Understanding and Adapting Rockphysics Principles for Mudrock (Shale) Reservoirs

Manika Prasad

Rock physics principles allow us to understand and interpret matrix- and fluid-related changes in porosity, pore space topology, and seismic and transport properties.


Two days

Intended Audience

Entry Level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education Required)

Basic Geoscience education or experience required. Working knowledge about shales is a benefit.

Course Description

This course is meant to introduce attendees to basic mud rock characteristics and explain their differences with conventional reservoir lithologies. Using those differences, the rock physics principles will be developed initially as empirical and descriptive methods. After establishing a sound understanding, we will identify seismic and transport properties of mud rocks; using well logs in rock physics model development for mud rocks:

In the course, we will identify changes in rock properties in mud rocks and classify mud rocks based on rock physics principles. We will show how the various pore systems in mud rocks are different from conventional rocks and what effect this might have on seismic and flow properties due to pore size distributions changes. We will also demonstrate the difference the fine-grained and organic components of mudrocks can have on seismic and flow properties. With a basic understanding, the attendees will then assess various rock physics models to allow us to build new models or alter existing ones for mudrocks. A key aspect of this course will be to understand potential interpretation pitfalls in using standard rockphysics models in mudrocks.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction and Definition
  2. Shale Imaging and Digital Rock Physics Analysis
  3. Porosity in Conventional (Inorganic) and Unconventional (Organic) Shales
  4. Velocity Analysis
  5. Resistivity Analysis
  6. Theoretical Models
  7. Applications

Learner Outcomes

  • Identify and list changes in rock properties in mud rocks.
    • Classify mud rocks and potential changes due to kerogen presence, amount and maturity.
  • Identify various pore systems in mud rocks.
    • Recognize types of pore size distribution data.
    • Assess changes in porosity and pore size distributions due to organics.
    • Access changes in flow properties due to pore size distributions.
  • Classify velocity and resistivity correlations in mud rocks based on porosity/maturity/pore size changes/mineralogy.
    • Create velocity – porosity correlations in mud rocks.
    • Assess variations from conventional rocks.
  • Predict potential changes due to organic content and its maturity.
    • Distinguish between changes in velocity – porosity relations in conventional and in organics-rich systems.
  • Select and evaluate example data with various RP models to select best models to describe the changes.
    • Create an experimental program to acquire appropriate data for evaluation.

Instructor Biography

Manika Prasad