The SPWLA Permian Basin Chapter

Technical Lunch and Learn
Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 11:30 - 1:00 PM CST
In-Person and Virtual Options
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Advanced Formation Evaluation of Organic-Rich Mudrocks, Honoring Rock Fabric and Geochemistry
By: Zoya Heidari

Complex rock fabric (i.e., spatial distribution of solid/fluid rock components), composition, pore structure, and geochemistry make formation evaluation of unconventional and tight resources such as organic-rich mudrocks extremely challenging. The conventional rock physics models and formation evaluation methods often do not quantitatively take into account the aforementioned complexities in rock properties, which leads to unreliable estimates of reserves and formation properties, and significantly affects hydrocarbon recovery. For instance, conventional well-log interpretation techniques often overestimate water saturation in organic-rich mudrocks, which is equivalent to significant underestimation of hydrocarbon reserves. Other examples include the unresolved mysteries about unexpected water production as well as challenging and inconsistent rock classification efforts for detection of best depth intervals for production.
In this presentation, new and unconventional methods will be introduced to enhance formation evaluation and reservoir characterization in organic-rich mudrocks. The impacts of rock fabric, composition, pore structure, and geochemistry on formation evaluation and rock properties such as wettability and mechanical/electrical properties of organic-rich mudrocks will also be discussed. Outcomes of recent advancements in experimental and computational research as well as field applications will be presented to demonstrate that formation evaluation efforts for assessment of reserves, wettability, mechanical properties as well as flow-unit detection can be enhanced by honoring realistic and quantitative rock fabric and geochemistry. Further impacts of these research developments include improved description of multi-phase fluid transport and reservoir characterization in spatially complex organic-rich mudrocks with the intent to enhance production and recovery factors.

Speaker Biography:
Zoya Heidari is an Associate Professor in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Before joining UT Austin, Zoya was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University from 2011 to 2015. She has been the founder and director of the UT Austin Industrial Affiliate Research Program on “Multi-Scale Rock Physics” since 2016. She was also the founder and the director of the Texas A&M Joint Industry Research Program on “Multi-Scale Formation Evaluation of Unconventional and Carbonate Reservoirs” from 2012 to 2015. Zoya is the recipient of the 2023 SPE International Formation Evaluation Award, the 2021 SPWLA Distinguished Technical Achievement Award, the 2020 SPWLA Young Professional Technical Award, the 2019 EAGE Arie van Weelden Award, the 2019 AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award, the 2019 SPE Distinguished Membership Award, and the 2017 SPE Cedric K. Ferguson Medal. Her research interests include Petrophysics, Rock Physics, Multi-Scale Formation Evaluation, Borehole Geophysics, Integrated Reservoir Characterization, and Completion Petrophysics.



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Permian Basin Chapter of the SPWLA

Next Meeting: 
January 23, 2024

Monthly Meetings: 4th Tuesday of Most Months

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