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Basic Well Log Interpretation

Joshua Cook, P.E.

Course Outline

This three hour online course discusses well logs and how to interpret them.  It is important for many petroleum professionals to be able to understand well logs and what they mean.  This course will teach the basic concepts

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers or petroleum professionals that are unfamiliar with well logs or would simply want to review basic well log interpretation skills.

Benefit for Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to better understand and use well logs.

Course Introduction

This course is intended for people who are interested in learning more about well logs.  Anyone taking this course should be somewhat familiar with oil or gas well design and terminology. 
A well log is a record of the well depth verses some physical parameter of the well.  With it, estimations can be made of parameters such as formation type, thickness and depth, porosity, water saturation, and lithology. 

There are many different types of logs that can be run on wells.  They can be run in open hole or in cased hole.  Generally, they are on wireline, slick line, or in a drill string. 
The course will look a full well log and explain it piece by piece.  The logs in this course are taken from the WV Geologic and Economic survey’s website, which has many logs available to the public.  There are similar organizations in other states that are also good sources for data.

In order to read a log effectively, you will need to understand what each parameter is.  The parameters are not always accurate and can lead you wrong even if you are very careful.  Well logging is certainly not an exact science so experience and study will be helpful.  The best way to become good at reading logs is to practice.  This course should get you off to a good start.
This course is consolidating information that is commonly taught over a semester in collage into a short course.  There is considerable science beyond what is covered.

Course Content

The course content is contained in the following PDF file:

Basic Well Log Interpretation

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

Well logs are used to help evaluate formations that wells penetrate.  They are a vital part of the oil and gas industry. 
While this course only hit the highlights of the practice, there are many key points it covered.  There are many types of logs that can be run it wells.  The ones discussed in this course will help identify the type of rock, the porosity, water saturation, and if there is production. 

Related Links

If you have relationship with logging company, ask them for more information about their logs and for log interpretation charts. 


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.