Denver Well Logging Society

February 2018 Newsletter

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Calculated Determination of Variable Wettability for the Middle Bakken and Three Forks in the Williston Basin

Dick Merkel
Denver Petrophysics


The determination of oil in place can be problematic in formations with varying wettability using resistivity based saturation models. This is because the Archie n saturation exponent increases as wettability goes from 1) water wet to 2) mixed wet to 3) oil wet.  The Middle Bakken and Three Forks in the Williston Basin are both in this category and are formations with highly varying wettability.
In this study, we examined a combination of triple combo, NMR, dielectric, and core data to determine wettability and the Archie n. By examining fluid composition as a function of T2 or T1 distribution, we could examine wettability as a function of mineralogy (including clay), porosity, pore size, and depth. The advantage of this technique over using special core analysis is 1) reduced cost, 2) a continuous measurement with depth, and 3) the ability to determine these values in-situ. Our results show that the Middle Bakken is mixed wet with intervals that are more oil wet. It was determined that as a result the increased carbonate and chlorite content in the Three Forks, this formation is more oil wet than the Middle Bakken.  In both formations, the cleanest intervals are the most oil wet. Using the calculated variable n, a favorable comparison with SCAL and core saturations was obtained. CRIM inversion of dielectric data, which gives a totally independent determination of bulk volume water, confirms water volumes calculated with the variable n resistivity model.


Speaker Biography

Dick Merkel is President of Denver Petrophysics LLC, which is a consulting firm dedicated to developing logging analytical techniques for petrophysical models tied to core, completion, and production data in complex reservoirs. Previously, he was at Newfield Exploration Company where he worked on teams that developed reservoir models for unconventional oil and gas reservoirs in the Rocky Mountains. Prior to its closing in 2000, he was a Senior Technical Consultant at Marathon Oil Company’s Petroleum Technology Center in Littleton, CO where he worked for 13 years on evaluating new logging tools and technology, and developing techniques for their application in Marathon’s reservoirs. Dick holds a BS in physics from St. Lawrence University and an 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, February 20, 2018
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

Unconventional Reservoir Assessment Using Mudlogging
Bill Donovan
Donovan Brothers

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

Sam Fluckiger

I hope this message finds you all well and in good spirits. I would like to thank Alan Byrnes for his talk last month which was very well attended and I hope we can continue that level of attendance for the remainder of our talks through this spring.  We now have a full speaker lineup confirmed with some very interesting talks for our Spring Workshop to be held on April 10th at CSM and focused on core analysis.  Based upon the caliber of speakers and the range of topics they will be presenting on I am confident that this event will be a success.  We should begin sending out a registration notice in the near future so keep an eye out for that and make sure to secure your spot.  Also, we have once again entered into a partnership with RMAG for a joint conference this coming fall and based upon the success of this event last fall, I am looking forward to another great conference.

As I’ve eluded to several times in previous newsletters, myself and the Board of Directors have been actively engaging SPWLA regarding the new charter agreement.  I believe we are close to an important decision point on whether or not to sign the agreement and maintain our status as a chapter of SPWLA or to become an independent society. At this juncture, we need your feedback!  I have put together a small survey comprised of only eight questions and I would hope that you (the DWLS Membership) would be willing to take a few moments to provide your input to this important decision that will shape the future of the DWLS.  The survey can be accessed here (DWLS Membership Survey).  I look forward to your feedback.

From the President

Sam Fluckiger

Here is the speaker line up for the Spring Workshop on Core Analysis to be held on April 10 at the Colorado School of Mines:

Harry Xie
20MHz NMR Core analysis value

Derek Beckett/Ted Griffin
Reservoir Performance in Unconventional Reservoirs, the EOR Requirement

Aiden Blount
GRI methods lessons learned

Mark Sutcliffe
GRI porosity issues; integration of GRI with NMR

Eric Eslinger
Strategies for Estimating Lithofacies, RQ, and HC in Non-Cored Wells Using Cored Wells

Ravinath Viswanathan
Fluid typing with core NMR

Don Hall
Automated Cuttings Analysis for Risk Evaluation and Reservoir Characterization

Rich Rosen
Impact of experimental studies on Unconventional Reservoir Mechanisms

Claudia Amorocho
Moving from Qualitative to Quantitative Geomechanical models

Gary Simpson/Neil Fishman
Rethinking the use of routine core analytical procedures on tight oil rocks—an example from the Bakken-Three Forks Petroleum System, North Dakota

Michael Hoffman
Visualization and quantification of 3D pore networks using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM)

Registration details will be sent out soon!

From the Past President

Bob Lieber

Professional organizations like the DWLS run on the efforts of volunteers.  We are so fortunate that so many members give their time and talents to keeping the DWLS running so well you never notice it.  If you have served on the Board of Directors previously here is your chance to serve once again.  If you have never served it might be your turn to volunteer.  The time requirement is not a major one and the only prerequisite is you must be an SPWLA member.  If you are interested please contact me at or give me a call at 720-966-9511.

From the Editor

Dominic Holmes

On March 15, 2018, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., a Women in Geoscience Forum will be held at the Ben Parker Student Union at Colorado School of Mines. For information concerning this Free event and a link to RSVP, please click here  This is a joint event sponsored by BHP, the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics Office at Mines, the Mines Geology and Geophysics Departments, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and the Denver Well Logging Society.

From the Webmaster

Tony Holmes

Please help us clean our shelves and restock yours! Please visit:

We only have a few workshop materials left, and when they’re gone, they’re gone! As you are probably aware, the cost to produce the workbooks is significant, and at these prices are really only recouping some of our expenses. We provide them at these costs to get the information out, and to be honest to clean out our offices. Please give us a hand and buy some stuff!

From the Editor

Dominic Holmes

If you are interested in making a donation to the Bob Cluff Scholarship, you may do so by sending a check to:

RMAG Foundation
Independence Plaza B-180
Box 165
1001 16th Street
Denver, CO 80265

Checks should be made out to the RMAG Foundation, and note this is for the Bob Cluff Scholarship in the memo field.  Unfortunately, credit cards cannot be accepted at this time.

Calendar of Events

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

Other Important Events

2018 SPWLA Annual Symposium, June 3-6, 2018 (London, England)

Digital Formation
Donovan Brothers Incorporated
The Discovery Group
MHA Petroleum Consultants
Mount Sopris Instruments

DWLS Sponsors

Click here to view the sponsors on the website, or click on any image to contact a sponsor.

Chapter Statistics


This Year

3-Year Average

# of Active members * 283 375
# that are New members 5 12
# that are Students * 7 11
# that are Lifetime Members * 257 311
September luncheon meeting attendance 53 60
October luncheon meeting attendance 33 71
November luncheon meeting attendance 53 60
Holiday party attendance 29 44
January luncheon meeting attendance 72 65
February luncheon meeting attendance   67
March luncheon meeting attendance   53
April luncheon meeting attendance   54
May luncheon meeting attendance   49
Summer social attendance   22
* Note that we did a thorough cleanup of bad email addresses that resulted in some of our members being removed until they can be tracked down again.  So this year's membership numbers are going to be a bit lower.
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 © 2018 Denver Well Logging Society, All rights reserved.

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