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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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formation factor

1. n. [Formation Evaluation]
The ratio of the resistivity of a rock filled with water (Ro) to the resistivity of that water (Rw). G.E. Archie postulated that the formation factor (F) was a constant independent of Rw and solely a function of pore geometry (the Archie equation I). It has since been shown that F is independent of Rw only for a certain class of petrophysically simple rocks (Archie rocks). In rocks with conductive minerals, such as shaly sands, there is a more complex dependence. In such cases, the ratio Ro/Rw is known as the apparent formation factor and may vary with Rw , temperature and the type of ion in solution. The intrinsic formation factor is then defined as F corrected for the effect of shale, or else the value of Ro/Rw at the limit of high salinity (low Rw ). The correction for the effect of shale depends on the saturation equation used, for example Waxman-Smits, dual water, SGS or CRMM. Unless otherwise stated, the term formation factor usually refers to the apparent formation factor. F has been related to porosity (phi) by several formulae (Archie, Humble and others) that have the general expression F = a / phim, where a is a constant and m the porosity exponent.