Biodegradation, Downhole Fluid Analysis & Reservoir Fluid Geodynamics

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SPWLA Distinguished Speaker Series. Reservoirs can be subject to many complexities associated with a variety of dynamic processes in geologic time; the new technical discipline “reservoir fluid geodynamics” (RFG) is designed to treat the full range of these processes in order to yield improved understanding of production concerns. RFG is enabled in part by having the development of the Flory-Huggins-Zuo equation of state and its reliance on the Yen- Mullins model of asphaltenes which is the first EoS to predict asphaltene gradients. In addition, RFG is enabled by gradient data for thermodynamic analysis from DFA, and by a decade of oilfield case studies. Processes that have been well studied in the past such as biodegradation are subsumed within RFG. Here, we present a series of reservoirs that are subject to multiple complexities including biodegradation, water washing, multiple charging, spill-fill, and thermal maturity variations. The combination of DFA and thermodynamic modeling coupled with compositional analysis, especially two dimensional gas chromatography, and geochemical analysis, unravels all these complexities and enables viscosity mapping in the reservoirs. The RFG perspective is found to offer improved reservoir characterization even for processes that have been highly studied in years past.

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Your Instructor


Oliver Mullins, PhD, SPWLA
Oliver Mullins, PhD, SPWLA

Dr. Oliver C. Mullins is a Science Advisor in Schlumberger. He is the primary originator of Downhole Fluid Analysis (DFA) in well logging. Dr. Mullins also leads an active research group in petroleum science leading to the Yen-Mullins model of asphaltenes and the FHZ EoS. His current interests include utilizing DFA technology and new asphaltene science to perform novel reservoir evaluation. This work has clarified the reservoir fluid geodynamic processes the give rise to various fluid gradients and tar deposition. He has won several awards including the SPWLA Gold Medal for Technical Achievement. He authored the award-winning book The Physics of Reservoir Fluids; Discovery through Downhole Fluid Analysis and has been Distinguished Lecturer 6 times for SPWLA and SPE. He has co-edited 3 books and coauthored 13 chapters on asphaltenes and related topics. He has coauthored 250 publications, ~1⁄2 on petroleum science, ~1⁄2 on applications, and has coinvented 109 allowed US patents. He has accumulated 11,900 citations on Google Scholar. He is Editor of Petrophysics, Fellow of two professional societies and is Adjunct Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University.


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