Laterologs work best in saltier muds or in normal muds in high resistivity formations. They will not work in air filled or cased holes
The laterolog is a direct current (DC) tool based on Ohm's Law. The tools have been designed to produce reliable resistivity measurements in boreholes containing highly saline drilling fluids and/or when surrounded by highly resistive rocks. The logging current is prevented from flowing up and down within the drilling fluid by placing focusing electrodes (A1 and A2) on both sides of a central measure electrode A0, as illustrated below. The focusing electrodes force measure current to flow only in the lateral direction, perpendicular to the axis of the logging device.
Seven electrode systems have an additional two pairs of small electrodes placed symmetrically on both sides of the center electrode (M1 – M1’ and M2 – M2’). The zero potential difference is maintained between these additional electrodes. Seven electrode systems include the obsolete LL7 style tool.
Bed resolution of the above tools is 3 feet, considerably better than the 64 inch Normal and most induction logs (except the array induction).
In all guard systems, the zero potential difference between the center electrode and the guard electrodes prevents current emanating from the center electrode from flowing along the borehole even when it contains highly saline mud. Thus, the measure current will assume the shape of a cylindrical disc.
A Canadian company, Roke Oil Enterprises Ltd, developed a laterolog so stable that it could keep a zero potential difference even in cased holes, allowing the measurement of resistivity through casing.
The thickness of this current disc is approximately equal to the length of the center electrode plus one-half the distances separating it from each of the guard electrodes.
The current density varies inversely with
the radial distance and can be calculated from:
of the formation is:
The path taken by the measure current of a laterolog constitutes a series circuit through the drilling mud, mud cake, flushed and invaded zones, and the undisturbed formation. In a series circuit, the total resistivity is the sum of resistivities along the current path.
The pseudo-geometrical factor concept was developed to estimate the influence of these zones on the measured apparent resistivities, in a manner similar to that described earlier for the induction log. Both borehole and bed thickness correction charts are available in service company chartbooks, based on computer models of the pseudo-geometrical factors for each tool design.
The two depths of investigation are recorded alternately so that the currents do not interfere with each other, but quickly enough that both look like continuous logs. An early version of this tool was called a sequential dual laterolog; here a switch could be set while the tool was downhole to select one or the other electrode set, but it took two passes over the logged interval to obtain both logs.
The spherically focused log is also a 9 electrode system, but the electrodes are arranged to place the guards closer to the center electrode, and the equalizing electrodes further away.
The newest laterologs, called high resolution laterolog and azimuthal resistivity log, have replaced those described above. The high resolution tool has 5 depths of investigation, similar to the array induction log presentation. Typical bed resolution is 2 or 3 feet, and the high resolution curve can resolve 8 inch beds.
The azimuthal tool records resistivity in 8 directions radially around the wellbore. In a vertical well, this may not have great impact, but in a horizontal well, it has serious uses. Looking up, the tool might see the cap rock (low resistivity for shale, high resistivity for anhydrite). Looking down, the tool might see low resistivity for water or high resistivity for more pay. Sideways, the tool should be looking at the pay zone. A composite resistivity is also recorded.
The 8 azimuthal resistivities can be presented as an image log, similar in appearance to a resistivity microscanner image. It has coarse vertical and horizontal resolution compared to the microscanner, but is considerably cheaper to run.
Laterolog / Guard Log (LL7, LL3)
Dual Laterolog Simultaneous Type (DLL)
Azimuthal Resistivity Log (ARI)
High Resolution Array Laterolog (HRL)
The hybrid scale was run from 1950 into the 1970's. It is composed of a linear resistivity scale running from 0.0 on the left to 50 or 100 ohm-m in the middle of the track. From the middle of the track to the right hand margin, the curve is actually a linear conductivity scaled from 20 to 0 or 10 to 0 milli-mhos. These two scales are equivalent to a 50 to infinity or 100 to infinity resistivity scales. These combined curves give the hybrid scale a continuous resistivity range from 0 to infinity across one or two tracks. The conductivity curve was also presented on some logs. The hybrid scale was replaced by the logarithmic scale in the 1970's, which may have backup scales because of the high range of resistivity that can be measured with this tool.
The SP curve may be present, but it may be pretty flat because laterologs were usually run in salt mud. The SP track may be shifted by splicing the film, as the curve was recorded 28 feet off-depth on some tools. Newer logs usually have a gamma ray curve in Track 1 instead of the SP.
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