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Chapter 2 Q+FRACTURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH SONIC LOGS

Literature Review

There is much literature concerning the effect of fractures on acoustic wave propagation in porous and fractured rock. Unfortunately, much of it is theoretical and not always supported by field examples; often it is contradictory. Nevertheless, the sonic log is the best fracture finder in older wells because other, more modern, methods were unavailable at the time. Today, dipmeter and formation micro-scanner images provide more information, but at higher cost, so sonic logs are still used extensively for fracture identification. The modern full wave or array sonic and dipole shear sonic tools provide much new information, including shear wave travel time and amplitude plus full wave -train digitization this allows the wave train to be further processed. In theory, the normal compressional interval transit time is little affected by fractures so long as there is a free matrix path between transmitter and receivers, as would be expected for vertical fractures. In practice, large vertical and most sub-horizontal fractures create cycle skipping on the compressional transit time curve on all sonic logs that rely on detection of the first energy arrival. This is due to reduction in amplitude of the sound pulse by reflecti n at o the fracture face, and by destructive interference caused by other propagation modes generated at the fracture. In addition, refraction caused by near vertical fractures diverts energy from the receivers, again reducing amplitude. Cycle skipping makes the sonic travel time too long. Thus simple theory is overwhelmed by the complexity of sound transmission in a heterogeneous medium. On the array and dipole shear sonic logs, travel time is usually found by waveform correlation and not by first arrival detection (although both methods are available). Therefore, it is less likely to skip a cycle due to low amplitude. Amplitude curves are presented as a matter of routine, so fractures can be Figure: 1

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Figure: 2 Page 2 of 13 . and poor tool condition or recording parameters. If logged before it can return to the geothermal temperature. the presence of fractures or. Tool centralization . The pressure will force fluid above the zone downward. invasion can be confirmed. Sonic curves on the array or dipole sonic can disappear or be shown as straight lines where amplitude is too low to obtain a waveform correlation. and in open hole or barefoot completions. injecting cooler fluid into the formation. Gas in the formation or in the mud. Gas evolving into the mud system. The cooling anomaly should disappear above and below the fracture zone. compressional amplitude can be reduced to less than 20% of normal with the tool only 1 inch off center. Cycle skipping is an excellent fracture indication in hard formatons. Note that most modern sonic logs are designed to avoid cycle-skipping so this identification technique may not be useful in many newer wells. often from tight fractured reservoirs. but usually the effect is smaller than for fractures. Shallow resistivity i crossover might help confirm fractures in a typical well with only an induction and sonic log. and will disappear everywhere in a few hours if no additional flow or invasion takes place. at least. an injection profile can be run by increasing pressure on the well head and then logging several passes with a temperature log spaced over a few hours. It is possible that the invasion is merely a function of porosity.Chapter 2 Literature Review Identified by low compressional and shear amplitudes. may be seen if the mud system is static and under balanced for sufficient time. poor borehole conditions. This can cause skipping. In perforated cased holes. is also important. especially on older logs may also cause skipping. FRACTURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH TEMPERATURE LOGS Mud fluid invasion into a fractured zone can lower its temperature.

Just as with any fracture location method. and the bottom fractured in a few places. This log should not be confused with the (induced) gamma ray spectral log. Most productive formations show a low content of all three radioactive isotopes. The usual gamma ray log records the sum of these three radioactive sources. Figure: 3 If uranium data is not available. and thorium. Page 3 of 13 . which is a form of pulsed neutron log run in cased hole to evaluate lithology and water saturation. uranium in fractures may be suspected. Since uranium salts are soluble in both water and oil.Chapter 2 Literature Review The larger temperature anomalies are often associated with fractures or the best permeability zones. FRACTURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH GAMMA RAY LOGS The natural gamma ray spectral log provides a quantitative measurement of the three primary sources of natural radioactivity observed in reservoir rocks: potassium. as in the shaded portions of the example. In nearly all cases the uranium curve shows high radioactivity at the same depths as the sonic amplitude and sonic variable density log indicate fractures. The radioactivity associated with potassium and thorium is normally attributed to clays in the formation. An Austin Chalk example is given at left. the apparent shale volume from SP. subsequent mineral deposition. Here the upper section is heavily fractured. zones of high uranium content indicate fluid movement. gamma ray. and thus a probable zone of permeability. there may be fractures with no uranium. usually a fractured zone. If the gamma ray derived shale volume is higher than the others. uranium. In others. there is no absolute guarantee of identifying all fractures. uranium may be present in the porosity without a fracture. In some cases. the middle is not fractured. and density neutron crossplot are compared.

caliper. CAUT suitable. For improved resolution. the assessment is easier. Check the sample descriptions. or gamma ray logs. not fractures. The others are the array sonic and temperature logs. Remember that the deep resistivity logs are averaging 5 or more vertical feet of rock and that the shallow sees about 1. is to look for crossover of the shallow and deep resistivity. so this method is not always ACTURE E T CAT T ROUGH RE T V T LOGS On older wells that do not have porosity. fractures are never radioactive. The shallow curve may also appear noisy or spiky. except in salt mud systems.Sandst nes are sometimes radioacti e because of clay or feldspars. a large borehole may be suspected. If a spectral log is available. The shallow resistivity log may read the resistivity of drilling mud in washed out borehole sections caused by the presence of fracturing. so the differences between the two logs is subdued by this. microlaterolog. This can be confirmed by sample descriptions. : In some areas. an even shallower focused measurement can be made with aproximity. Use the SP to find clean zones and use the deep resistivity to check the resistivity of shales or water zones. the cross over is probably due to shale. Normally the shallow curve reads higher than the deep. If they are similar in clean formations. to be described later. as is true in many cases. due to invasion of the fractures. calculate shale volume independent of the natural radioactivity. In thinly laminated shaly sands. then the shallow resistivity curve will cross over the deep resistivity in a fractured interval and read lower resistivity.5 feet. but may also contain uranium in fractures. In thinly laminated sand-shale series. To locate fractures in these beds using the gamma ray method. Another method. and compared with the deep resistivity log. the shallow resistivity log is used to help find fractures. £ ¨£ £¤§ ¡¤£ © C t ¦ ¥ ¤£ ¢¡   it t R i w Page 4 f 13 . or micro spherically focused log. The natural gamma ray spectral log is one of only three methods that can be used in cased hole to locate fractures. applicable to both old and new logs. Check the log heading and compare the mud resistivity. corrected for the temperature of the borehole. and then compare this to the actual radioactivity. with the actual log reading. the zone will appear radioacti e due to the shale. some of which may be due to uranium in fractures. not fractures. If mud resistivity is less than the formation resistivity.

Chapter 2 Literature Review All are pad type instruments and survey a smaller portion of the borehole. Induction logs read horizontally. where the pad rides. However. most of them will be seen because they are located on the long axis of the hole. if the borehole is oval because of fractures. Check to see that the tool is reading higher than mud resistivity. but all have been successfully used to aid fracture detection. the dual laterolog microlaterolog Figure: 4 combination is the preferred resistivity log for such zones. better results can be expected from the laterolog than with induction or electrical surveys. However. Focused logs such as the laterolog. the induction log ignores any vertical fractures and hydrocarbon filled horizontal fractures. Due to the high resistivity of most tight fractured reservoirs. Therefore there can be a significant difference between the two log readings when vertical fractures are present and invaded with low resistivity drilling fluid. Pad type devices do not see the entire borehole. it is the contrast between the resistivity of the formation. at first be confused with a loss of pad contact. spherically focused log. and even the 16 inch normal on old ES and induction logs read resistivity vertically through the formation. so only a few of the fractures are logged. Normally. When the ratio of formation to mud resistivity is greater than about 50. The sharp conductivity anomalies may. On the other hand a horizontal fracture fi led with conductive mud or formation l Page 5 of 13 . The dual laterolog has been designed to provide resistivity measurements in wells drilled with highly conductive drilling fluids. and the resistivity of the drilling mud that is most important.

mudcake indicators of permeability must be confirmed with another log if possible. as recommended above. This looks like a hole washout on a two or three arm caliper. or irregular borehole in otherwise competent rock usually indicates fractures. This method is best when a sensitive caliper with sharp wall contacts is used. shale. Hole caving due to stress release is very common. as in laminated shaly sands. Mudcake opposite very low porosity usually indicates fractures. FRACTURE IDE TIFICATION THROUGH CALIPER LOGS In competent formations. truly measure both vertical and horizontal resistivity. very sensitive. large. If the dual laterolog is used. The presence of mudcake should be more conclusive of permeability and possible fracturing than rugosity alone. The caliper logs which are most helpful are recorded with the dipmeter. Both methods are more conclusive in thick beds. and may help determine fracture orientation. we lose the advantage of being able to compare the horizontal measurements with the vertical measurements. Calipers recorded with most surveys are not very sensitive and serve purposes other than measuring the hole size. along with the normal effects of borehole fluid and size changes on the resistivity measurements. microlog. Dipmeter pads are pressured to cut through mudcake and usually measure the rough hole if it is present. Their design does not allow for detection of small abrupt changes. Special purpose. Note that recent resistivity literature states that all these tools actually measure vertically. but the crossover effect due to invasion is still common. vertical fractures are indicated. Not all washouts indicate fractures. calipers are available from most service companies. Comparisons of curve response assists in solving anisotropic resistivity problems. The induction and ES are not useful in salt mud. Examples are the three arm bow spring type calipers recorded with sonic and density log which provide centralization as well as hole size measurements. It will respond and measure the thickness of the mudcake. the borehole will often become oblong when it intersects a fracture. and unconsolidated sands often erode. Mud rings sometimes form even in front of impermeable zones. Page 6 f 13      C t     it t R i w . Thin or high angle beds. The long axis of the hole is usually parallel to the strike of folds or faults. but a 4 or 6 arm caliper will show the oblong shape. Therefore. dubbed 3-D resistivity logs. When a laterolog or micro device reads less than an induction resistivity in the same zone. instead of measuring borehole rugosity. should be considered when using this method. Rough. Since invasion improves the responses. Other dipmeter curves are also used to identify fractures. salt. The caliper recorded with the microlog is designed to float on top of the mudcake. any fracture system detected should be permeable. contrary to previous conventional wisdom.water may produce a rather large conductivity anomaly. and modern dual axis calipers on density neutron logs. but open fractures are not always present. so the techni ue is not available in that case. The newest induction logs. but their presence can usually be distinguished by other log characteristics.

SW. offset wells to the NW or SE would have to be closer than those in line with the fracture orientation. Zones B and C show significant hole elongation on the caliper. The enlarged hole is a clue for fractures if the other log curves indicate competent rock. Most modern density neutron logs display a dual axis caliper. roughly in gauge. Zone A has a round hole. Fractures are inferred from this and confirmed b the dipmeter y curves. Page 7 of 13 . and the dipmeter curves show no fractures. and these curves should be checked carefully for evidence of borehole breakouts. This information would help determine well spacing. Fracture orientation is roughly NE . Remember that a two arm caliper would probably see the long diameter. A three arm caliper would average the two diameters. indicated by the four arm caliper. and the hole enlargement may not be as obvious.Chapter 2 Literature Review Figure: 5 Dipmeter dual axis caliper shows oblong hole in fractured reservoir A good example is shown above.

or nearby welding. However. An example is shown on the left. The fracture zone below 75 meters is indicated by the shallow resistivity reading significantly lower than the deep. In addition. Usually streaming potentials are larger and cover longer intervals. These anomalies may be caused by telluric curre nts. Page 8 of 13 . No fluid movement takes place. remember that the higher the oil saturation (lower water saturation). Over the same interval a small SP development is superimposed on a straight line SP with a slight drift to the left. It is primarily dependent upon mud resistivity and differential pressure. and 132 meters may be caused by a streaming potential due to mud filtrate flow into the formation at these depths. FRACTURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH SPONTANEOUS POTENTIAL LOGS The spontaneous potential normally does not develop well in carbonate rocks. especially in deviated holes or in folded or faulted areas. due to high resistivity and the long distance to a nearby shale. The SP is a voltage generated by electrochemical reactions between the mud filtrate. Fracture detection by the SP is possible in a low porosity or low permeability bed if fracturing has occurred and if the fractures contain a formation water of a different salinity than that in the borehole. As differential pressure increases. which would easil be confirmed by a gamma ray or SP y log. Shale can erode to an oblong hole. A streaming potential only exists while fluid is flowing and is not normally seen in a stable wellbore. When evaluating SP responses for fractures. Either the normal SP or the streaming potential can be indicators of permea bility and fractures. some SP excursion is usually seen opposite very porous or permeable carbonate zones. a streaming potential can be generated when mud filtrate passes through the mudcake. the more the SP will be depressed. streaming potential increases for a constant mud resistivity. rig power bumps. Depths are in meters and grid lines are two meters apart. 84. The SP deflections to the right at 76. indicating a washout in un -fractured rock. or opposite lower porosity fractured zones.Chapter 2 Literature Review Zone E again shows a round hole. this time oversize. Very small excursions of the log curve may be meaningful. and a nearby impermeable shale barrier. formation water. Figure: 6 This is not certain. northern lights. Development of an SP is not a direct measurement of porosity or permeability. This is probably a shale zone.

If the SP develops in a zone which shows relatively high radioactivity on the gamma ray. carry an array of electrodes on pads used to produce an electrical image of the formations seen on the borehole wall. Having detected the fractures. The electrical images are made by applying a gray scale to the resistivity wiggle-traces produced from the electrodes on the tool. Care must be taken not to interpret random variations or drift in the SP baseline as evidence of permeability. the zone from 75 meters to the bottom of the log. Microscanners have better vertical resolution and dynamic range than televiewers. # (# #$' !$# ) C t & % $# "! it t R i w Page 9 f 13 . In this way. the tool also has ten standard dipmeter elec trodes (8 measure electrodes plus 2 speed buttons) as well as a directional cartridge containing accelerometers and magnetometers for orientation input to the standard dip computations. use a rotating transducer to measure acoustic impedance images over the entire borehole wall. On earlier microscanner tools. low resistivity zones appear dark and high resistivity. In the example above. low porosity intervals appear white. Using this techni ue. Acoustic image logs. Since the array on each pad is two and a half inches wide. from forty to eighty percent wellbore coverage could be achieved. show up as dark spots and lines on the images. reducing the need for repeat passes to obtain 100% coverage of the borehole wall. giving a net fractured interval of 79 meters. it is useful to count the footage. so several logging passes of the tool had to be merged together for better borehole coverage. this could be an indication of a permeable fractured zone in which uranium salts have been precipitated. or about 95 meters. or meters. of the fractured interval. also called televiewer or CBIL logs.Another SP method is to compare the character of the SP to that of a gamma ray log over the zone. Newer tools now have four or eight active imaging pads. the image arrays were on only two of the four pads. also called microscanner or FMS or FMI logs. Many factors influence the SP and it is difficult to identify fractures directly using this method alone. as well as an acoustic caliper. but often it aids in confirming the possibility of a fractured zone. is fractured. Colour tones may be used instead of grey. About 16 meters of this shows little resistivity crossover and little SP deflection. In addition to the array electrodes. FRACTURE IDENTIFICATION THROUGH IMAGE LOGS Resistivity imager logs. irregular features. but televiewers see the entire wellbore while microscanners usually see less than 100%. such as vugs and fractures.

putting North in the middle of the track. Two vertical scales are used: one for reconnaissance and one for detail evaluation. Fracture orien tation is roughly NNW . A dramatic near vertical fracture can be seen.Chapter 2 Literature Review Figure: 7 Formation Micro-Scanner Shows Fractures and Bedding Planes The image depth scale is usually 1:20 or 1:40. Examples are provide above. and the X axis is scaled from-180 to +180 degrees around the borehole.SSE Page 10 of 13 .

inter-bedding laminations.Chapter 2 Literature Review dipping at more than 80 degrees. The sinusoid can be analyzed to find the angle of dip: Page 11 of 13 . and stylolites. vugs with fractures. borehole breakout. Figure: 8 Formation micro-scanner shows porosity features sometimes Fractures or bedding planes can be identified by connecting the linear features to form a sinusoid on the image. Other images on these two figures illustrate induced fractures. slump brecchia.

it must be transformed into actual wellbore distance by multiplying the measured distance by the plot scale. and the ability to differentiate them from high angle bedding features is possible. Fi 9 3 83 347 143 9 C t 6 D C BA @ 5 43 210 it t R i w Page 12 f 13 . The identification of fractures. so both the gray scale images and the electrical wiggle-trace data are analyzed to identify fractures. but contrast between fractures and rock is so good that thinner events.1: Angle of Dip = Arctan (Y / D) Where: Y = peak to peak distance of the sinusoid (millimeters) D = hole diameter (millimeters) Since Y is measured on a plot or CRT. Fracture orientation is determined by the azimuth of the sinusoid troughs. however. Note also that near vertical fractures will appear near vertical on the plot and do not form sinusoids. can often be seen. Micro-scanner images give a very good visual correlation to core and allow the interpretation of small and large scale sedimentary features in the formations. The fractures are sometimes masked. read from the direction scale at the top of the image. along with fracture orientation. Resolution of the micro-scanner is about 10 mm. by extremely conductive vugs. Fractures should produce a higher contrast anomaly than other porosity features because the fractures are flushed with conductive borehole fluid and there is exaggeration of the anomaly due to break out of the wellbore on the fracture. as thin as a few microns.

in this case representing fractures (near vertical) or shale beds (near horizontal). or low resistivity on FMI. due to the difference in contrast between the resistivity and acoustic impedance ranges measured by the respective tools. The higher spatial resolution and the higher dynamic range of the resistivity image is clear. H SH HIR FIH T C t Q ` YXWV U P IH GFE it t R i w Page 13 f 13 . A resistivity image log has about 10 times the spatial resolution of an acoustic image log and 500 times the amplitude resolution. Fi 0 Comparison of resistivity image log (left) and ultrasonic image log in the same borehole. logs check heading carefully. dips calculated from image show both bedding (green) and fracture (blue) dips. travel time image (left) indicates borehole diameter. amplitude image (right)shows acoustic impedance. Black colour represents low acoustic impedance on CBIL/ UBI. as travel time and amplitude images can be interchanged in position. The dark areas on the travel time image show borehole elongation in the NW-SE direction. and North may be on the right or the middle of the track.Ultrasonic (acoustic) image log. with maximum stress direction at right angles to this axis. On real.