YP REVIEW: Petrophysics 101 – An Introduction to Advanced Topics
By Joe Millward
The London Petrophysical Society’s annual “Petrophysics 101” seminar was held on Thursday 7th March at the Geological Society. Organised in conjunction with the PESGB Young Professionals, the objective of the seminar was to introduce advanced topics in petrophysics to early-mid career non-petrophysicists in the oil and gas industry. Over 60 professionals were in attendance, most of which were the target audience, with a few more experienced attendees distributed amongst the audience, which added to the diversity of the Q&A sessions.
The seminar kicked off with an excellent keynote presentation by Donald Clarke of ExxonMobil on “What is a petrophysicist?”. My early career, stereotypical assumption was that they’re number crunchers who liked spreadsheets, calculators and paper logs. And whilst this may (partially) still be the case, Donald emphasised the importance of the integration of well data across the entire E&P life cycle, and how petrophysicists often act as the focal point between all disciplines.
Jumping between both the conventional and unconventional worlds, the technical talks introduced techniques for estimating reservoir parameters in a variety of lithologies (sandstone, shales, shaley-sands, carbonates), whilst also highlighting key pitfalls to watch out for. There were also talks on new exciting petrophysical evaluation methods including micro-CT scanning of unconsolidated oil sands, in addition to rapid estimation of flow properties of tight gas sands from cuttings.
The seminar was extremely informative and engaging. As a geoscientist with a self-prescribed phobia of petrophysics, it was an excellent opportunity to learn about techniques that were explained in a clear and understandable way.