N054 Intermediate Petrophysics for Conventional Reservoirs

Course Facts

Course Code:
5 days
4.0 Continuing Education Units
40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


This intermediate, practical petrophysics course explains the physical properties of rocks and their constituent fluids, how their properties are measured (core and downhole), and how this information is used in subsurface studies. Particular emphasis is given to the interactions between rock and fluid volumes, which are explained and then illustrated with real examples. A significant proportion of the class time is spent on petrophysical exercises, covering both clastics and carbonates.

Duration and Training Method

This is a five-day course consisting of a mixture of classroom lectures, short exercise-based discussions, log based interpretation exercises. Computers will be provided. The ratio of classroom to computer time is approximately 70/30.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Evaluate the petrophysical properties of conventional reservoirs and the fluids contained within them.
  2. Evaluate the basic functions and measurement principles behind each of the primary logging tools and selected specialty tools.
  3. Analyze and integrate conventional and special core analysis measurements and link them to log data.
  4. Evaluate through logs and core the key petrophysical properties such as lithology, porosity, Archie parameters, water saturation, permeability and net sand/net pay.
  5. Assess the different modes of shale distribution, estimate shale volume from logs, appraise the different shaly sand interpretation models and understand the difference between effective and total porosity.
  6. Generate a comprehensive petrophysical evaluation of a drilled section, using an appropriate workflow to integrate available petrophysical data from logs and core.
  7. Estimate the hydrocarbon reserves in a thinly bedded sand-shale sequence using resistivity anisotropy principles.
  8. Consider the primary causes of Low Resistivity Pay and recommend the appropriate tools and measurements for evaluation.
  9. Evaluate petrophysical properties and apply interpretation techniques through a series of case studies and practical exercises.
  10. Generate a saturation-height model of a heterogeneous reservoir using capillary pressure data.

This is an integrated practical petrophysics course, not just another log interpretation session. Topics covered include: physical rock properties, geophysical parameters used in downhole logging, core analysis, fluid distribution, capillary pressure, borehole imaging, log measurements and interpretation. This course does not consider unconventional reservoirs.

The application of petrophysical analysis to subsurface projects will be emphasized, and the value of this approach will be illustrated with case studies and exercises. Participants will be taught how petrophysical tools measure parameters related to both lithology and fluids, highlighting the strengths and pitfalls of petrophysical measurements and interpretation.

The course covers:


  • What is petrophysics? Plus petrophysical estimation and uncertainty

Petrophysical Properties: Definitions, Controls and Measurements (Cores)

  • Definition of rock physical properties (density, porosity, permeability, saturation, capillary pressure, relative permeability), geophysical parameters (electrical, sonic and nuclear), and consideration of their measurement. Core Analysis - Basic and Special (preservation and sampling; fluid flow and wettability; electrical properties; core to subsurface corrections)
  • For US runs, a visit to a core laboratory with emphasis on special core analysis methods

Petrophysical Properties: In situ Measurement (Logs)

  • Measurement principles - downhole logs (wireline LWD), tools (SP, gamma ray, acoustic, neutron / density, resistivity, including multi-component induction, nuclear magnetic resonance, induced gamma ray spectroscopy) and limitations of logging measurements
  • Borehole imaging

Petrophysical Properties: Estimation and Interpretation (Logs)

  • Interpretation principles and workflows; determination of lithology from crossplots, porosity from nuclear (density and neutron), acoustic and magnetic resonance logs, determination of Rw and Pickett plots, Archie exponents, volume of shale, clean and shaly sand equations, permeability from nuclear magnetic resonance and core. Understand the primary causes of Low Resistivity Pay and recommend the appropriate tools and measurements for evaluation

Petrophysical Properties: Fluid Distribution

  • Capillary Pressure and Formation Pressure Analysis
  • More advanced concepts and measurements; contacts and free water levels
  • Saturation height principles

Who should attend

The course targets geoscientists and engineers with 4 or more years of industry experience who work with petrophysicists in regional evaluations, prospect generation and development studies, as well as petrophysicists with 1 to 2 years of experience seeking to enhance their interpretation skills. A major aspect of the course is discussion of petrophysical concepts and how these can be applied.

Prerequisites and linking courses

Prerequisites - Participants should have a basic understanding of petrophysical evaluation, as presented in N083 (Introduction to Petrophysics and Formulation Evaluation), N121 (Modern Petrophysical Well Log Interpretation) or N003 (Geological Interpretation of Well Logs), as well as practical experience working with well logs.

Linking petrophysics courses include N187 (Low Resistivity Low Contrast Pay, US only), N267 (Petrophysics for Shale Gas, US only) and the field course N030 (Rocks and Fluids: Practical Petrophysics, Isle of Wight, UK)

Related courses at Basic Application Competence Level are N004 (The Essentials of Rock Physics for Seismic Amplitude Interpretation) and N013 (Overpressure in Petroleum Systems and Geopressure Prediction) and at Skilled Application Competence Level courses N032 (Professional Level Rock Physics for Seismic Amplitude Interpretation) and N411 ( Fractures, Stress and Geomechanics).

Click on a name to learn more about the instructor

David Eickhoff

Related Subjects

Great course and instructor. Good amount of hands-on exercises and did a good job of explaining what we were doing and why we were doing it. Definitely helped solidify my understanding of petrophysics.