Conversely, when 7int of the borehole fluid is 5-1/2- and 7-in. diameter casings and with casing-
greater than the formation Tint, the neutron current fluid salinities of zero and 250,000 ppm NaC1. A
flows from the borehole into the formation, in 10-in. diameter borehole was used for these
general. The measured decay time is then more measurements.
strongly influenced by borehole conditions. From the tapering of the bands, it is seen that
Fortunately, because of the presence of the casing the effects of the borehole variations become
and since the casing fluid is usually at least
somewhat salty, the variations caused by borehole
parameters are often negligible. This is especially
true when formation Tint is greater than roughly
150 psec. 33’{ SONDE
QUARTZ SANO AND
wATER FORMATIONS
DEPARTURE CURVES t 10” BOREHOLE I w/1 H/
The TDT log provides a measured decay time
4CO}
----
-
cSr3 cENTERED
1
A H I
which is close to the formation
under a wide variety of conditions,
intrinsic
It is relatively
value I I FRESi-WAiEi-CEMENT
-./x I

independent of borehole variables, detector type,


or spacing. However, we have seen that even when
no borehole is present, diffusion produces
measurable effects. It was also shown that a single
detector cannot, in principle, measure ~int directly
unless it is at precisely the right spacing. Further,
even the “right” spacing (where v2N = O) chartges
with time after the pulse. Simulated borehole
experiments also show variations in rmea~ which
require a diffusion correction when accurate
quantitative results are desired. In general, this is ‘ --fioo--- 200 400 600
most important when the decay time of the borehole T’ktt (CALCULATED) (#see)
region (including cement) is longer than that of the
formation, as might be expected with low-salinity FIG. 10 — COMPARISON OF CALCULATED INTRINSIC
muds in open holes and/or large cased holes. It is AND LABORATORY MEASURED DECAY TIMES. THE
shown below that the effect increases with the ENVELOPES OF THE HATCHED AREAS INDICATE
THE RANGE OF VARIATIONS IN rme ,. CAUSED BY
diameter of the fluid column. VARIATIONS IN CASING SIZE (5-1/2 TO 7 IN. ) AND
An overview of the effects of formation porosity, CASING-LIQUID SALINITY (O TO 250,000 PPM). THE
casing size, and casing-liquid salinity, on the ?int VALUE WAS VARIED BY CHANGING FORMATION.
WATER SALINITY.
.

DEPARTURE CURVES 33/;’ SONDE

~mc~~ (cm-’x 10-a)


50 40 30 20 15 10
,

100
CASING
FLUID
SALINITY

i -
~ -
1
50
u) O pm

8 -
1

F -
0

CSG (CTRD.)- 10” BOREHOLE


FRESH WATER CEMENT
0

-500
, 1, ..,1,,,,
I00 200- . 3Q0 ~ 400 10

5(

100

f1---
~

50
F
CASINO
FLUID
SALINITY

1
WI
0 ppll

$
1 100 K
AIR
250H

1A /1 I I I
,& f$=’36°/o
{ dashed) 7“ CSG (cTRD.)-10” BOREHOLE
d I

1.
I FRESH WATER CEMENT

LA-A-
-50
o )
1 ,
200
1 I,,.+.
300 400
T me~g (psec)

FIG. 11 —DEPARTURE CURVES FOR 3-3/8-IN, TOOL SHOWING EFFECT OF BOREHOLE PARAMETERS
AND FORMATION POROSITY ON MEASURED DECAY TIME IN CASED HOLES AND IN SAME QUARTZ
SAND FORMATIONS AS IN FIG. 10.
.

smaller as rint of the formation increases. On the For example, when rmeaa is larger than 300 p see,
other hand, by reference to the line for rmeas = rint, both casing-liquid salinities have approximately the
the departure of rmea* from Tint becomes larger. same influence.
The latter observation also applies to some extent The effect of casing-liquid salinity is not
as porosity decreases. This is consistent with the monotonic. In both casing sizes the fresh-water
fact that the diffusion constant, D, is about 50 curves fall below those for salt water at small
percent larger for the 18 percent porous formation rmeaa for 36 percent porosity. This can be expected
than for the 36 percent. when the decay time of the casing fluid becomes
In Figs. 11 and 12 are shown detailed departure sufficiently larger than that of the formation.
curves for the 3-3/8-in. sonde in cased and uncased Casing fluid having a long r behaves as a better
hole. The ordinate provides the additive correction source of supply of thermal neutrons to the formation
for converting the measured r into the intrinsic than does salt water, There is a net diffusion from
value. The basic data for the cased-hole cases are the borehole to the formation. This replenishes the
the same as those used in Fig. 10. neutron density in the formation and slows the
neutron decay, Hence rme ~~ becomes larger than if
5-1/2-IN. CASING (FIG, Ila) salt water were in the casing.
These curves show that, in the smaller casing
there is almost no effect from variation in OPEN HOLE
size,
casing-liquid salinity. Presumably, this occurs The set of curves given in Fig. 12 illustrates the
partly because of the displacement of liquid by the magnitude of the departures of rmea~ from rint that
sonde. The larger diffusion constant in the 18 can be expected in 10-in, -diameter uncased holes.
percent porous formation gives rise to the larger
i-l l/16-IN, TOOL
values of the difference: riflt - rmea~.
Fig. 13 shows similar departure curves for the
7-IN. CASING (FIG. 1lb) 1-1 l/16-in. sonde in cased hole.
In contrast, the larger casing size permits the When logging in casing the sonde is usually
casing fluid to exert more influence on rmeaa. The against the casing wall. The departure curves of
difference in influence between the two extreme Figs. 12 and 13 were for this case. When logging in
casing-liquid salinities (O ppm and 2,500 ppm) tubing, experiments have shown that the presence
becomes less marked as the formation r increases. of the tubing as such does not affect the decay-time

CURVES 3 3/s” SONDE

, 1,0

HOLE FLUID
SALINITY
+= 180/0

36 ‘/.

FIG. 12 — DEPARTURE CURVES FOR 3-3/8-IN. TOOL SHOWING EFFECT OF BOREHOLE-FLUID


SALINITY AND FORMATION POROSITY IN A 1O-IN. UNCASED HOLE AND IN SAME QUARTZ SAND
FORMATION AS FIG, 10.

DEPARTURE CURVES 111/,: SONDE

Xmeas (cm-l x10-3)


50 40 30 20 Is 10
1“ I I

-#= 18
CASING .– –,..
FLUID
SALINITY

l--
*P
II + = 360/.
@oo+’~.
,0
$
4 “(dashed) 5 ‘/2” CSG ( CTRD) -10” BOREHOLE
FRESH WATER CEMENT

-500
O’d

o
v
I
1
Zoo_ 300
I
I
i
1
400
I
500
~meas (Psec)

z mess (cm-’ xlO-’)


f 50 40 30 20 to
1

I
‘CSG (CTRD) -10” BOREHOLE
, FRESH WATER CEMENT

100
, 1. . . .
200 300 400 5 )
~meas ( P*C )

FIG, 13 — DEPARTURE CURVES FOR 1- I I/16.IN, TOOL, CASING HOLE, AND SAME QUARTZ SAND
FORMATIONS AS IN FIGS. 10 THROUGH 12,

376
measurement, However, because of the tubing, the water-bearing points to define well the Sw = 100
sonde position in the casing will usually not be percent line, it may be extrapolated to 100 percent
known. Fig. 14 shows the decrease in decay time porosity to find the value of rw (the thermal decay
which results when the 1-1 l/16-in. sonde is moved time of the water). The intercept of the line at O
from the edge to the center of a 7-in. casing. percent porosity gives rma (the thermal decay time
Except for fresh water or oil in the casing, and a of the matrix material); thus, the apparent Tma in
short decay time, the effect is barely detectable Fig. 17 is found from the raw data (blackened
(-5 psec). The effect is practically independent of circles) as 500 psec.
formation porosity. If ~h (the cross-section of the hydrocarbon) is
known, the line for Sw = O percent can be drawn
ILLUSTRATIVE LOG EXAMPLES from the- zt.so-porosity intercept (~ = ~ma, q5 = O
percent) to thk hydrocarbon point (~ = Sb, + = 100
It is not our intention here to go deeply into the
percent). Lines for other satiations may be
interpretation of the Thermal Neutron Decay Time
constructed using the clean-formation relation:
Log, 15 However, it seems appropriate ro show
examples which will illustrate the usefulness and
responses of the tool.
Z,og=(l –+)xma+ +s,vzw++(l–s..) x,,
As already noted, the response of the log is
largely a result of the chlorine present, in the form The saturation lines derived for the uncorrected
of sodium chloride in the formation water; the log values are all shown as solid lines.
chlorine response will be proportional to the Using the departure curves of Fig. 11, the TDT
salinity of the water multiplied by porosity and readings were corrected and the points replotted on
water saturation. Thus, to evalu,ate water saturation
a knowledge of water salinity is necessary, as well THERMAL DECAY TIME LO0,1969
ELECTRICAL LOG, 1958
as porosity from open-hole logs.
RESISTIVITY
Fig. 15 is an example of the qualitative use of o ohm -m w 100 /.Lsec 4W

the log for monitoring oil-water contacts. Although


the oil-bearing zone in this well had not been
perforated, drainage from ot~er nearby welis was ———. — —

quite effective. Eight ft of oil column, remaining


out of the 58 ft originally present in 1958, are quite
obvious on the log recorded in 1969.
In Fig. 16 the TDT log shows both ordinary
depletion and water entry through fingering. The
lower part of the zone was plugged off afrer it 1’
began to make water in 1964. Subsequent water
entry was shown by the log to be the result of
fingering through a layer of (presumably) higher
permeability just above a thin shaly streak.
Fig. 17 is a more quantitative example. The
blackened circles are the raw log values, Zlog
(linear scale on right) or rlog (hyperbolic scale on
left), plotted vs @ for a number of levels over a FIG. 15 — EXAMPLE OF QUALITATIVE USE OF
non-shaly section in a well. For saline formation THERMAL DECAY TIME LOG TO MONITOR OIL-WATER
water, the water-bearing levels will, for a given CONTACT IN A PRODUCING FIELD.
formation porosity, have the lowest values of r.
ELEcTRICAL LOG, 1958 THERMAL OCCAY TIME L@, 1968
Therefore, assuming that the section contains some RESISTIVITY
SP
100 percent water-bearing levels, the (solid) line
through the most northwesterly points will

R-
El
correspond to Sw = 100 percent. If there are enough
-E= I

FIG. 16 — A SECOND QIJALITATIVE EXAMPLE.


FIG. 14 — DECREASE IN MEASURED DECAY TIME WATER ENTRY AFTER THE DEPLETED LOWER
RESULTING WHEN 1-1 l/16-IN. SONDE (MODEL G OR SECTION HAD BEEN PLUGGhD OFF WAS IDENTIFIED
E) IS MOVED FROM AGAINST THE CASING WALL TO BY THE THERMAL DECAY TIME LOG AS A FINGER
THE CENTER OF A 7-IN. CASING. HIGH IN THE FORMATION.
Fig. 17 as the open triangles. A new set of (thin- N, No = counting rates at time t,and at time t = O
dash) saturation lines was drawn in the same (in Eq. 1)
manner as described above, but using the corrected N, No . neutron density, neutrons/cc (except in
points. Now the intercept for rma becomes about Eq, 1)
750 psec. This is somewhat closer to the Tint
N(r, t)= neutron density as a function of position
expected on the basis of a sandstone Iithology, as
and time
computed from nuclear cross-sections of the
v2N .
Laplacian of neutron density
constituent elements, (For example, from Table 1,
Sab for laboratory quartz (measured) is 0.0054 NT(t) = total number of neutrons in system at time t
cm -f; and the corresponding rma is 843p sec.) rzl/r72 ~ ratio of counts detected in Gates I and 11
Sw = water saturation
CONCLUS1ONS
t= time, microseconds
The Thermal Decay Time log (TDT) permits the t~,z = neutron half life, microseconds
evaluation of formations through casing. The T= duration of detection Gate I, microseconds
Scale-Factor method automatically maximizes the v. thermal neutron velocity, meters/second
statistical precision of measurement of formation
Cp.
porosity
decay times. Diffusion effects are recognized as a
perturbation. Departure curves for casing fluid, xa~. = macros topic capture (absorption) cross-
casing size, and formation porosity are presented. section for thermal neutrons/cu cm of
Use of empirical Zma values seems to compensate . material, reciprocal centimeters (cm-1,
for effect of diffusion (Fig. 17 and Ref. 15), Xb . ~ of hydrocarbon
In addition to the 3-3/8-in. equipment for logging X,og = value of ~ read by log
through casing, 1- I l/16-in. sondes have been used z ma ‘ 2 of matrix rock
for Woik through tubing, Successful logs can be run thermal decay time constant, microseconds
even in tubing if the casing is not too large.
r(r, t~ I r as a function of position in medium and
time
NOMENCLATURE
?~ = an equivalent decay time associated with
D = diffusion constant diffusion
7int = value of 7 characteristic of, or intrinsic
to, a material
?meas = measured value of r

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The authors are indebted to many individuals in


Schlumberger for assistance with the development
of this new service. They also wish to express their
appreciation to Schlumberger for permission to
publish this paper and to the oil co~oanies for their
permission to use the log examples shown in the
figures.

REFERENCES

1, Erozolimskii, B, G., Voitsik, L. R,, Popov, N. V,


and Shkoltnikov, A, S,: ~tNew Methods of Logging
Bore Holes Using Pulsed Neutron Sources”, petroleum
Economics (1958) Vol. 36, 11.
2. Erozolimskii, B. G. and Shkol’nikov, A. S.: “A Method
of Differentiating Water-Ssturated and Oil-Saturated
Strata Based on the Use of a Pulsed Neutron Source”,
Nuclear Geophysics, State Scientific and Technical
Publishing House for Petroleum and Mining-Fuel
Literature, Moscow (19S9).
3. Alekseyev, F. A. et al.: “On the Results of the
POROSITY (“/.)
Application of Neutron Pulse Methods and Apparatua
for Investigation of Drill-Hole Sections”, Nuclear
FIG. 17 — PLOT OF r VS POROSITY TO OBTAIN 7.a Geophysics in Mineral prospecting, State Science
AND TW. THE SOLID SATURATION LINES WERE i% Technology Publishing House for Petroleum and
CONSTRUCTED ON THE BASIS OF THE RAW LOG Mining Fuel Literature, Moscow (1960).
DATA POINTS (BLACKENED CIRCLES). THE DASHED 4. Alekaeyev, F. A, et al.: c‘Neutron-Neutron Pulse
SATURATION LINES WERE. CONSTRUCTED ON THE Well-I.egging”, Proc, Nuclear Geophysics Conf.,
BASIS OF THE LOG DA~’A POINTS (TRIANGLES) Krakow, Poland (1962).
CORRECTED USING THE DEPARTURE CURVES OF 5. Mills, W. R., Jr., Salaita, G. N., Gray, T. J. and
FIG. 110 Caldwel!, R. L.: ~cpul sed Neutron Experiments in a
● ✎ D

Borehole Model”, Proc, Nuclear Geophysics Con/., reciprocal. Thus,


Krakow, Poland (1962).
1
6, Youmans, A. H., Hopkinson, E. C., Bergan, R. A.
and Oshry, H. L,: ~~Neutron Lifetime, a New Nuclear Tm,a,( r, t) “=-(+ +)0 -- ~ - ‘A-’)
Log”, J, Pet, Tech. (March, 1964) 319-328.
specifies the decay time which would be measured
7. Alekseyev, F. A, et al.: ~~pulsed Neutron Generator by .a neutron density detector at the position r and
for Boreholes and its Use in Nuclear Geophysics”,
Proc. Symposium Radioisotopes instruments in time t.
Industry und Geophysics (IAEA) Warsaw (1965). Similarly,
8. Marquis, G, L., Wichmann, P. A. and Minis,
~~8tudies of producing Reservoirs
C, W.:
with the Neutron
1 .~ v:
—,. . . . . . . (A-4)
TD(r, t) = ()
Lifetime Log”, j. Pet. Tech. (April, 1966) 412-418.
9, Youmans, A. H., Hopkinaon, E, C. and Wichmann, P. and
A.: ~~Neutron Lifetime Logging in Theory and
Practice”, Trans., SPWLA (1966). 1
—= vx8b8 . . . . . . . . . .“. (A-5)
10, Wichmann, P. A., Youmans, A. H. and Hopkinson, E. Tint —
c,: ~tAdvances in Neutron Lifetime Logging”, j.
Pet, Tech, (April, 1967) 479-486, so that
11. Hilchie, D. W,, Mills, W. R., Dennis, C. L. and 1 1 1
—.. . . (A-6)
Givens, W. W.: “Some Aspects of Puised Neutron -c ,,,~,, (r, t) = %D(r, t) + ~lnt
Logging”, Tran:., SPWLA ( 196 S),
12. Polyachenko, A. L.: IlThe Theory of Nonstationary ?D, the diffusion decay time, contributes the
Diffusion of Thermal Neutrons in a Two-Substance spatial and time dependence to rmeas. From Eq.
Infinite Medium with a Cylindrical Dividing Surface”,
gu/1, (lzv) A cad. Sci. U.S. S. R., Geophysics (1964). A-4 we observe that rD can be positive, negative,
or zero, depending upon the value of V2N. Heiice,
13. Tittman, J. and Nelligan, W. B.: “Laboratory Studies
of a Pulsed-Neutron Source Technique in Well Log- the diffusion term can be additive or subtractive
ging”, J. pet. Tech. (July, 1960) 63-66. with respect to the intrinsic, or absorptive, decay.
Study of a Nonsta- ~ 2N in one dimension is related to the curvattlre of
14. Sokolov, Y. 1.: ,~An Experimental
tionary Thermal-Neutron Diffusion in a Stratum the function, tV(x, t). In this simplified case V 2N <
Intersected by a Cased Borehole”, Bull. [Izv) Acad. 0 where the curve N vs x is concave downward.
Sci., U. S. S.,R., Geophysics (1966). Hence, TD is positive, and there is a net diffusion
1s. Clavier, C., Hoyle, W. R. and Meunier, D.: “Quanti- of neutrons away from the point in question. The
tative Interpretation of TDT Logs”, paper SPE 2658
converse is true for V2N > 0. Wherever N is linear,
presented at SPE 44th Annual Fall Mseting, Denver,
Colo., Sept. 2S-Ott. 1, 1969. or at an inflection point, V 2N = O and rmeas = rint,
This implies that decay-time measurements carried
APPENDIX out at such points give rin+ directly.
In the diffusion approximation, the time-dependent lntegratio~ of Eq~ A- I ‘o~er all space determines
equation for the thermal neutron density, N, in a the time behavior of all the neutrons in the system
homogeneous medium is rather than the detailed space-and-time behavior of
the neutron density. This yields
~N (r, t)
—- Dv2N(r, t) +v&.N(r, t) ‘O “(A-l)
at
This equation applies after all sources of thermal
neutrons have been turned otf, as in TDT logging,
aNT(t)
T–
D
S
0
aV~N(r,t) &-1-v~~b~NT(t) e O, (A-7)

where NT(t) is the total number of neutrons in the


N(r, t) is the thermal neutron density at position r
system at time t. Since diffusion alters local
and time t. ~ and ~a&s are the diffusion constant
densities only, but not the total number in the
and the macroscopic absorption cross-section of
system, the second term vanishes. The well known
the medium for thermal neutrons.
conclusion
Re-arranging l?q. A-1, one gets
NT(t) = NT(O) e–vxai)st = NT(O) e-t’ti.t- (A-8)

then appears as the solution to Eq. A-7. This


The left-hand term is immediately recognizable result provides the second way of directly
as the fractional, or relative, rate of increase measuring rint. Neutron density measurements can
of neutron density at r and t. The right-hand be made throughout the medium and summed
side contains two terms whose physical (integrated) at successive times. The decay o. the
significance can be equally well identified. v~abs total yields rint.
is just the relative absorption rate in the medium. The diffusion approximation, upon which Eq. A-1
It is independent of time and in a homogeneous is based, has limited applicability very close to
medium it is independent of position. DV2N/N is boundaries between different media such as the
the relative rate of the net diffusion of neutrons borehole fluid and formation, In this case, the more
into a unit volume at r and t. Hence, in the diffusion general Boltzmann transport equation must be used.
equation the local decay rate is broken down quite However, it can be shown readily that, with a
naturally into two parts, independently of the slight re-definition of TD, Eq. A-6 retains its
details of the problem. One can identify with each validity. *++
component of the decay rate a decay time its