Simulation of DC dual-laterolog measurements in complex formations: A Fourier-series approach with nonorthogonal coordinates and self-adapting finite elements
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Dual laterolog (DLL) makes use of a galvanic conduction principle to focus electrical currents into rock formations, thereby minimizing shoulder and borehole effects in the measurement of formation resistivity. The tool includes two separate focusing systems: deep-sensing (LLd) and shallow-sensing modes (LLs). Laterolog current-focusing systems were designed for operation primarily in vertical boreholes penetrating horizontal layers; only recently their design has been revised for operation in deviated wells in the presence of electrical anisotropy. We simulated three-dimensional (3D) DLL measurements in dipping, invaded, and electrically anisotropic formations and appraised the corresponding effects on apparent resistivity logs. Simulations were performed by combining the use of a Fourier-series expansion in a nonorthogonal system of coordinates with an existing 2D goal-oriented, higher-order, and self-adaptive finite-element method. This numerical algorithm yields accurate solutions in limited CPU time because only a few Fourier modes are needed to simulate practical applications. For the calculation of focused currents, we introduced an embedded postprocessing method that incorporates a synthetic focusing principle to compute current intensities at each iterative step of optimal mesh refinements. Our numerical method accurately simulates 3D DLL measurements in rock formations that exhibit extreme contrasts of electrical resistivity. Simulations indicate that LLs resistivity logs are more sensitive to both invaded and anisotropic layers than LLd resistivity logs. In deviated wells, shoulder-bed effects on apparent resistivity logs increase with an increase of dip angle, and are emphasized across thin conductive layers. Electrical anisotropy effects on apparent resistivity logs increase substantially with dip angle. © 2009 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.