Applied Geophysics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 337–350 | Cite as

Study on the simulation of acoustic logging measurements in horizontal and deviated wells

  • He Liu
  • Bing Wang
  • Guo Tao
  • Kuo Zhang
  • Wen-Zheng Yue
Borehole geophysics


The conventional acoustic logging interpretation method, which is based on vertical wells that penetrate isotropic formations, is not suitable for horizontal and deviated wells penetrating anisotropic formations. This unsuitability is because during horizontal and deviated well drilling, cuttings will splash on the well wall or fall into the borehole bottom and form a thin bed of cuttings. In addition, the high velocity layers at different depths and intrinsic anisotropy may affect acoustic logging measurements. In this study, we examine how these factors affect the acoustic wave slowness measured in horizontal and deviated wells that are surrounded by an anisotropic medium using numerical simulation. We use the staggered-grid finite difference method in time domain (FDTD) combined with hybrid-PML. First, we acquire the acoustic slowness using a simulated array logging system, and then, we analyze how various factors affect acoustic slowness measurements and the differences between the effects of these factors. The factors considered are high-velocity layers, thin beds of cuttings, dipping angle, formation thickness, and anisotropy. The simulation results show that these factors affect acoustic wave slowness measurements differently. We observe that when the wavelength is much smaller than the distance between the borehole wall and high velocity layer, the true slowness of the formation could be acquired. When the wavelengths are of the same order (i.e., in the near-field scenarios), the geometrical acoustics theory is no longer applicable. Furthermore, when a thin bed of cuttings exists at the bottom of the borehole, Fermat's principle is still applicable, and true slowness can be acquired. In anisotropic formations, the measured slowness changes with increments in the dipping angle. Finally, for a measurement system with specific spacing, the slowness of a thin target layer can be acquired when the distance covered by the logging tool is sufficiently long. Based on systematical simulations with different dipping angles and anisotropy in homogenous TI media, slowness estimation charts are established to quantitatively determine the slowness at any dipping angle and for any value of the anisotropic ratio. Synthetic examples with different acoustic logging tools and different elastic parameters demonstrate that the acoustic slowness estimation method can be conveniently applied to horizontal and deviated wells in TI formations with high accuracy.


Horizontal well deviated well high velocity layer cuttings bed acoustic slowness estimation 


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The authors would like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that significantly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Editorial Office of Applied Geophysics and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • He Liu
    • 1
  • Bing Wang
    • 1
  • Guo Tao
    • 2
  • Kuo Zhang
    • 3
    • 4
    • 1
  • Wen-Zheng Yue
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectingChina University of Petroleum (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Petroleum GeoscienceKhalifa UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.China Center for Information Industry DevelopmentBeijingChina
  4. 4.Beijing CCID Publishing & Media Co., Ltd.BeijingChina

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