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A new method to estimate total organic carbon content


One key property to evaluate the prospects of any shale oil or gas is its total organic carbon (TOC) richness. This study investigates different TOC estimation techniques and validates the reliability of each, aiming to provide a best estimation approach for local and global applications. It utilizes well data of the Goldwyer Formation, a prominent Ordovician source rock that is increasingly sparking interest as a potentially prospective shale play in the West Australian Canning Basin. All utilized wells are within the Barbwire Terrace, a subdivision of the basin. General TOC estimation methods, such as Schmoker and ΔlogR were employed for TOC calculation. TOC relationships of single and multivariate regressions were also derived from wireline data and TOC rock sample measurements. The regression approach has shown to provide the best TOC estimates for wells in the Barbwire Terrace, where the best multiple regression approach for the terrace and global application was found to be the one derived from gamma-ray (GR), bulk density (RHOB), and sonic log transit time (DT). TOC was reliably estimated for wells inside and outside the Barbwire Terrace, and also for wells of a global lacustrine shale. Such derivation has provided a more accurate technical assessment of the shale play and its prospects as a potential unconventional hydrocarbon resource that can be applied globally. This study is intended for readers involved in the energy sector and might be of interest to the oil and gas industry, especially to companies investing in shale play exploration and development.


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Reference: Alshakhs M et al (2017). A New Method to Estimate Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Content, an Example from Goldwyer Shale Formation, the Canning Basin, The Open Petroleum Engineering Journal, DOI: 10.2174/1874834101710010118)

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