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In petroleum exploration and development, formation evaluation is used to determine the ability of a borehole to produce petroleum. Essentially, it is the process of "recognizing a commercial well when you drill one". The formation evaluation problem is a matter of answering two questions: It is complicated by the impossibility of directly examining the formation. It is, in short, the problem of looking at the formation indirectly.

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  • Formation evaluation
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  • In petroleum exploration and development, formation evaluation is used to determine the ability of a borehole to produce petroleum. Essentially, it is the process of "recognizing a commercial well when you drill one". The formation evaluation problem is a matter of answering two questions: It is complicated by the impossibility of directly examining the formation. It is, in short, the problem of looking at the formation indirectly.
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  • In petroleum exploration and development, formation evaluation is used to determine the ability of a borehole to produce petroleum. Essentially, it is the process of "recognizing a commercial well when you drill one". Modern rotary drilling usually uses a heavy mud as a lubricant and as a means of producing a confining pressure against the formation face in the borehole, preventing blowouts. Only in rare and catastrophic cases, do oil and gas wells come in with a fountain of gushing oil. In real life, that is a blowout—and usually also a financial and environmental disaster. But controlling blowouts has drawbacks—mud filtrate soaks into the formation around the borehole and a mud cake plasters the sides of the hole. These factors obscure the possible presence of oil or gas in even very porous formations. Further complicating the problem is the widespread occurrence of small amounts of petroleum in the rocks of many sedimentary provinces. In fact, if a sedimentary province is absolutely barren of traces of petroleum, it is not feasible to continue drilling there. The formation evaluation problem is a matter of answering two questions: 1. * What are the lower limits for porosity, permeability and upper limits for water saturation that permit profitable production from a particular formation or pay zone; in a particular geographic area; in a particular economic climate. 2. * Do any of the formations in the well under consideration exceed these lower limits. It is complicated by the impossibility of directly examining the formation. It is, in short, the problem of looking at the formation indirectly.
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