3-D Reservoir Characterization: Worldwide Examples and Economics
Scott W. Tinker, Donald H. Caldwell, and Michael J. Uland
Reservoir characterization involves the quantification, integration, reduction, and analysis of geological, petrophysical, seismic, and engineering data. A principal goal of reservoir characterization is to derive a spatial understanding of interwell heterogeneity. Traditionally, geologic attempts to characterize interwell heterogeneity have been done using hand-drawn or computer generated 2-D maps and cross sections. Results can be improved dramatically using 3-D interpretation and analysis techniques. The product of 3-D reservoir characterization is a 3-D reservoir model. The language used to communicate the results of a 3-D reservoir model is visualization, i.e., visual images of numerical data.
Three-dimensional reservoir characterization requires the same input data as 2-D methods, does not add to reservoir characterization costs, improves the integrity of the geologic interpretation, and requires less time than equivalent projects done in 2-D. Updates can be made to the full-field model within days, as opposed to weeks or months for equivalent changes in 2-D. The enhanced speed allows the user to make several versions of a 3-D model in order to capture the range of stratigraphic and depositional possibilities. This results, ultimately, in a more accurate 3-D reservoir description.
Five case studies will be presented, including a proximal turbidite, middle-shelf carbonate, two outer-shelf carbonate, and a distal turbidite field. For each field, a synopsis of the problem, data, solution, and economics will be reviewed. The case study solutions illustrate improved reservoir management decisions, data quality control, volumetric calculations, numerical simulation input, communication between disciplines, and field economics.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California