Denver Well Logging Society

October 2016 Newsletter

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Advanced Log Interpretation in Field Development

Dick Merkel
Denver Petrophysics, LLC


Historically, as reservoirs have gone from an exploration stage into development, the amount of logging data obtained at new drill locations decreases significantly in order to reduce operating costs. Many development wells are logged only with cased-hole tools. The authors were involved in a project in the Monument Butte field in the Uinta Basin to evaluate the potential of reducing vertical well spacing from 20 acres to 10 acres in a field where a secondary water flood has been in effect since 1987. Water injection is co-mingled in the highly discontinuous sand intervals in more than 25 stratigraphic units.

The initial objective of the study was to test if dielectric logs could identify where the low salinity water flood breakthrough occurred in infill wells. Since dielectric log interpretation gives bulk volume water (BVW) somewhat independent of water salinity, we hoped to identify sands with breakthrough of low-salinity injection water so completions engineers could avoid these zones when completing infill producing wells. We designed an initial testing program using dielectric, NMR, and triple combo data combined with rotary sidewall core and RFT measurements.

The added dielectric logging, core, and pressure data on infill wells met the original objectives, but also were used to determine numerous additional reservoir properties in the pay interval such as: 1) wettability, 2) relative permeability, 3) Archie saturation exponents, 4) better OIP calculations, 5) residual oil saturation (Sor), and 6) reservoir pressure (depleted, native state, and water flood over pressure). Each of these factors provided input in the completion of the infill oil producers, as well as which wells and intervals should be converted from producer to injector. Examples show the log response, analysis, and results in the independent and/or isolated producing sands in Monument Butte.  Also shown is how RFT down hole pressure measurements and core analysis aided and verified the interpretation.


Dick Merkel is President of Denver Petrophysics LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to developing logging analytical techniques for petrophysical models tied to core, completion, and production data in complex reservoirs. At Newfield Exploration Company, he developed petrophysical models for unconventional oil and gas reservoirs in the Rocky Mountains. Prior to this, he worked for 13 years as Senior Technical Consultant at Marathon Oil Company’s Petroleum Technology Center in Littleton, CO, where he evaluated new logging tools and technology, and techniques for their application in Marathon’s reservoirs.

Dick holds a BS in physics from St. Lawrence University and a MS and Ph.D. in geophysics from Penn State. He is a past president of SPWLA, the SPWLA Foundation, and DWLS, and is currently a member of SPWLA, SPE, and SCA.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016
11:20 am - 1:30 pm


Wynkoop Brewing Company
(tell me how to get there)


$20 per person
$25 at the door (space permitting)

Next Month's Talk

Dipole Shear Anisotropy Using Logging-While-Drilling Sonic Tools

Matt Blyth

Reservations and Cancellations

Reservations must be made using the PayPal link above or on the DWLS website; reservations must be made by 5 PM the Thursday prior to the talk.  Cancellations may be made until 5 PM the Friday prior. Email your cancellation or contact Dominic Holmes at 303-770-4235.  Our full cancellation/wait list policy is available on the website.

From the President

Bob Lieber

I don’t think I am the first person to tell you these are trying times for our industry.  I really admire the folks in operating and service companies who are making the difficult decisions around budgets and product price at this time of year.  Petrophysicists are by their nature (I believe) not gamblers and making financial projections are always difficult.  The Board of Directors of DWLS has had to make a tough decision and cancel our fall symposium on Tight Sandstone Reservoirs of the Powder River Basin.  We took this action because travel budgets have been cut to the bone in most companies and speakers who had previously committed to present have had to withdraw.  This is not an indicator of any financial difficulties within DWLS.  Past Boards have been very conservative with money and we have a large financial reserve to get through tough times.  We also have a great slate of speakers for this year’s luncheons and I hope you will keep checking the newsletter and attend as many of these educational and networking opportunities as you can.  Look for an announcement later this fall for our spring conference which will feature some of the Denver-based petrophysical expertise speaking on a variety of topics.  So DWLS and other societies present a great chance to learn, make sure you keep investing your time in your career.  See you soon!

From the VP - Technology

Jack Breig

Starting this month, we will be featuring a series of luncheon presentations taken from the Distinguished Lecturers of the 2016 SPWLA Convention. First off is our own Dick Merkel, who, with Margaret Lessinger, performed a very robust petrophysical evaluation of the shaly sands of the Monument Butte field of Uinta Basin. We do not often see a field study using dielectric tools. This is one of the best.

Calendar of Events

Click the calendar to the right to view events on the web.

Other Important Events

2016 Fall Topical Conference, November 7-8, 2016 (Houston, TX)

2017 SPWLA Annual Symposium, June 18-21, 2016 (Oklahoma City, OK)

DWLS Sponsors

Click here to view the sponsors on the website, or click on any image to contact a sponsor.
Digital Formation
Donovan Brothers Incorporated
Stoner Engineering LLC

Chapter Statistics


This Year

3-Year Average

# of Active members 368 362
# that are New members 15 16
# that are Students 12 11
# that are Lifetime Members 315 299
September luncheon meeting attendance 38 75
October luncheon meeting attendance   66
November luncheon meeting attendance   76
Holiday party attendance   48
January luncheon meeting attendance   79
February luncheon meeting attendance   76
March luncheon meeting attendance   70
April luncheon meeting attendance   59
May luncheon meeting attendance   59
Summer social attendance   31
The DWLS Newsletter is published monthly September through June by the Denver Well Logging Society.  For information on membership or advertising, contact the editor.  For other inquiries, contact a member of the Board of Directors.
Copyright © 2016 Denver Well Logging Society, All rights reserved.

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