The strong domestic need for oil in China requires further exploration in unconventional reservoirs, such as volcanic and shale oil reservoirs. Sweet zone identification is one of the most critical missions in formation evaluation. The complex mineralogy and the low porosity in unconventional reservoirs result in little contrast of resistivities between oil-producing zones and water zones. Reducing uncertainties affecting the type of fluid in the reservoir and its potential movability is key to defining the optimal landing zones for future horizontal drains.

In conventional reservoirs, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging based on cutoff analysis is the optimum choice for evaluating the porosity and pore geometry of hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs. However, the routine single-dimension T2 measurement is not sufficient for fluid typing in unconventional reservoirs because of the overlap of signals of various fluids in the T2 domain. This contribution presents case studies from a new generation NMR tool providing continuous 2D T1-T2 measurements. The T1-T2 measurements enable separation and quantification of different fluids in the pores. Fluid typing can be done by integration of other wireline logs such as spectroscopy and dielectric.

Case studies are presented from volcanic and shale oil reservoirs in Xinjiang Oilfield of PetroChina. In the volcanic reservoir case, dedicated 2D data analytics technic is used to extract relevant signals from 2D NMR T1-T2 measurements. An integrated workflow combining wireline borehole electrical image, nuclear spectroscopy, dielectric dispersion and NMR T1-T2 gives an insight into the fluid composition in the pore system. Besides accurate measurements of lithology independent porosity and pore geometry from NMR, T1-T2 specific measurement of clay bound water volume and total water volume match well with the same measurements estimated from nuclear spectroscopy and dielectric dispersion logs. It lowers the uncertainties on fluid types in the volcanic reservoir where resistivities fail to differentiate wet zones and oil zones. In the shale oil reservoir case, a reservoir producibility index (RPI) derived from the integration of NMR T1-T2, wireline borehole electrical image, and nuclear spectroscopy is shown to be quite efficient in sweet zone identification and ranking.

This paper discusses a novel application of a new generation NMR T1-T2 logging method in unconventional reservoirs, which helps the operator ascertain the potential of these reservoirs. The oil zones identified by the new method have promising oil productions. The workflow illustrated in the two case studies can be applied and extended to other unconventional plays in China.

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