In the phase of oil drilling, mud filtrate penetrates into porous formations and alters the pore fluid properties. This complicates well logging exploration, and inevitably gives rise to shift in reservoir estimation. Logging engineers deem mud invasion a harm and attempt to eliminate its impact on logging data exploration. However, from our point of view, the mud-contaminated parts of the formation do also carry some valuable information, notably with regard to the key hydraulic properties. Therefore, if adequately characterized, mud invasion effects, in turn, could be utilized for reservoir estimation. Typically, the invasion depth critically depends on the formation porosity and permeability. To achieve this objective, we propose to use borehole radar to determine the mud invasion depth considering a high spatial resolution of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) compared with the conventional logging tools. We implement numerical investigations on the feasibility of this approach by coupling electromagnetic (EM) modelling with fluid flow modelling in an oil-bearing formation disturbed by mud invasion effects. The simulations imply that a time-lapse radar logging is able to extract EM reflection signals from mud invasion front, and the invasion depth and EM velocity can be obtained by a downhole antenna displacement of one source and two receivers. We find that there exists a positive correlation between the estimated invasion depth and permeability curves, and a negative correlation between the estimated velocity and porosity curves. We suggest that borehole radar has potential to estimate permeability and porosity of oil reservoirs, wherein the mud invasion effect is positively utilized. The study demonstrates a potential method of oil reservoir estimation and a novel application of GPR in oil fields.


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