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AGS Meeting (October 1): Advanced Formation Evaluation of Organic-Rich Mudrocks, Honoring Rock Fabric and Geochemistry

Advanced Formation Evaluation of Organic-Rich Mudrocks, Honoring Rock Fabric and Geochemistry

Dr. Zoya Heidari

Complex rock fabric, composition, pore structure, and geochemistry make formation evaluation of unconventional resources 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 lead to unreliable estimates of reserves, formation properties, and evaluation of 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.

In this presentation, 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 muchrocks will be discussed. Outcomes of recent experimental and computational research developments as well as field applications will be presented to demonstrate that formation evaluation efforts for assessment of reserves and mechanical properties as well as rock classification 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 in spatially complex reservoirs with the intent to enhance production and recovery factors.




Zoya Heidari is an Associate Professor in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Before joining The University of Texas at Austin, she was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in College Station and the Chevron Corporation faculty fellow in Petroleum Engineering from September 2011 to August 2015.  Zoya was 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. She has been the founder and the director of the University of Texas at Austin Industrial Affiliates Research Program on “Multi-Scale Rock Physics” since 2016. She received a Ph.D. (2011) in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Zoya is one of the recipients of the 2017 SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) Cedric K. Ferguson Medal, the 2016 SPE regional Formation Evaluation award, the 2015 SPE Innovative Teaching Award, the 2014 TEES (Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station) Select Young Faculty Fellows award from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, and the 2012 SPE Petroleum Engineering Junior Faculty Research Initiation Award. She is the holder of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Centennial Fellowship #1 in Petroleum Engineering at UT Austin since 2016. Zoya has served as the Vice President of Education for the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA) from 2016 to 2018. Her research interests include Petrophysics, Rock Physics, Borehole Geophysics, Formation Evaluation, Integrated Reservoir Characterization of Carbonates and Unconventional Resources, and Completion Petrophysics.