Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Petrophysics

Petrophysics of Tight and Unconventional Oil Reservoirs

Course Code: N528
Instructors:  Dick Merkel
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
3 days
5 sessions

Next Event

Location: Houston
Date:  11 - 13 Jul. 2023
Start Time: 09:00 CDT
Event Code: N528a23C
Fee From: USD $3,570 (exc. Tax)


Business Impact: Application of the learnings of this course will empower participants to understand the petrophysical concepts to allow for determination of flow units and hydrocarbons in place (HIP) in mixed or oil wet formations.

Unconventional reservoirs are typically dual porosity and dual permeability, which often forces petrophysical modeling into two-dimensional analysis. This course explores how the physical and chemical nature of mudstones constrains our petrophysical approach and how core, log, image, and geochemical data can be integrated to develop an appropriate petrophysical evaluation workflow. The analysis can be applied to pilot wells to determine favorable zones to go horizontal, or to horizontal wells to determine optimum completion intervals.


Event Code: N528a23C
Duration: 3 days
Instructors: Dick Merkel
Dates: 11 - 13 Jul. 2023
Start Time: 09:00 CDT
Location: Houston
Fee From
USD $3,570 (exc. Tax)
Good Availability
Please login to book.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, and discussions.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:
  1. Evaluate the fluid distribution in unconventional reservoirs.
  2. Determine how maturation affects pore distribution and connate water salinity.
  3. Distinguish geologic environments that require special logging tools.
  4. Select advanced techniques for the analysis of NMR and/or dielectric measurements.
  5. Formulate special core analysis techniques to calibrate or verify petrophysical models.
  6. Judge pore size distributions in heterogeneous formations.
  7. Formulate reservoir wettability from logs and core.
  8. Determine with accuracy the amount of clay bound water and free water.
  • The Physics of Log Measurements
  • Log Normalization, QC, and Measurement Error
  • Mineralogy Determination from Logs
  • Clay Responses and Clay Bound Water
  • TOC Models
  • Porosity Determination
  • Fluid Saturation; models and measured
  • Permeability from core and logs
  • Rock Mechanics

Anyone involved in the petrophysical evaluation of shale reservoirs, including geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists and engineers.

Dick Merkel

Dick Merkel is President of Denver Petrophysics LLC, which is a consulting firm dedicated to developing logging analytical techniques for petrophysical models tied to core, completion, and production data in complex reservoirs. For the past thirty years, the emphasis of his work has been on the rock physics of NMR and dielectric log combined with core measurements.

Previously, Dick worked at Encana and Newfield where he worked on teams that developed reservoir models for conventional and unconventional oil and gas reservoirs in the Rocky Mountains. Prior to its closing in 2000, Dick was a Senior Technical Consultant at Marathon Oil Company’s Petroleum Technology Center in Littleton, CO where he worked on evaluating new logging tools and technology and developing techniques for their application in Marathon’s reservoirs worldwide.

Dick Merkel has been on the faculty at The Pennsylvania State University and the Colorado School of Mines where he has taught courses in petrophysics, signal processing, and earth physics. He is a past president of SPWLA, the SPWLA Foundation, and DWLS.

Affiliations & Accreditation
PhD Penn State - Geophysics
MS Penn State - Geophysics
BS St. Lawrence University - Physics
SPWLA - Member
SPE - Member
SCA - Member

Courses Taught
N250: Evaluation Methods for Shale Reservoirs
N528: Petrophysics of Tight and Unconventional Oil Reservoirs

CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.