Carbonate Petrophysics

Denver Section
Society of Petroleum Engineers

Continuing Education Short Course Offering

 Carbonate Petrophysics

Instructors:   Robert Eugene (Gene) Ballay, Ph.D., Carbonate Research Consulting 

 Dates:             Tuesday-Wednesday, April 24-25, 2007, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

 Location:   707 17th St, Suite 3010
                    Denver, CO 80202-3404, US 
                    (Corner of 17th and California)

 1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) will be awarded by SPE-Americas Office for this 2-day course.

Course Description

This two-day course begins with a contrast of carbonates and sandstones , followed by reservoir classification according to the Lucia Petrophysical Classification System and capillary pressure measurements. Individual logging tools (both routine and specialty ) are introduced and carbonate responses are illustrated with actual data . Archie’s exponents are discussed within the context of both his original measurements, and carbonate specific results. The concept of bulk volume water is introduced within the context of a Pickett Plot , and then related to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and the combination of pore size and irreducible water saturation.  Basic NMR , and carbonate specific NMR issues are introduced with laboratory measurements, numerical simulations and actual wireline data.

 Course Contents

Gus Archie introduced the world to the term ‘petrophysics’ in 1950. This fundamental vision was followed by a carbonate classification system in 1952 in which he commented

  • in discussing the petrophysics of limestones, it is necessary to first classify them,
  • the field application of petrophysical relationships in limestone can be much more difficult than in sandstone, because of variations in pore size distribution.

 This course begins with a brief contrast of sandstone and carbonate depositional environments, diagenesis and routine log signatures . Basic capillary pressure techniques are then introduced, thereby setting the stage for the Lucia Petrophysical Classification.

 The Lucia System recognizes that if one is to characterize the relationship between rock fabric and petrophysical parameters, then the pore space must be classified as it exists today, in terms of petrophysical properties. The focus is then on petrophysical properties and not genesis . Key discriminators are 1) interparticle vs vuggy porosity , and 2) separate vs touching vugs .

 In addition to basic porosity (magnitude) determination, one should thus also consider pore size and pore type . Common porosity tools (density, neutron and sonic) are introduced, and then contrasted as a means of achieving this objective.

With an understanding of pore size and pore type, the Course moves to the issue of water saturation: Archie’s exponents (m & n), how various carbonate attributes impact the exponent value and how the exponent can be estimated with historical (density-neutron-sonic) tools.

 In the years since Archie’s ground-breaking work, several so-called non-Archie approaches have developed, with NMR being one of several possible examples. Basic NMR is followed by Carbonate NMR and a laboratory-based review of two key carbonate NMR limitations : 1) pore size coupling and 2) vuggy porosity of sufficient size that bulk relaxation (in contrast to surface relaxation) becomes an issue.

 Who Should Attend

This two-day course is an application-oriented, downsized version of three- and five-day courses, designed for Petrophysicists, Engineers, Geologists and Team Leaders who have some familiarity with integrated geology / routine & special core / log interpretation and require an understanding of the complexities of open-hole carbonate log analysis .

 About the Inst ructor

Dr. R. E. (Gene) Ballay’s 30 years in petrophysics include research and operations assignments in Houston (Shell Research), Texas; Anchorage (ARCO), Alaska; Dallas (Arco Research), Texas; Jakarta (Huffco), Indonesia; Bakersfield (ARCO), California; and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. His carbonate experience ranges from individual Niagaran reefs in Michiganto the Lisburne in Alaskato Ghawar , Saudi Arabia(the largest oilfield in the world). He holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics with double minors in Electrical Engineering & Mathematics, has taught physics in two universities, mentored Nationals in Indonesiaand Saudi Arabia, published numerous technical articles and been designated co-inventor on both American and European patents. At retirement from the Saudi Arabian Oil Company he was the senior technical petrophysicist in the Reservoir Description Division and had represented petrophysics in three multi-discipline teams bringing on-line three (one clastic, two carbonate) multi-billion barrel increments. Subsequent to retirement from Saudi Aramco he established Robert E Ballay LLC, which provides physics - petrophysics consulting services. He served in the U.S. Army as a Microwave Repairman and in the U.S. Navy as an Electronics Technician, and he is a USPA Parachutist and a PADI Dive Master.


The registration deadline is March 30, 2007 .  The registration fee is $600.00 and is fully refundable until that time.  For more details, contact Darien O’Brien, P.E. at (303) 864-6015.  Make your check payable to SPE Denver Section and mail to: Darien O’Brien, Forest Oil Corporation, 707 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3600 , Denver , Colorado 80202.  Please include the course name, your FULL name (as you would like it to appear on the course completion certificate), SPE member number (if applicable), Title, Company, e-mail address, postal address, phone and fax number.

Name Sales End Price
Member Ended $600

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