Lessons Learned in Permian Core Analysis:
Comparison between Retort, GRI and Routine Methodologies
Speaker: Aidan Blount, Shell
Aidan is a Petrophysicist
with Shell. He joined the company in 2013 after graduating from The University
of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering. Since joining Shell,
Aidan worked on several basins as part of a regional exploration team before
joining the Permian asset in 2015.
today’s competitive cost environment, core acquisition and analysis is too
often dismissed as unaffordable. This forces the petrophysicists to make every
dollar count in core evaluation. Tough choices, then, have to be made –
many people chase the lowest bid, cheapest methodologies, reduced oversight,
and less sampling. In this paper, insights will be shared from a comprehensive
round-robin study directly comparing the results of the most common techniques
(GRI/Retort/RCA) utilized by major vendors. Understanding differences in
technique early in an evaluation process can help efficiently direct technical
with many comparison studies, this project started with the reconciliation of
analysis sourced from different laboratories using different methodologies.
was a significant business driver to this work as we noticed differences in
porosity and fluid saturations which contribute to (~25%) difference in
hydrocarbon pore volume among vendors using alternative techniques. These
differences directly impact log calibration objectives as well as estimations
of hydrocarbons in place.
began to ask simple questions -- should we use crushed samples or routine core
plugs? What is the impact of analytical technique on the results? What role
does lithology and organic content play in the results from different
analytical techniques? What is the role of sample size? What is the variability
between vendors for identical procedures? If there is variability, what is the
twin Permian samples from the Delaware Basin will be discussed in-depth using a
plethora of available information including X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Total
Organic Carbon (TOC)/RockEval, Retort, and Dean-Stark/Gas Research Institute
(GRI) protocol analysis from two labs and RCA from one lab. These 10
samples were picked to represent varying lithofacies with a range of organic,
mineralogical, and water/oil content. The level of oversight at each data
source was also tracked.
Through detailed analysis of the raw data from
these measurements, we address the questions above. With these results, we hope
to 1) maximize every dollar spent in core analysis, 2) focus oversight where it
is truly required, and 3) accurately and consistently evaluate the core
analysis in the Permian play for fast and value-driven business decisions.
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Morning - Monday, November 13th, 8am – 9am US Central Time;
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