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One very important aspect in exploration geophysics which will complement previous data acquisition is the information from well log data (wireline data), this does not only gives information about the petrophysical properties of the subsurface formation but it is a major tool in linking stratigraphy, delineating reservoir properties of a formation, calibrating seismic data and in correlating lithology where more than one wells are available.

Formation evaluation is the practice of determining both the physical and chemical properties of rocks and the fluids they contain. The objectives of formation evaluation are to evaluate the presence or absence of commercial quantities of hydrocarbons in formations penetrated by the wellbore, to determine the static and dynamic characteristics of productive reservoirs, detect small quantities of hydrocarbon which nevertheless may be very significant from an exploration standpoint, and to provide a comparison of an interval in one well to the correlative interval in another well. It can be performed in several stages such as during drilling by mud logging, logging while drilling, during logging (quick look log interpretation) and after logging (detailed log interpretation), by core analysis in the laboratory, etc. Wireline logs are one of the many different sources of data used in formation evaluation.

Using wireline log data, formation evaluation and petrophysical analysis gives reservoir data that can be used for future reserve estimation and reservoir analysis.




The aim of this study is to integrate petrophysical log data to qualify and quantify reservoirs in order to assess the production potential.

The objective includes;

·         Knowing the lithology through the identification of sand units from chosen top sand to the last hydrocarbon bearing sand, using Gamma Ray Log.

·         Estimation of shale volume and reservoir thickness.

·           Assessment of effective porosity

·          Determination of water saturation.

·          Estimation of log derived permeability.

·         Facies analysis by classifying reservoir sands and their depositional environment from the log motifs.

·         Identification of hydrocarbon and gas-bearing sands and gas/oil contact from density log in combination with the neutron porosity log.



The scope of this work borders on using suites of wireline logs, to interpretthe properties of the formation and differentiate sand (reservoir) from shale (non-reservoir) by integrating other Petrophysical logs such as resistivity logs, porosity logs etc. to obtain lithologic sequence. Log cross plots such as compensated neutron log and formation density compensated log will be used to accurately determine the true formation porosity of the reservoir. Porosity determines the storage capacity for hydrocarbons and permeability determines the fluid flow capacity of the rock formation. Saturation is the fraction of the porosity that is occupied by hydrocarbons or by water. This method is also used to determine pore pressure and gas bearing zones within the reservoir. Finally, capillarity determines how much of the available hydrocarbons can be produced. Accurate evaluation of the formation are essential to access the economic viability of these reservoir wells in the Niger Delta oilfield.



·         This studywillhelp optimize reservoir characteristics and carry out reservoir monitoring & management of the wells.

·         With advent of modern well logging tools with enhanced data analysis reservoir wells cannot be over emphasized. Therefore this study has the tendency to enhance the hydrocarbon potential of the Niger Delta basin.

·         It would help to carry out detailed characteristics of the minor & major solid and fluid fractions both in reservoir and in shales (containing varying amounts of clay bound and capillary bound water), in Niger Delta.




·         The Niger delta is a Cenozoic sedimentary basin situated on the continental margin of the gulf of guinea in the Equatorial West Coast of Central Africa between latitude 30 and 6 0 N and longitude 50 and 80E (Doust and Omotosola, 1990; et al, 1997). It is situated at the intersection of the Benue Trough and the south Atlantic ocean where a triple junction developed during the separation of the continents South America and Africa in late Jurassic (Whiteman, 1982; Obaje 2009.) it covers an area of about 75,000Sq km extending more than 300km from Apex to mouth and is composed of an overall regressive clastic sequence which reaches a maximum thickness of 30,000 to 40,000 ft. (9,000 to 12,000m). (Evamy et al., 1978; Doust and Omatsola, 1990).The sediment deposited in Niger Delta is supplied by the Niger River which is 4,100km long and rises in the mountains of Sierra Leone to West. The largest tributary is the Benue River with which it has it confluence in central Nigeria. (Shannon and Naylor, 1990). During the Tertiary, the Niger Delta built out into the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Niger-Benue river system, an area of catchment that encompasses more than million square Kilometers (about 1,200,000km2) of predominantly savannah-covered lowlands. (Doust and Omotsola, 1990).The Cenozoic Niger Delta is framed by a set of older, stable mega tectonic elements. At the eastern fringe of the Niger Delta, there is a similar but complex feature, the Calabar Flank is the subsurface continuation of the Oban Massif. The Calabar Flank breaks off along the Calabar hinge Line which trends in a SE/NW direction. To the north of the Cenozoic lie the SenonianAbakaliki Uplift and the post AbakalikiAnambra basin. These latter units were also stable elements throughout Cenozoic time. (Murat, 1970; Merki, 1972). The sedimentary basin of the Niger delta encompasses a much larger region than the geographical extent of the modern Delta constructed by the Niger Benue drainage systems. It includes the Cross River and extends eastwards into the continental margins of neighboring Cameroun and Equatorial Guinea (Reijers et al, 1997). The present day Niger and Benue valleys are developed along areas of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments which separate the massifs exposed basement rocks. Westward from Delta is Dahomey basin, a coastal and shelf continent sediment wedge of these areas, the Niger Delta is the only province with substantial oil production (1.29 billion barrels/day in 1987) (Shannon and Naylor, 1990).


Figure 1.1: Index map of the Niger Delta showing province outline(petroconsultants,1996a)

The Niger Delta forms one of the World’s major hydrocarbon provinces, with proven ultimate recoverable reserve of approximately 26 billion barrels of oil and under evaluated, but probably vast Gas resource base. It ranks amongst the world’s most prolific petroleum producing Tertiary Deltas that together account for about 5% of the world’s oil & gas reserve and for about 2.5% of the present day basin areas on Earth.



The stratigraphic sequence of the Niger Delta comprises three broad lithostratigraphic units namely, (1) a continental shallow massive sand sequence- the Benin Formation, (2) a coastal marine sequence of alternating sands and shales- Agbada Formation, and (3) a basal marine shale unit- the Akata Formation.

1.6.3 BENIN FORMATION (Continental Sands)

The Benin Formation forms the shallowest part of the litho-sequence composed almost entirely of non-marine sand (fluviatile gravels and sands) characterized by high sand percentage (70-100%) and forms the top of the Niger Delta depositional sequence. The massive sands were deposited in continental environment comprising the fluvial realms (braided and meandering systems) of the upper delta plain following a southward shift of deltaic deposition into a new depobelt.

1.6.4 AGBADA FORMATION (Paralic Clastic)

The Agbada Formation consist of alternating sand and shales representing sediments of the transitional environment comprising the lower delta plain (mangrove swamps, floodplain, and marsh) and the coastal barrier and fluviomarine realms. The sand percentage within the Agbada Formation varies from 30 to 70% which results from the large number of depositional off lap cycles. A complete cycle generally consist of thin fossiliferous transgressive marine sand, followed by an offlap sequence which commences with marine shale and continues with laminated fluviomarine sediments followed by barriers and/or fluviatile sediments terminated by another transgression. These Paralicclastics are the truly deltaic portion of the sequence deposited in a number of delta-front, delta-topest, and fluvio-deltaic environments. Thisforms the hydrocarbon-prospective sequence in the Niger Delta. As with the marine shales, the Paralic sequence is present in all depobelts and ranges in age from Eocene to Pleistocene. This lithofacies unit reaches a maximum thickness of more than 3000m.

1.6.5 AKATA FORMATION (Paralic Clastic)

The Akata Formation consist of clays and shales with minor sand and silts intercalations at the base of the known delta sequence. The sediments were deposited in pro-deltaenvironments. The sand percentage is generally less than 30% possibly of turbiditic origin and were deposited in holomarine (delta-front to deeper marine) environments. The thickness of this sequence is not known for certain places but may reach 7000m in the central part of the delta. Marine shale’s form the base of the sequence in each depobelt and range from Paleocene to Holocene in age. They crop out offshore in diapirs along the continental slope, and onshore in the Northeastern part of the delta where they are known as the Imo Shales. Except on the Benin flank, no wells have fully penetrated this sequence. The Marine shale sequence is typically overpressured. The top is usually defined by local Geologists as of fresh-water invasion, sand units well below the top of the overlying Benin Formation, and because of turbidite sand units well below the top of the Akata formation.

Figure 1.2: Stratigraphic section of the Anambra Basin from the Late Cretaceous through the Eocene and time equivalent formations in the Niger Delta.(Obaje NG 2000)



Depobelt, as defined represent successive phase of delta growth. They are composed of bands of sediments about 30-60 km wide length of up to 300km. they contain major fault-bounded sequence which contain a shore dace alternating sand/shale sequence limited at the proximal end by a major boundary growth fault and at the distal end by a lithofacies change, a counter-regional growth fault, a major boundary fault of a succeeding depobelt, or any combination of the seawards, successive depobelts contain sedimentary fills markedly younger than the adjacent ones in a landward direction.

Figure 1.3 Structural and tectonic setting of the formation in the Niger delta basin.(

On a delta dip section a relationship is apparent between successive depobelts. The base alluvial sand facies of an up dip (older) depobelt is approximately time equivalent to the initiation of the base sand/shale sequence in the down-dip depobelt. The depositional of parallic sequence within any depobelt is terminated by a rapid advance of an alluvial sand facies over the proximal and central areas of the belt. This advances initiates deposition of the parallic sand/shales sequence in the succeeding depobelt. A parallic sequence develops in this new depobelt, and in the exterior part of the older depobelt, while the continental sands/gravels advance dischronously. This sequence of events repeated itself five to six times over the last 38 million years to define a series of depobelts in the Niger Delta. Five major depobelts are generally recognized namely, Northern Delta, Greater Ughelli, Central Swamp, and Coastal Swamp and offshore which are distinguished primarily by their age is best differentiated.

Figure 1.4. Map showing depobelt of Niger Delta (from

The most striking structural features of the Niger Delta are the large syn-sedimentary growth faults, rollover anticlines and shale diapirs which deformed the delta complex (Evamy et al., 1978). Rapid sand deposition along the delta edge on top of under-compacted clay has resulted in the development of large number of syn-sedimentary gravity faults called “Growth Faults”. The name growth fault derives from the fact that after their formation the faults remain active and thereby allow a faster sedimentation in the down-thrown relative to the up thrown block. The enhanced sedimentation along the growth fault causes a rotational movement which tilts the beds toward the fault. In this way, anticlinal structures known as ‘Rollover anticlines” are formed along faults.

Fig1.5: principal types of oil-fields structures in the Niger Delta (Obaje NG 2000)

Niger Delta tectonics is limited to extensional deformation in the sedimentary fill. Growth fault dominates the structural style which is interpreted to be triggered by the movement of deep-seated, over pressured, ductile marine shale and aided by slope instability. Fault flattens with depth into master detachment plane near the top of the over pressured, marine shale sequence. Hanging wall rollover anticlines develop as a result of listric-fault geometry and differential loading of deltaic sediments above ductile shales. As sediment loading in a depobelt ceased the depocenters shifted seaward and loaded thick mobile shale, and a new depobelt was formed. In the youngest depobelts, the effect of shale diaprismbecomes increasingly important.


In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of publications concerning source rock investigations and field studies. Properties of hydrocarbons, source rock reservoirs, seals and traps are important when talking of the Hydrocarbon system of Niger Delta. Also hydrocarbon distribution (i.e. in terms of maturity and migration) is also important. In terms of hydrocarbon properties, the Niger Delta is rich in both oil and Gas which are present throughout the delta. Oils in the Niger delta are of the light waxy type, typical of deltas. Geochemically, they appear to belong to one family, although heavier bacterially degraded oil are found at shallow depths, where the formation temperature is below 800C (1750F). The light oils typified by bonny light stream, paraffinic and waxy, with pour points ranging from 20-900F and 60to 32.20C and viscosities lower than about 10cp (centipoises). The degrade crudes which include the bonny medium stream, have lower gravities (approximately 260API) and are naphthenic and non-waxy, either pour points lower than -130F (-250C) and viscosities from 10 to 100cp. Although the wax content of the light oils is highly variable, it is characteristically very low when transformed, commonly less than 5% Sulphur content is of the order of 0.1%. The location source rock for Niger delta hydrocarbons has been a subject of controversy. Several authors have proposed a source in the shales of the paralic sequence (Agbada Formation) while others have argued for a source in the underlying marine shales (Akata Formation). The Agbada Formation has intervals that contain organic carbon contents sufficient to be considered good source of rocks. The intervals, however, rarely reach thickness sufficient to produce a world class oil province and are immature in various parts of the delta. The Akata shale is present in large volumes beneath the Agbada Formation and it is at least volumetrically sufficient to generate enough oil for a world class oil province such as the Niger Delta. So, based on organic-matter content and type, the marine shale (Akata Formation) and the shale interbedded with paralic sandstones (lower Agbada Formation) were the source rocks for the Niger Delta oils. Generally, source rocks are difficult to locate in the delta wells because of thin-bed development and dilution by other lithologies. In Shell wells, definitive source rocks have been penetrated only in conventional cores, ditch cuttings and sidewall samples fail to locate convincing source rock. Most shales have low percentage of organic matter, higher percentages are limited to thin beds. Occurrences of source rock are strongly controlled by environments and most were in lacustrine settings. Shell studies of Tertiary and Holocene deltas suggest that the richest environments for the accumulation of organic matter probably are found in the subaerial part of the lower coastal plain. Emphasis has been placed on depositional environments of source rocks, rather than their stratigraphic position. The Niger delta has been a consistently sand-rich system. Petroleum in the Niger Delta is produced from sandstone and unconsolidated sands predominantly in the Agbada Formation. Characteristics of the reservoirs in the Agbada Formation are controlled by depositional environment and by depth of burial. Known reservoir rocks are Eocene to Pliocene in age, and are often stacked, ranging in thickness from less than 15 meters to 10% having greater than 45 meters in thickness. Based on reservoir geometry and quality, most important reservoir types as point bars of distributary channels and coastal barrier bars intermittently cut through sand filled channels. Most known traps in Niger Delta field are structural although stratigraphic traps are not uncommon. The structural traps developed during syn-sedimentary deformation of the AgbadaParalic sequence. The primary seal rock in the Niger Delta is the interbedded shale within the AgbadaParalic sequence. In the northwestern portion of the delta, the oil window (active source-rock interval) lies in the upper Akata Formation and the lower Agbada Formation. To the southeast, the trap of the oil window is stratigraphically lower (up to 4000’ below the upper Akata/lower Agbada sequence. Migration from mature, over-pressured shales in the more portion of the delta may be similar to that described from over-pressured shales in the Gulf of Mexico.


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One very important aspect in exploration geophysics which will complement previous data acquisition is the information from well log data (wireline data), this does not only gives information about the petrophysical properties of the subsurface formation but it is a major tool in linking stratigraphy, delineating reservoir properties of a formation, calibrating seismic data and in correlating lithology where more than one wells are available... geology project topics


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